No matter what age you are, now is a great time to start thinking about financial independence. Financial independence means having enough personal income to take care of your basic needs. Basically, it means not having to run to mom and dad every time you need to pay the rent, order takeout, or pay your taxes.
If you haven’t started on this yet, you may be confused about where to start. Well, there’s no need to worry. Here are our top tips for achieving financial independence.
Be clear about what you want. If you can quantify your goals as actual monetary figures, even better. Write them down, and keep track of them. This way, you’ll be able to see your progress and know what you still need to work on.
Always spend less than what you earn. This should be common sense, but self-control is a tricky thing. Remember that financial stability means you are earning enough to pay for all your bills and save up a little for emergencies. If you’re spending too much too often, how are you going to achieve that goal?
It’s easy to fall into this trap, especially in the Philippines where utang na loob is so common. If you’re writing IOUs for basic needs, maybe it’s time to take a good, hard look at where your money is going, versus where it should be. And if you’re thinking about getting a loan so you can buy something that isn’t even really a need, you’re probably better off saving for it instead.
Investments are a great way to earn money, but that doesn’t mean you should throw all your earnings at them. Keep in mind that you should only make investments when you have a surplus of funds. This means that if you want to be prudent, you should cover your immediate needs and savings first before you invest.
Admittedly, having to manually put money in your savings account every month can make you a little lazy to do it. But who says it has to be that way? Approach a bank, and let them know what your goals for the future are. More often than not, they can automate the savings process for you, and can even mentor you on how to save up for what you really want.
It’s so easy to go on a “treat yourself” spree and tell yourself you deserve every purchase you make. While this is fine if it happens once in awhile, maybe you should rethink your priorities if you end up “treating yourself” every single week. Remember that these purchases might be fun right now, but financial stability will make you feel so much happier in the long run.
Independence is a mindset. That is to say, it usually affects all facets of your life. If you’re physically dependent on your parents, for example, still living with them when you’re 40 because you can’t afford a place of your own, that might be an indication that you aren’t financially stable. So, learn to take personal responsibility for things, situations and obstacles in your life, and it’ll make your journey toward financial independence so much easier.
When you’re in your twenties, financial independence is a term that’s just beginning to impact you. You may be in your first job, or fresh out of college, or even in the process of setting up a new business. But as the years pass and you reach your late-20s or 30s, this independence becomes more and more crucial. So take a cue from us, and start now!
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