When you think about your personal financial freedom, what do you think about? Do you have a clear picture in your mind of what it will be like? Some people imagine the simple things like being debt-free, owning their home, being able to pay the bills, and saving for retirement and emergencies. Others picture a little more extravagance, including early retirement, world travel, being able to go out when they want.
Both realities are possible if you learn to prioritize, plan carefully, and stick to your strategy even when it is hard. Reaching financial freedom means something different to everyone, and you can start making your vision a reality today. You will have a lot of work to do, and it may feel impossible at times depending on your current financial situation, but follow these tips and you will soon be on the right path to living your best life free of worry about money.
Write Your Vision Down and Be Specific
One of the most important steps in achieving your goals is to set them in the first place. Being specific with your goals gives you a clear picture to focus on. You never have to question where you are headed when you have the details laid out ahead of time. Writing your goals down is an act of commitment and gives you the momentum you need in order to get started. So sit down and write out in as much detail as possible, what you want your life to look like when you achieve financial freedom.
Figure Out What You Need
After you have your vision clearly in place, it is time to figure out what you will need in order to get there. Do you have a debt to pay off? How much money do you need to save in order to have what you want during retirement? How much money would you like to be able to spend per month, and how much do you want to save? This will help you picture your destination and set up some major checkpoints along the way.
Figure Out Where You Are Right Now
Do you know those big map boards at amusement parks that have the arrow pointing to where you currently are? “You are here.” The map would do you no good without knowing your starting point. The same goes for drawing up your map to financial freedom. You need to know your starting point before you can set out on a lifelong journey. Pull out all your bills and look at where all your money is going right now. There are plenty of apps out there that can help you with understanding your spending habits.
Set Your Priorities
Now that you have figured out what you want in order to achieve financial freedom, what you need in order to pay off your debt and save for the future, and what you currently have right in front of you, it is time to set budget priorities. Since you are reading this article, there are likely some disparities between the financial situation you want and the one you have. Maybe you can completely close the gap by changing your spending habits. If not, you can likely at least bring the two points closer together. Divide your spending into necessary and unnecessary spending, then examine what you can change.
Create Sources of Income
You may be looking at your budget and your goals and realizing that you cannot possibly achieve your goals with the income you currently have. The good news is that it is easier than ever to create income sources without actually getting another job. Of course, if you can get a better job or ask for a raise, go for it! If that is just not an option, you may want to consider that you could start dropshipping or affiliate marketing without ever leaving your house, and with little to no investment other than time. Gig work is another incredibly flexible option and there are endless varieties for the type of work you could be doing.
Keep Checking In
The journey to financial freedom is lifelong. You will hit bumps in the road, have to make difficult choices, and you may get tired of the work sometimes. Feedback is a necessary part of achieving your dreams, and regular check-ins to remind yourself of your progress will help keep you motivated. Plan to sit down every three to six months to figure out where you are, look at how far you’ve come, and make any adjustments necessary in order to stay on track.
Set milestones and give yourself a reward when you reach them. This is another way of helping you remember the benefits of the work you are doing every day to get to where you want to be financial. Your reward doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be meaningful, but doing something special to acknowledge your hard work will help maintain your momentum. Keep at it. Your financial freedom is achievable with patience, planning, and appreciation for your progress.