Starting Down the Path to Financial Freedom
The idea that you could one day be debt free or simply to have financial freedom may seem like something of a pipe dream, but that’s only the case if you don’t take real steps towards achieving that goal. It’ll likely be a long road, but by implementing some of the tips you’ll find in this article and being patient and persistent, it’s not impossible.
You’re Not Alone
The fact is, most Americans are in debt. In fact, the average U.S. household owes an average of $133,568 in combined debt (which includes credit cards, mortgages, and other types of loans), according to NerdWallet’s latest household debt study.
This tells you that you’re not alone. 8 in 10 Americans are in debt, and it’s likely that the vast majority of those people aren’t very happy about that status. Here’s how you, and they, can work on changing that.
Even Baby Steps are Steps in the Right Direction
When you’re staring at a mountain of bills, it can be difficult to see that every little bit you can chip away from that mountain is helpful, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
The majority of Americans don’t have much in savings, and that’s a big problem when you’re aiming for financial security. Many financial experts suggest that you start by building up a small amount of savings before attempting to tackle your debts so that you can hopefully keep from accumulating even more debt when an emergency arises. Begin treating your savings like any other critical expense, say food or utilities. You’ll have to prioritize saving money or you may never talk yourself into it.
Once you’ve got an emergency stash built up, you may want to start in on your debt. Every little bit you can put into paying off debts rather than simply paying minimum amounts will go a long way towards saving you money in the long run due to high interest rates. The Snowball Method is a popular way to tackle debt.
Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices
In order to achieve your financial goals in a timely manner, it’s likely that you’ll need to make sacrifices. This means evaluating which expenses are truly important to you and cutting back where ever you’re able so that you can work to get ahead.
Be Smart About Where You Put Your Money
This means that you should utilize tax-free options for saving money and that you should also put money in places where it has the potential to earn you more money. For instance, you might consider a tax-free retirement account or health savings account.
One of the first steps in making sure you’re able to save and eventually get ahead is to budget carefully. Once you’ve planned an effective budget, you’ll have to stick to it, as well.
Don’t Panic If You’re in Trouble
Almost everyone gets themselves into a bit of financial trouble now and again. Don’t panic and be sure you evaluate all the options available to you before deciding how to proceed. There may be options out there that will allow you to solve your financial issues, like our Sell & Stay program, without adding to your debt and putting you off the track you’ve set to financial freedom.