The 4 steps to financial freedom

Steps to Financial FreedomFinancial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. ~Dave Ramsey

Many people are searching for the steps to financial freedom. Search the internet and there will be references to seven, eight, nine and even ten steps but I think only four steps really matter.

However before I discuss those steps, let us first think about the biggest cause of people remaining poor, namely the burden of debt.

Statistics suggest that most people these days are heavily in debt. And debt is a burden that enslaves us. Knowing we have debts can be stressful.

What is the underlying cause of such debt? That’s simple. Mostly it’s the overuse of credit cards with little or no thought to how this will affect our financial well-being.

Unsecured debt built up through the excessive use of credit cards is very expensive.

That means even a small sum outstanding on a credit card can quickly become a large debt due to the effect of compound interest if you only make minimum payment each month.

Are you affected by debt dear reader? Are your finances out of control? Would you like to achieve financial freedom?

Steps to Financial Freedom:

Often I hear people say things like, if only I could increase my income I could pay off my debts.

In fact those same people, if they did increase their income, would probably just spend more. And financial freedom would still remain a distant dream.

If financial freedom is your aim then it’s essential that you take control of your finances. And the steps to financial freedom are as follows:-

1. Spend less than you earn:

It all starts with spending less than you earn. If you spend less than you earn you can work on becoming debt free and then start to build capital.

2. Pay yourself first:

You must always pay yourself first. What does that mean? It means that as soon as you get paid each month you take a minimum of 10% of what you earn and put it away somewhere safe immediately.

Never, ever wait until the end of the month to see what you’ve got left.

If you do that you’ll never save anything.

If you take 10% upfront it will just be another debit on your income like taxes and pension contributions. You’ll quickly get used to having only the remaining 90% to live on.

And what do you do with the 10% or whatever you’ve put away?

3. Eliminate credit card debt:

Initially if you have a credit card debt burden then it makes sense to use that money to deal with paying off your debt first because the interest you’ll pay on the debt is always greater than any interest you’ll get on savings.

To pay off your credit card debt it’s essential that you find a way to eliminate the interest element each month so that any payments you then make go against the outstanding balance.

And how is that done?

Well, when you take out a new credit card account it often comes with a period of zero interest, usually six months. These accounts also usually allow you to transfer in an outstanding debt from another credit card account.

So by moving from one card provider to another and transferring the debt across to the new account, you then have a period of six months to make payments against the outstanding balance without accumulating interest on the old debt.

Never, ever use this card to increase your debt. Use it only for reducing your debt.

At the end of the period of zero interest on your new card repeat the process if necessary. Once again, you move to another card account offering you a zero interest period. By focusing only on the outstanding balance it will be paid off quicker.

Eliminating the burden of debt is the first step on the road to financial freedom.

Freedom from debt will give you peace of mind. And peace of mind is a good reason for spending less than you earn.

Once the debt is cleared, what next with the money you’ve paid yourself first.

4. Build capital:

Initially put your money into a savings account. Then, as that builds into a larger sum, you can start thinking about other forms of investment like stocks, bonds and property.

Once you develop the habit of putting some of your money away each month it’s amazing how quickly it accumulates into a decent capital sum and you’ll be on the road to achieving financial freedom.

Conclusion:

Learn to live within your means.

If you live modestly and spend your money wisely, you can ensure that you have enough money when you really need it.

You can also build that nest egg for your retirement and give a little back to those less fortunate than yourself. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself too.

Conversely, gathering too much clutter through excessive spending on things you don’t really need can become stressful, as well as wasteful. The choice is yours.

Financial freedom is achievable and it will give you peace of mind.

You will sleep better knowing you’re debt free.

The steps to financial freedom are really quite simple. Spend less than you earn; pay yourself first; eliminate expensive credit card debt; and start building capital.

Do this and one day your older self will be grateful you made the effort I can assure you.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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