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By Michelle Wanjiku
No one wants to retire poor after spending over 20 years working. Financial freedom is something everyone is working towards. You want to live a life where you don’t have to worry about where you are going to get money.
In this article see some of the ways you can ensure that you achieve financial freedom and better your future.
1. Accept Full Responsibility
When it comes to your finances you need to understand that every choice you make today will affect your life tomorrow. This means that you need to take up full responsibility for your financial future, you cannot depend on anyone else.
What this means then is that you have to start paying very close attention to your financial decisions, what you buy, how you invest your money and see how all this affects your long-term goals.
2. Control Your Spending
“I had a thousand shillings in the morning but I have no idea where the money went,” does this sound like you?
I have a friend who goes on a shopping spree after being paid. She buys clothes, shoes, expensive food you name it. A week later she has very little money left and is never able to save any money. This means that if she were to lose her job she would struggle financially.
If you want to secure your financial future, you need to ensure that you control your spending, it may be difficult to do at first but ensuring you think twice before buying anything and tracking your expenses will benefit you in the long run.
3. Have a Budget
Budgeting is a very important step in ensuring that you achieve financial freedom. You will never be in full control of your finances until you create a budget.
Having a budget makes you accountable for your spending, this means you will be less inclined to buy things on impulse that you don’t really need.
For it to work, however, you cannot just have budget bills and savings, you need to set up an entertainment allowance that you can use to go out and have fun.
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4. Pay Yourself First
One of the very important practices to achieve financial freedom is to work for yourself, rather than to work for a bank or your Landlord. By doing this you make yourself richer while still being able to pay bills.
You need to ensure that you do not spend your whole salary on bills. Think of it this way, if you just save 200 shillings a week you will have close to ten thousand shillings every year. You can then use this money to invest or start a business.
No matter how little your salary is, you should always be able to save some little cash. You can ensure you save more by living way below your means.
There is no point in living in a house where the rent is half your salary. When you minimize your bills then you get to pay yourself more.
5. Don’t Have Any Debt
One of the biggest hindrances to financial freedom in debt. The faster you pay off your loans the faster you can start building your financial future. Paying loans quickly also reduces the amount of interest you would have to pay which makes your debt cheaper.
According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, “Debt-free living should be your passion if you want to achieve financial freedom”
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6. Establish an Emergency Fund
Your emergency fund is basically money you set aside that can support your living expenses for at least 3 months and should be completely separate from your normal savings. You can achieve this by opening a separate bank account for each.
You do not know what will happen tomorrow which is why you need to be prepared for anything. You could lose your job, need serious medical attention among other things that will require money.
In case you lose your job and are unable to find another one completely you need to have a backup plan. This is because your bills will not know you are jobless so they will still need to be paid.
7. Have Clear and Concise Financial Goals
Without a clear financial goal then it will be very difficult for you to work towards financial freedom. Knowing what your goal is will enable you to create a path towards achieving it.
No matter what it is it, starting a business or investing in a certain company, having a goal in mind will help motivate you to work towards achieving it.
Lastly,
Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of your financial circumstance. Use the tips above to get yourself started on the path to financial freedom.
You need to be willing to make some sacrifices and maintain financial discipline to ensure that 10 years from now you are not depending on just a salary and when retirement comes along you do not experience a drastic change in lifestyle.
Do you have any tips on attaining financial freedom? Leave a comment below.
The writer is a Communication Officer/Digital marketer at Career Point Kenya. Email: michelle@careerpointkenya.co.ke