Gaining Financial Freedom through Lifestyle Changes

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Guest Post by Susan Bekiroglu

The greatest hurdle to successful debt relief lies in personal attitudes. Financial Freedom means setting and accepting limits, not just on spending- but on behavior. People who live debt free and who build wealth for the future change their lifestyle. They don’t want to do something about their finances. They don’t wait to do something about their finances. They just do it.

 

Good financial planning begins with goals. Be realistic, but be optimistic. A well-crafted debt relief program relies on patience, effort, and planning. It should be tied to steady efforts to build wealth, but should also include things that are fun, like dream vacations or items on the “bucket list.”

 

With no debt in the picture, all earnings go toward paying the bills and building for the future, but they also go toward quality of life. People who live in that financial and mental state set goals and meet them. They look forward with anticipation and enjoy working for something they want. People who live with debt also live with the constant frustration of “if” and “when,” two elusive states that never actually seem to arrive.

 

Important Steps for Financial Freedom

The major mistake many people make as they’re starting out is deferring saving for their retirement. There’s tremendous potential in the power of compounded interest. Take it as a rule of thumb that any savings is better than none. No amount is too small. Get the money in the best interest-earning vehicle available, even if that’s a simple savings account, and keep looking for ways to cut expenses. This not only creates more freedom in the monthly budget, but also allows for the greater accumulation of wealth.

 

  • If automatic savings plans are an option, for instance a pension fund, take advantage of the opportunity. Adjusting to slightly lower wages will actually be easier than trying to impose the discipline of saving routinely. Putting savings on auto pilot is a great method to grow a retirement fund quickly, and the momentum will increase over time thanks to the interest earned.

 

  •  The most expensive mouth to feed in any house is the mortgage. Match physical space to actual lifestyle. Don’t pay for square footage that isn’t used. Downsizing a living space means upsizing the overall financial picture. People who live mortgage free accrue wealth more rapidly than those who make monthly payments. If possible, rent a portion of the home and use the proceeds to cancel out the mortgage payment.

 

  • Disciplined day-to-day shopping habits slash monthly expenses. Buying items on sale, looking ahead and buying off season, and shopping at outlets result in deep discounts. There are excellent deals online, especially on sites like overstock.com and EBay, and a growing list of coupon and “deal” sites pioneered by programs like Groupon.com.

 

  • Comparison shop to control impulse buying, and consider selling an unused item to pay for a new acquisition. According to statistics compiled by EBay, every household has enough unused “stuff” to generate approximately $10,000 in the online marketplace. Oddly enough, however, people think about buying, but rarely about selling.

 

Changed thinking patterns result in changed finances. Don’t work from a sense of deprivation. Instead, cultivate a sense of accomplishment and optimism. Every debt resolved and every bill paid creates future potential- a lifestyle in which anything is possible and everything is earned free and clear.

 

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Category: Financial freedom