Financial freedom has become a huge topic of discussion in the last 5 years, and more and more people are pursuing channels to make their lives better. A lot of this conversation is driven by people wanting to lead more fulfilling lives where they aren’t wasting away at a job that wears away their emotional wellbeing. That’s why we’re seeing and hearing more about side hustles, investment opportunities and even the FIRE movement. People want something different from the typical 9-5 job, and they know that financial freedom is how to get there. The goal is to work because you want to, not because you have to. The challenge is taking the first step. If you desire financial freedom, how do you actually make it happen? Here are a few ways to get you started, and set yourself on the trajectory of a more fulfilling life.
Reduce Your Expenses
One of the reasons people struggle to get financial freedom is something known as lifestyle inflation, a human behavior that makes our expenses rise as we start earning more. In theory, a higher salary or more income should mean more money to save, but for the vast majority of people, a bit more cash leads to a more expensive car, more vacations and other higher spending habits. In order to achieve financial freedom, you have to intentionally go against this behavior, and purposefully keep your spending low. The idea behind this is to forego short-term comfort for long-term stability, and to actually suppress your expenses even when you start raking in a bit more cash. Keep your living costs low, don’t upgrade your car and commit to saving your money before you spend frivolously. When your expenses are low, you have more capital on your hands to make your financial situation better.
Find Investment Opportunities
The true meaning of financial freedom is to have income that comes to you passively so you’re not forced to work a job you hate. In order to get that freedom, you’ll have to switch from being an employer to being an investor. It’s really important to always be on the lookout for great financial opportunities, whether it’s a franchise business, investing in real estate or land, or starting a side hustle. With investing, you can start out really small and build up to something bigger. The truth is, to break away from just earning a salary, you have to find ways to make your money work for you, so you don’t have to keep working for it. There are so many investment opportunities out there, and if you educate yourself, you can absolutely bring yourself one step closer to financial freedom.
Take Advantage of Windfalls
There are times in our lives where we’ll be lucky enough to have a lump sum of money like a bonus from work, an investment payout or an asset that has gained value. One of the smartest things we can do is to take advantage of this influx of cash. Instead of buying a new car or taking an expensive vacation, why not put this money to good use? For example, you might have equity in your home – you can use platforms like All Reverse Mortgage to determine how much of a loan you could qualify for if you’re considering a reverse mortgage. If there’s a decent amount of money there, you can use it in many different ways to improve your financial situation.
Get Out of Debt
Debt is another factor that makes it very hard for people to achieve financial freedom. Between the amount you owe and the high interest rates, having debt wears away whatever extra income you have, and keeps you on a very precarious financial hamster wheel. Getting out of debt is of course easier said than done, but it is possible. You can either consolidate your debt to reduce interest rates, or you can put money aside to clear what you owe slowly. Instead of only doing minimum payments, even making a slight dent in your bill to creditors will improve your quality of life financially.
It’s important to remember that financial freedom is great, but it doesn’t happen overnight. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to this subject is thinking that they can rush the process, but the truth is it will take years to put the pieces in place to become financially free. The goal right now is to start building the foundation with investments and most importantly, good financial habits that will carry you through.