Finding Financial Freedom
Poor Boy’s Consumer Economics Quick & Easy Guide to Finding Financial Freedom:
So, you wanna get rich? Or do you just want to live comfortably? Maybe you don’t want to get rich because the more you own the more you have to lose. That in itself could cause stress. Let us say, you want to live okay without having money worries or stress about paying bills or getting into debt. You just want enough money to be okay. What you want is financial freedom. We will list the standard go-to habits you must establish if you desire financial freedom. The idea of how to establish financial freedom is a complex and incredibly detailed. We could fill volumes of books on the subject and never really provide a complete how-to manage your money system because of the variants and scope of financial matters. And the changing scenarios that constantly dictate the direction of the economy and money problems that affect us. So, we will provide the basics. This short list of basic money secrets is not clandestine at all. They are common habits that every well to do financially secure and free person must adhered to.
- Earn More, Spend Less. That is the first rule in establishing wealth, or at least financial freedom and to being able to pay off bills and get out of debt. With the shaky economy 2020 put us through with all sorts of economic troubles going from boom to bust, we need to adjust our money behavior and habits. Unemployment or no income is a disaster to any financial strategy. Even in the worst economy with high unemployment there is always a job somewhere that will pay enough money to defeat poverty and ruin. Find that job if you are unemployed or underemployed and protect your job if you are still working by making yourself essential to your company. That means having the best work ethics, going beyond your responsibility, and setting the standards to making yourself an essential employee that the company will keep working when others get laid off. Increase your earnings and reduce your spending. If necessary, take an extra part-time job you plan just for savings and save 100% of the income from that extra job.
- Establish the Habit of Regular Savings. Without regular savings you will go nowhere in life. You will always be at the same level and when an emergency strikes you will sink into despair because you will not have the money to meet the expenses of the emergency. Saving every pay period is essential to establishing good financial habits. Pay yourself first before you pay any other bills. If you must trim other expenses, then do so. Savings is more important than leisure spending. Develop a good savings plan. Save every single pay period. Save any bonuses, or extra money you receive. Once you start savings you will not miss the money because you will get used to the adjusted income you use for other needs. The more you save the better. Even 5% of your take home pay is better than nothing. Strive for at least 10% and work your way up to 25% if you can. If you have direct deposit of your income, then have the savings automatically deducted every pay period.
- Stop Making Excuses and Blaming Everything Else for Your Downfall. Man up to your mistakes, correct them and get yourself back on the right track. Think positively. Be a doer not a dreamer. Change what needs to be changed and keep working what does work.
- Self-Educate Yourself. In today’s world of electronic books and internet information there is a wealth of knowledge to be tapped simply by going after it. Much is free or inexpensive. Learn how to find free or inexpensive eBooks on any subject you desire. Master what you need to learn and know and always, forever be educating yourself. Learn financial management, how-to do what interests you, and tap into an interesting world of learning and achievement. Read what successful people have done. Study all the biographies and autobiographies of the most successful people in the world, past and present. It does not cost that much when you look in the right places. Reading is one of the best tools for a successful mind. One school of thought: There are a lot of people copying public domain materials, especially the older financial works of Napoleon Hill, Andrew Carnegie, Dale Carnegie, and many others that can be found for free on the internet. So, do a good search of names and tiles BEFORE you purchase. And make that kind of cautious research another routine to your list of good habits.
- Reduce and Avoid Credit Card Debt. Unlike many who write about financial success I DO NOT recommend cutting up your credit cards. I recommend using them responsibly. Simply manage them properly. Credit cards can help your FICO score and they can help you establish magnificent credit. They can also ruin you if you abuse them. Get your credit card debt paid down and paid off. Then use a small amount every month and pay that balance off each month. That way you will have free credit, no interest charges and a zero balance at the end of the month. Getting into this habit of using your credit card for a small amount and paying it off every month will raise your FICO score and reduce your interest charges. It builds strong credit. Avoid maxing out your credit cards. Avoid late payments. Avoid destroying or cutting up your oldest credit cards, they are the ones that establishes your long-term credit history. A good payment history helps build good FICO scores. A poor payment history lowers FICO score. Payment history accounts for about 35% of the FICO scoring. The amount you owe or debt-to-credit ratio accounts for about 30% of the FICO score. It is best to stay below 10% of the total credit line. Some bankers and others will tell you to stay below 30% but that is incorrect and too high. 10% or below provides a better FICO score. Using your credit card and paying all balances off monthly is the best way to best credit. Not using your credit cards hinders your credit, it does not help you build good credit. There are other factors and more detail involved, such as length of time of your having credit and any new credit, but they only account for 10-15% of your FICO score. The above provides you with the nuts & bolts to good credit and a healthy financial standing.
- Invest. It takes time to educate yourself on becoming a good investor. But do not worry, there are lots of places to find good investment advice. Be careful of those giving financial advice while trying to sell you their financial products. Start studying financial magazines, newspapers, and websites. Again, there are many print books and eBooks about investing and financial management, as well. Go look for them. Until you start investing you probably will not have real financial freedom. The utopia of investing is reaching a point or summit of your financial goals and being able to live off the earnings of your investments. Crunching, sacrificing, and scrounging at thrift shops and being a frugal bargain hunter is the sweat, blood and tears it takes to reach the achievement of matured investments. Forget the get-rich-quick schemes and the fast-money-making deals. It takes time to accumulate wealth and financial independence. Make the sacrifices of living with less now, working hard and saving every penny you can to invest and then when you reach the summit of your investment maturity, later you can enjoy everlasting prosperity.
There are way more principles for successful money “secrets” and the habits needed for establishing financial freedom than these listed six. Utilizing these six will get your started and well on your way while you accumulate more self-education and self-discipline in your financial aspirations. My Poor Boy’s Consumer Economics Series will continue to bring you free information on this website/blog and the syndicated-columns sites they appear as well as being presented in a vast series of short-read and long-length eBooks and print books.