(TheRedWire.com) – Achieving financial independence is every American’s dream. Imagine not worrying about whether you’ll have enough to pay for your expenses and enjoy your time during retirement. That’s the goal, but how can you make that happen?
1. Create a Monthly Budget
Creating a plan for the money you have will help you meet your financial goals. You will divide your money between your expenses and savings. Programs like Google Sheets provide a free platform to create a spreadsheet.
The key to a successful budget is listing all of your expenses, no matter how small, and then sticking to your plan.
2. Pay Down Debt
When you’re paying off your debts, there are various strategies. For those who want to see results right away, eliminating the smallest debt first is a good idea. Then move up from there like an inverted pyramid.
Another strategy is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first because that’s the one that will grow faster. Make sure to pay the minimums on the other debts, though. You don’t want to default. The faster you get out from under debt, the sooner you’ll be on a path to financial independence.
3. Save, Save, Save
Saving money to buy items you want or tuck away into a retirement account is vital. There’s a strategy to do this, too. One of the most popular is the 50/30/20 rule. That’s where you use 50% of your income on expenses, 30% to pay for the things you want, and 20% goes toward savings.
Of course, the percentages will change depending on your income/expenses ratio.
4. Add to Your Emergency Savings Account
While you’re saving money, it’s vital you take some of it and tuck it away in an emergency savings account. Ideally, you want to have enough cash to cover between three and six months’ worth of expenses, if necessary.
5. Find a Second Income Stream
If you find you aren’t making enough money to do everything you’d like to do, finding a second income stream is a good idea. Your ultimate goal is to create a situation where you’re making passive income off of your investments. For example, some people invest in rental or vacation properties as a way to make more money. If you aren’t there yet, finding a side job can help.
Achieving financial freedom doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work for it, but if you are diligent and committed, you will make it happen.
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