Are you weighed down by debt and mortgage and overdue payments? Are you going through your own personal financial crisis? Are you looking to achieve financial freedom? You’re not alone. Many of us, especially the working class, are seeking that road to financial freedom so we won’t have to worry about our financial needs for the future. There are just so many things to consider – emergency funds, children’s college funds, retirement funds – that sometimes you can’t help but dread the thought of that next due payment. The truth is, anyone can achieve financial freedom; all it takes is careful financial planning. Analyzing and controlling your daily expenses can help you build up your daily wealth and help you get on the road to financial freedom. This article will show you how you can get started.
First of all, if you’re a user of credit cards, pay off your credit card debt. Sure, credit cards might seem handy since you don’t have to carry a lot of cash unnecessarily, but the extraordinarily high interest rates on credit cards can lead to credit card debts that can cancel out even the greatest investor’s gains. The biggest problem with credit cards is that it encourages impulse buying, and most people end up buying things that they don’t necessarily need. A lot of people lose track of their expenses and end up accumulating more payables than they can afford to pay off. Buying on credit will not help in your efforts to achieving long term financial freedom, because realistically speaking, as long as you have a credit card, you’re in continuous debt.
After you’ve paid off your credit card debt, cancel your credit cards and stop using them. If you lack the discipline to resist the “grab-and-swipe” temptation, it’s the best thing for you. If you don’t have it, you won’t be tempted. But if you absolutely must have the convenience of “cashless” payment, consider a debit card instead. Debit cards should instill in you the discipline of prudent spending, because with debit cards you’re spending what you have in your bank account rather than spending on credit. For most people I know, the fear of seeing a shrinking bank account balance with every expenditure is enough to stave off any other temptation to buy on impulse. They think twice about swiping for that new gold bracelet they might like but don’t really need. Debit cards can help you control your finances if used prudently.
Prudent spending can help you save quite a bit of money in the long run. Another savings method you should consider is taking some percentage of your salary and depositing the sum into your savings account. Most people who do this typically take 30% from their salaries, and consider the sum in such accounts as untouchable or “for emergencies only”. Again it takes quite a bit of discipline to ensure that you won’t be tempted to spend that particular sum, especially after you’ve spent the remaining 70% of your paycheck. If you use a debit card, it’s wise to set up two separate accounts, one for your debit card, and one for your “fixed” savings.
Building up your daily wealth is really as simple as being prudent with your spending. The keyword here is save, save, save. Do not be a slave to debt. Keep track of your finances by using personal financial planning software to key in your cash inflow and outflow so you’re aware of your financial position as you go along. If you’re not comfortable with the numbers, make adjustments; see which expenses you can reduce or do away with completely, etc. Control your buying impulse. Instill in yourself the discipline to buy what you really need, not what you want or desire. I’m sure that if you can do all of this, you will be well on your way to financial freedom.
Jamie B. McIntyre