What is financial freedom? Most experts agree that it’s a state of living freely without the burden of debt, large payments, and fear of financial collapse. Basically, it’s when you have enough money to live how you want. It’s a dream I believe most of us have. But, is financial freedom really possible for the average American woman? It is if you work consistently for it and don’t get side-tracked by impulsive purchases. Here are a few action steps that will help you achieve financial freedom.
Set Financial Goals
Before you can achieve financial freedom, you will first have to set some obtainable goals that don’t put a strain on your present lifestyle. By that, I mean, it’s important to do what makes sense for you and your family right now, as well as your future. Financial freedom is quite a broad term that can be obtained through various methods.
It’s obvious your goals will differ from someone who lives a different lifestyle. For example, a mom of three, who owns her own business has to think about her kids when she plans for the future. A single woman with a dream to travel will have a completely different idea of what financial freedom means.
The most important thing is to be clear about what you want and need before you make decisions for your financial present and future. Take calculated steps to reach your short and long term goals. It also helps to be accountable to someone, so you stay on track or need advice. Some women consult with financial advisors or simply get advice from others they know who are doing well financially.
Create a Monthly Budget and Stick to It
You’ll never achieve financial freedom without sticking to a monthly budget. This helps you restrict your spending and avoid wasting money that can pay off debt, be saved, or invested. I find that the act of making a budget is the best way to open your eyes to bad habits. There are apps that can help you keep track of everything. Even with technology, some people like to still use old-fashioned methods to track spending. Once you’ve worked out your budget, be sure to do everything you can to stick to it. However, it’s OK to make changes to it if your situation changes.
Clearing debt is one of the best ways to open up financial opportunities and meet your goals. In fact, this can be one of the first goals you set at the beginning of your financial freedom journey. Thankfully, programs like DTSS Freedom, along with other online resources, make it easier than ever to understand, manage, and eliminate debt effectively. Know that it could take you some time to clear it completely, but any small efforts will pay off in the long run.
Invest & Save Your Money
Spending or using money isn’t always a bad thing, particularly when you invest it on things that grow in value like real estate or art. It is also a way to substantially grow your financial portfolio. Your goals, the market, and your present situation will likely dictate how much and what to invest in. However, I think it makes sense to have at least one retirement plan/pension investment if your situation allows for it.
In addition to investing, make sure you have a basic savings account to draw from for emergencies and planned expenses like education and home purchase. You may not think of savings accounts as investments, but they’re still a place to put your money where it will give you a return.
Achieving financial freedom isn’t just a pipe dream if you take the right steps and work for it. Though it will take time to achieve it’s well worth the effort. Life is so much better when you don’t have to constantly worry about where your money is coming from and how you will pay for things.