5 Ways To Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom = The Dream

We all want to have less things to worry about – and money is usually one of the biggest cause of stress. It’s a vital part of our lives, and no matter what way you look at it, we all need money to live. Our bills need paying, we need to be able to buy food, and it also gives us the ability to have fun, and experience the world too. Financial freedom seems like a dream, like something you’d never be able to achieve. But it is possible, and I want to share with you my 5 ways to achieve it.

If you’re having money trouble, or you’re budgets never seem to actually work out in real life, then there’s some simple things you can do to be on the way to financial freedom.

1. Debt Consolidation

If you have any form of debt – credit card, store card, loan; then you know how difficult it can be. Battling your interest can leave you paying off the bare minimum and gives you that black hole feeling when it comes to what you owe.

First off – write it all down. Who do you owe? How much is the total? What are the interest rates? If you owe a large amount across a few different cards, then it might be beneficial to do what is called a debt consolidation. It involves taking out a one time loan that covers the balances of all the cards you owe money to. You use the loan to pay them all off, CLOSE THE ACCOUNTS, and then pay off your loan. It gives you one monthly repayment, that is manageable for you.

This can really help if your interest rates are high. If you’re only paying the minimum repayment figure, then it’s likely you’re only paying off the interest and not actually tapping away at the actual debt.

Your best bet is to use a credit agency such as ClearScore, or Noddle which provide you with a free credit score. You can use these sites to do eligibility checks against loans available, to see whether you’re likely to be accepted before you apply. This is called a soft check, and doesn’t affect your credit score in the same way as a hard check, which occurs when you actually apply for the credit.

2. Switching Credit Card Provider

If you have one or a couple of credit cards, all with different interest rates, then you may be battling with each one and not really getting anywhere with any of them.

A good method for dealing with this, is to take out a 0% interest credit card, and pay off all the credit cards is one go. This means that you will get rid of all the interest rates, and will have 0% interest. The length of time that will stand will depend on the particular credit card you apply for.

You can use the credit agency’s mentioned above to also check for credit cards. Just be aware that once the 0% period is up, their own rate of interest will apply, so bear that in mind when selecting a credit card. Can you pay it off completely in the promo period? If not you might have to rinse and repeat this step when the 0% rate is coming to an end.

3. Live Below Your Means

This one is probably the hardest to actually put into practice. Usually, people live above their means, and struggle to keep up with the lifestyle they are so close to achieving. It’s human nature – especially when we see what others have.

By making a pact with yourself to live below your means, you can still keep up that lifestyle, and bank some serious savings each month.

  • Do you buy your lunch each day? I often go to the convenience food shops or local cafes, and pay around £5.00 for my lunch each day. That’s £80 a month! If you were able to buy bread, sandwich fillings, salad, yoghurt etc and take them in to work each day, then you could spend about £5.00 per week instead, and save £60 a month by one simple change.
  • Do you have various monthly subscriptions? It’s very easy to get swept up with subscriptions. We all say to ourselves that it’s just £6.00 a month here, £4.99 a month there. But it all adds up, and can end up being a massive chunk of your earnings! Have a look at your bank statement and see whether there’s anything you can cancel. If you don’t really need it, then get rid. See how much money you’re saving already?!
  • Have you done a comparison on your utility bills lately? If you haven’t, it’s worth giving it a go. There’s potentially thousands of pounds to be saved! In the same way you can compare car insurance companies, you can do the same for your gas, electricity, internet and phone suppliers too. Try sites such as Compare The Market and Confused.com to see whether you can get a better deal, and reduce your monthly direct debits
  • Look at your monthly spending on leisure and non-essentials. Use your bank statement and tot up what you’ve spent over the last couple of months. Is this reasonable? Or a little on the excessive side? See where you can cut down, and be disciplined!

Need A Budget Planner?

Check out my Budget Planner Tool, which makes budgeting a breeze 🙂 Get your printable sheets that you can personalise with your own information, and start a budget plan today.

4. Savings

There’s an excellent saying – I’m not sure where it came from but it’s stayed in my head.

Spend what's leftover after saving, not save what's leftover after spending. Click To Tweet

It’s definitely the better way to go about things! Make it a priority, and you’ll see those pounds add up! I have a monthly standing order into my savings account on pay-day which makes life so much easier. It goes straight into the other account, and it’s out of mind.

I budget with what I’ve got left and it means I don’t dip into it, because it’s not accounted for as part of my available money.

Money experts say that you should have around 3 months salary in your savings at any one time. Now, that’s quite a lot! But it’s definitely something to aim for, as it gives you peace of mind. If anything happens – your car breaks down, the boiler packs up, or you need to take some time off work, at least you know you’ve got a backup.

5. Start A Side Hustle

A side hustle is another means of income along with your main one.

It could be a blog [it’s a good one!], selling something you’re good at like your services as a photographer, or simply a second job in your spare time.

It can be a massive boost to your income, and if you’re passionate about it, it could even become a full-time career that you had no idea would be possible.

Push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. It’s the best way to grow and transform your life! Just make sure you declare any earnings – do it the right way or else it could end up a very different kind of transformation…

Get Started!

Struggling with money is a really stressful situation to be in. The best way to deal with it is to take control, make some simple changes, and watch the situation get better. It does take some hard work, but you will feel so much better once you’ve got a handle on things!

Let me know in the comments below whether you’ve used any of the above tips, and if there’s anything else you use to manage your money 🙂

And share with your friends too – you never know who might need the advice.

Laura

 

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