Here are some thoughts and tips on being financially independent.
The most valuable and enjoyable things in life are your health, time with family and friends, and the amount of time you have to do what you enjoy. Collecting expensive things brings less and less satisfaction.
Buying an expensive car, house or TV will bring you fleeting moments of happiness. Skip the expensive stuff and build your savings so you can afford to spend more time connected with people you enjoy.
Get started today. Your biggest enemy is tomorrow - the world is full of procrastinators who always will "get around to it" tomorrow.
Spend less than you make. This is THE key to saving money and achieving. Most people living paycheck to paycheck have a hard time believing this is even possible. Every raise or bonus they earn is instantly swallowed up by some need/want and they never get any extra cushion put aside.
Minimise credit card debt! It remains probably the single best answer we know to the question, "Why can't I ever seem to get ahead?" With an annual interest rate of 18%, making minimum payments (2% of the balance or $10, whichever is greater) on just a $1000 balance is going to take you a little over 19 years to pay off -- during which time you will pay close to $1900 in interest on that $1000!
Every year, aim to save at least 10% of your annual income. If you earn $35,000 per year, and start saving 10% per year when you are 25, by the time you are 60, you will have accumulated $126,000!
Have a plan for emergencies - a cushion of short-term savings -- three or six months -- could keep you from having to rely on high-interest plastic.
Be disciplined. If you want something badly enough, and work hard for it, you can often get it.
Finally, be realistic. You can't put every cent of your money toward top priorities, of course – and nor should you! Instead, you need to set aside part of your income for current pleasures, so long as you have enough cash left over to put toward your long-range goals.
1 April 2014