Taking control of your financial life involves much more than adjusting your income upward. It involves making repeated good decisions with the resources you have, changing your financial habits, and living deliberately. None of which is easy especially under the pressure of today’s instant-gratification culture. Follow these principles on your journey toward financial freedom.
The first step toward financial freedom is establishing a written monthly budget. Identify what’s truly necessary. Group all of your monthly expenses based on the past six months then divide your expenses into three categories: need, want, and like. Then check the list again with your significant other and cut wherever you can.
Give every dollar a destination at the beginning of the month. Establish these boundaries so you won’t worry about what you can and can’t purchase. Everyone in your household, even your children, must have a say in the written budget. It is much easier to gain the traction you need once everybody is on board and committed to financial freedom. Making adjustments is part of the process. At first, you and your family should analyze your written budget daily, and then eventually weekly. Adjust it accordingly until your whole family is comfortable with your set monthly allocations. Life happens, create a safety net savings account with $500–$1000 for emergencies. Do not touch this money unless there is a true emergency such as car repairs, medical bills, or job loss. Your savings will allow you to stay on budget even when life turns for the worse.
Investing can seem so complicated. Meet with a CSE IRA Specialist to learn how to invest in your future by setting aside a percentage of your income. Right now is the best time to start planning for your future. Whether you’re planning for retirement, wanting to start a business, or saving for a home now is the best time to begin. Even if you have no money to invest, plan to begin investing in your future. The best way to do this is to automate your investments using an online service like CSE Online. The future won’t wait. Do it today. Even if that means one percent of your income or $20 a month to start, your future self will thank you.
CSE offers financial counseling and literature providing detailed, step-by-step instructions that you can use to create a detailed plan and face your debts head on. You become debt free faster when you simplify and identify which material possessions don’t add value to your life. Save hundreds of dollars each month by downsizing, purchasing a vehicle without a monthly payment, ditching your cable subscriptions, and other extra bills.
Change your perspective. Donate your most precious asset, your time. Bring your family to a local soup kitchen, food bank, or homeless shelter. Work on low-income houses with Habitat for Humanity. There are more resources than ever to help you contribute beyond yourself in a meaningful way. Your contribution doesn’t need to be grand but, it should contribute to someone else’s life. If you do this for a few weeks, you’ll realize that your financial problems are tiny compared to many of the problems in the world around you. Discovering how small your financial woes are, you’ll feel empowered to take action and overcome your relatively small problems.
Your entire life can change. All it takes is a plan, determination, and consistent action in the right direction. Financial freedom isn’t easy. The exciting part about these principles is that they apply to anyone, anywhere on the socioeconomic ladder. It’s not about your income level. It’s about the decisions you make with the resources you have. When it comes to true financial freedom these principles: budget, invest, eliminate debt, minimize, and contribute are nonnegotiable, all are necessary.
Contact a CSE Representative today and regain control of your finances!!