10 Things to Achieve Financial Freedom
The ability to see doesn’t mean having 20/20 vision; it means being able to have a clear picture of your vision and how you plan to achieve it.
Many people are aspiring to be financially free, and many give conflicting advices—while some over-simplify. If I may be so bold, allow me to share my top 10 tips to achieve financial freedom:
#10 Get a grip on desire
Keep this in mind: it’s not the cost of an item that determines whether it’s an indulgence. It’s how much you need it. So before you make a purchase ask yourself this, “Do I really need this?” If the answer is no, put it back and you will notice your pace quickens on your way to financial freedom.
#9 Forget about your ‘sosyal’ friends and relatives
It may be that your luxurious friends and relatives are in debt too (and you can be sure they won’t give you money). If you look at your nice SUV, fancy bags, extravagant vacations or whatever it may be, and your wallet starts to tingle, remember what Ecclesiastes 4:4 said in the Bible: “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”
#8 Start tithing and keep on tithing
If you don’t want to be ruled by money and possessions, then you must establish the mentality that God owns everything and that we are just stewards of what He gives us. Generosity is the antidote to greed, and generosity begins with a tithe.
#7 Commit yourself to becoming debt free
It’s impossible to be spiritually free when you are financially bound. Financial experts like Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett suggest to stop using your credit cards and pay for everything with cash debit card while you settle your existing debt to prevent additional debt from piling up. Don’t get any more credit or credit cards until all existing debt has been eliminated. The same goes to other debt like personal loans.
#6 Save, save, save
Saving is making provisions for tomorrow. The easiest, most effective way to save is to do it every time you receive income. Be sure to save for both the long-term and the short-term.
Long-term savings are for long-term needs such as retirement. Short-term savings should be in an account that is easily accessible for planned future spending like replacing appliances, making major home repairs and other emergencies.
#5 Spend wisely
The old cliche’ is so true: Spend less than what you make. You will never be free from the money trap if you don’t apply that rule. Dave Ramsey says 90 percent of people in our culture buy things they can’t afford. That is staggering.
The most helpful tool to keep you from spending more than you make is to make a spending plan, also known as a budget. John Maxwell has the best quote I’ve heard on budgeting. He says, “A budget is people telling their money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
#4 Invest wisely
Never risk money you can’t afford to lose. It is probably not a good idea to make uninformed or hasty investment decisions, either. Do your homework, educate yourself and learn the investment game before you play it. Never invest in something you do not understand.
#3 Avoid indulgences
As a responsible adult, we must learn to discern the difference between needs, wants and desires in every financial transaction we make. Before buying, determine whether the purchase is a need or want.
For many years, when my wife and I were trying to get out of debt, we continually asked ourselves before we bought something, “Is this a need or a want?” Lots of small, wise decisions over a long enough period of time will be what gets you where you want to be.
#2 Gain victory via vision
When asked if she knew of anything worse than being blind, Helen Keller once said, “Yes, being able to see and having no vision.” Dave Ramsey says, “The ability to see doesn’t mean having 20/20 vision; it means being able to have a clear picture of your vision and how you plan to achieve it.”
And the No. 1 thing you can do to find financial freedom …
#1 Each day, pray before you pay
Emotional and spiritual balance will lead to financial freedom. So ask God to guide you and give you strength to follow the first nine steps. Don’t be resentful for what you don’t have. Instead, be grateful for what God has provided already. Financial freedom grows out of an attitude of gratitude.
Randell Tiongson is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. He is one of the most sought after speakers in Personal Finance and Columnist of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Money Sense Magazine. He is best selling book author of Personal Finance Step-by-Step Guide.
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