Financial Freedom Tips for Millennials
Author: Brittany Dobbins
Money is the driving force in today’s society. Make money to earn money. Earn Money to spend money. Money can be felt as a sense of achievement; you work hard and earn a raise. It can also be the start of a downward spiral, from your household to
your job, affecting all aspects of your life. But it doesn’t have to be. Having the right knowledge can help guide you to financial freedom.
But what is financial freedom? Financial freedom can mean different things to different people because your goals for financial independence are personal. The ultimate goal is the same, however: to be able to live freely.
“Money doesn’t make you rich. What you do with it does”
What is financial freedom to you?
Financial freedom, also known as Financial Independence, is much more than you may imagine it to be. It’s much more than paying off credit cards or saving a few dollars. Being financially independent means having options. If your goal is to have the freedom to retire early, you have options to take those steps. Building an emergency fund Whatever your goal, be prepared to work for your independence.
So how do I get there?
Every goal needs a plan. An organized system in which you can check off boxes that have been executed and assess what you still need to do. In starting or even changing your plan for financial freedom, you need to start at the bottom. Let’s build our financial driver
- Your career. Are you in a field where you have a chance for advancement? Your job can be the starting point for building the financial wealth you need to start your journey. If you don’t see the opportunity, it may be time to look at another opportunity with the potential to grow. Also look at the benefits that are offered for 401k or for some companies, a pension as well. What’s their matching contribution? In addition, some may also offer 401k loans but do your research as to how this can affect your financial independence in the long run.
- Money Management and Budgeting. Some of you may be new to actually grabbing your finances by the horns and telling your money what to do. Don’t be shy! The only way for you to get ahead in poor management is by assessing your problem and attacking it head on. Do you have a budget? This is your starting point. Assess all of your income and expenses (even coffee runs and trips to the stylist!). Every dollar that you spend should be accounted for in your budget to see where you need to make some changes. As much as I love a good Carmel Macchiato, I had to quit being a frequent flyer to Starbucks! Financially, it didn’t make sense. You’ll find out how little things like these add up. Once you have your budget in place and you cut out a few things, you’ll have a few extra dollars to allocate to a savings account you may haven’t been able to start. It all starts with changing your habits.
- Pay yourself first. This is my favorite thing to tell people. If you’re not paying yourself, you’re robbing yourself! Essentially learn your investment options and learn to put saving money into your budget. Automating your savings helps get in the habit of having it come out of your paycheck directly to your account. Think “out of sight, out of mind.
Obstacles that may keep you from being your own financial super hero are right in front of you. One major thing that I find people have a hard time with is being the personal ATM to others. Just because you love them, doesn’t mean you need to financially fund them too. This may be your family or friends. Learn to say ‘no’. How many times have you loan someone money because you felt bad, but really couldn’t afford to do so? Now you are the one in financial straights, trying to “figure it out”.
Another obstacle is being financially illiterate. Not knowing enough about personal finance to change your habits. Thankfully, you’re never too old to learn new tricks! Afterall, who wouldn’t want to learn how to keep more of their money?
Keeping your momentum
Sharing your financial experiences or goal are not always ideal for people. However, if you feel comfortable enough to do so, share your goals with someone else who is on a journey as well. Having an accountability partner helps also. Someone to keep you on track and keep your motivation going.
Resources are available to your disposal that will aid in your journey to financial freedom. Let your financial habits speak the volumes on your success. After all, don’t we all aspire to be financially independent?
About the author:
My name is Brittany. I love personal finance and business which is why I saw it fitting to share my experiences with my fellow Millennials. Lover of music and the arts! My cup is filled with encouragement, support and craziness. Bowling is the game I love and I’m a foodie at heart.
Read more financial tips over at Cognizant Millennial where I write about tips to get you financially free in all areas of your life.