Let’s face it: You are your worst enemy if you allow it, and the child apple tends not to fall far from the parental tree. Ya, ya, you were born poor into a debt slave family, raised as a slave by your parents, taught as a slave via public education, and encouraged to stay a slave by commercialized media. Achieving your financial freedom feels about as likely as an imported field slave in 1860 taking over the master’s plantation house.
Sure, but I challenge you to think bigger, my friend. Force your mind out of the slave rut your parents, educators, government and corporate marketers helped to put it in. Change your PERSPECTIVE. In the United States, if you are doomed to anything, it’s to endless opportunity.
Don’t settle for what you were given; make the life you want. A little at a time. Every day. It will add up and you’ll get better at it. Set short term goals and celebrate achieving them with your family and friends.
For instance, start today, right now, by writing down a plan to reduce expenses and consumer debt, like credit cards. Next, maybe you save a little bit from each paycheck to develop an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of your newly reduced expenses. When you have perhaps 50% of your emergency fund in a savings account, maybe you start contributing a percentage of your salary to a retirement account like your company’s 401k or setting up a separate savings account to fund a ROTH IRA.
Oh, and STOP. No, you do NOT need a new car because your co-worker got one and you now have cash in the bank. You do NOT need a bigger T.V. because your neighbor got one. Your kids do NOT need designer clothes because their friends have $300 jeans. That’s slave talk.
Ok, moving on…while you are reducing bad debt and developing an emergency fund, begin your financial education. Go online and start getting smarter. Learn about pre-tax and post-tax investment options. Take notes (meaning to literally type what you are learning into your freedom notebook). Build a library of “favorite” links to sites with good information. Read some books. Write down what you learn. You don’t know the difference between stocks and bonds or corporate bonds vs. municipal bonds? So what? Look it up. Write it down. Refer to your notebook if you forget. Study financial cycles and the kinds of political, social and economic trends that affect your ability to make money.
Think about how those things could affect you and your family now and in the future. Think about the decisions you might need to make to better protect yourself from financial risk. Think about how you could make more money. Does your company pay for school & certifications? Maybe you can take online classes to pick up a certification that increases your pay and job security and gets you doing work you enjoy more.
After you take what…6 months…1 year?…2 years?…to accomplish the steps I laid out above, let’s take a look at you: You have less or – even zero! – consumer debt, you are more accustomed to a lower cost lifestyle, you have an emergency fund that gives you peace of mind, you might be making more money and having more fun doing it, and you are more confident in your understanding of how the world works and how to make your way in it.
Congratulations on a great start! You are already less of a slave. You can do this!
Click here for Freedom Killer #2…