It took a lot of hard work to become independent more than 200 years ago. There were a lot of obstacles to overcome. But what if those who were fighting for our independence suddenly stopped when they hit a roadblock and decided NOT to keep going? It’s hard to imagine, right? I can say I’m thankful for their willingness to find a way to MOVE AGAIN whenever they were stuck and felt like giving up.
As we recover from all the Independence Day gatherings and family picnics, I wanted to share this with you. At the beginning of the year, I set a number of goals for myself. One of them was to change my mindset from saving enough to have certain “things”, to having more financial independence. Financial Independence can sometimes mean different things to different people. But Financial independence is generally used to describe the state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. For financially independent people, their assets generate income that is greater than their expenses. This is one of my goals and I’ve set small milestones to get me there. I can’t say it’s been easy. I’ve hit a few roadblocks, but I’ve never stopped moving forward. I’d like to share a few of my milestones and things I’ve learned about Financial Independence.
MILESTONE #1 – REDUCE DEBT I started out by setting my sights on the obvious… REDUCING DEBT. A few years ago, I created what is now named, The MORELIFE Financial Plan. It’s a plan I’ve used to help other people develop a monthly spending plan, designed to pay bills, save money, and still have enough in their pockets to make ends meet and do something that makes them happy. I decided to dust the plan off, modify it a bit, and use it on myself. I’m so glad I did. I knocked out those things that would free up some of my cash flow first. And I changed the way I pay bills and made more financial investments, based on the flow of my income.
MILESTONE #2 – IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE Improving my credit score was also important to me. To be honest, I had never really paid attention to it until I needed to make large purchases. I learned that you should pay more attention to your debt to income ratio and other important factors that could impact your score. Filling out those credit card applications, just to get an immediate 20% off, can kill your score. Be picky about obtaining new credit cards that are not improving your score. I also made improvements to my home that will ultimately increase its value. Today, my credit score has increased by more than 200 points and I’ve only made small changes. I’m coming for that extra 100 points that will put me where I want to be.
MILESTONE #3 – ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY FUND Bankrate recently conducted a survey where one-third of people ages 36 to 51 said they had saved nothing in an emergency fund. More and more, on Facebook and other social media, I’m seeing people create “Go Fund Me” pages because they are simply not prepared in case of an emergency. I sat down with my husband this year, and talked about how we are going to step up our game when it comes to saving for a rainy day. As an entrepreneur, this is a must because my income can easily fluctuate with little to no notice. Plus, with the government and state funding cuts for a lot of colleges and universities, we are seeing rises in tuition costs. Being sure we can fund our children’s college education can no longer take a back seat. I know, first-hand, what a burden those student loans can be and I don’t what that for my children.
Knowing you are prepared in case of emergency comes with a certain sense of “Peace of Mind” that can’t be explained. Try it. Sit down and figure out how you can save something, even if it’s only $20 per pay period. Sometimes, when it rains – it pours! Having something is better than having nothing at all.
MILESTONE #4 – ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR I’m not saying one needs to work hard and never do nice things for yourself. I’ve learned that when you free up some of your cash flow, take care of your investments and your emergency fund, you will have the means to reward yourself. I know I’ve rewarded myself in more than a few ways, but I learned to do it wisely and wait until it was right for ME. Keeping up with the Joneses only gets you in trouble.
I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far. I set goals at the beginning of the year and I’ve been able to stick to them.
We are half way through 2016 and we have about 180 days left in the year. Working towards my financial freedom was only ONE of several goals I have. At this mid-way point in 2016 I’m happy with my progress and I’m still moving forward. But what about you???
Did you set goals for yourself and now you are stuck and can’t seem to move forward? If you’ve answered yes, that’s ok. I have a solution that will help you MOVE AGAIN.
What if… You had a chance to look at where you are now and where you want to be?
What if… You were able to restart and keep working towards your goals?
What if.. You could cut out the noise and zero-in on making your life what you’ve dreamed it would be?
What if… You could finally get your ideas off the ground?
What if… You could start leading a life of joy and fulfillment in areas that matter?
What if… You could do all of this for FREE?