How to get financial freedom is something most everyone wants to accomplish. However, most people never get there because there are no classes in ordinary schooling that teach this important subject. In fact, this is a very important subject. In the majority of divorces, money and the handling of it is usually found to be the root cause of the breakup. Not only are there no classes on how to handle money, but there are many examples of people creating mental roadblocks that will guarantee they never become financially free. The following are some things to do, and some things not to do, on the road to financial freedom.
The main reason why more people don’t become financially free is their belief system. Perhaps it comes from childhood or from relatives. Many people grow up with a “poor” attitude, thinking they don’t deserve to be rich. Perhaps they grew up in a family situation where money was tight and caused problems between parents. Thus, people can get the idea that money is bad. It causes problems. Therefore, why would someone want to have a lot of it? This often results in negative self-talk which is a form of hypnotism. If we tell ourselves something long enough, we can become entranced with that concept and that guides our actions.
This feeling of not deserving money, success, and happiness, can lead to bad decisions when more money is earned. People get into debt, they make bad investments, spend it foolishly, or they lend it or lose it.
If negative self-talk can exist, so can positive self-talk. The subconscious mind does not analyze the information we allow into our brains. It takes everything as being real. Therefore, if we desire financial freedom, and have a negative view of money, then we need to change the self-talk into what we really want. The following affirmation, stated the first thing each morning and the last thing each night, without analysis, will help when it’s declared for several months:
Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I deserve to be successful! Money comes to me easily from all directions. I have a prosperity attitude!
How to get financial freedom is based on our relationship with money. What if money was a person? What if that entity heard us saying bad things about money? “I never have enough. I can’t make ends meet. Things cost too much.” It wouldn’t want to be around us. Since our words become our reality, I suggest we never use negative words when it comes to money. Let’s treat money as if it’s a friend. Let’s develop a good relationship with money.
Money comes to people who attract it. Let’s make sure you don’t repel it with the words you use. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that,” say “How can I afford that?” Instead of saying, “I can’t make ends meet,” say “I’m an expert at managing my money.” When you combine this change of words with the affirmation above, you’re making sure that your thoughts and your words work in unison to help you become financially free. Handling money is a habit, either good or bad. My aim is to make this habit a very good one for you. In addition, carry a $100 bill in your purse or wallet. That will make you feel prosperous every time you see it!
How to get financial freedom greatly depends on staying out of debt. Society makes it so easy these days for people to get into debt. Everywhere we look there are offers for credit cards that make it seem simple to get what we want right now. Just hand over the credit card and the item you want is yours. However, that momentary thrill quickly fades away when it takes months, or sometimes years, to pay off the debt. Often we find ourselves making minimum payments and, when combining that with the high interest rates, a simple purchase can become very expensive over a period of time.
A very productive new habit, when it comes to money, is to pay in cash. If we can’t afford to get something right now, what’s wrong with saving for it? There is a much greater joy, in my opinion, to pay in cash and have no payments to drag us down for a long time. There is great power, and great confidence, in being debt-free and having money in the bank. That give us choices in life and allows us to live life the way we desire.
If you are in debt right now, I suggest you tighten your belt, hold down your expenses, and pay off those debts. Focus on the smallest one first and get it paid off. Make minimum payments on all the rest. Then, focus on the next one in line. Paying off the small debts first will give you momentum and give you the feeling that you’re actually making progress. Add the payments you made on one and two to focus on paying off number three and so on.
How to get financial freedom is helped greatly with a written budget. In my work as a professional speaker, I often poll audiences to see how many people actually operate on a written monthly budget with their money. The results are always pretty much the same. Usually, no more than 25% of the people do that. Thus, the rest of the people have no order with their money and thus there’s often not enough to get through the month. They end up using credit cards or tapping savings accounts in order to get the extra money they need. This is a pattern to nowhere.
I’ve been there. I remember, years ago, when I didn’t operate on a monthly budget. My credit cards were all charged to the max and that also reflected my stress level. When we’re under stress with money, that affects everything else we do. We don’t operate at peak performance and we could miss opportunities. Now that I don’t have credit card debt anymore, the sense of freedom is amazing! I have a credit card in my wallet, which is there only for emergencies. I operate on a debit card. That way, when the money is at zero, I have to stop spending.
Put together a monthly, written budget where every dollar is allocated to something specific. Look for any areas where money doesn’t absolutely have to be spent and pare that down. Make every effort to stick to the written budget for a few months and watch how that improves your chances of becoming financially free.
How to get financial freedom can be learned from the Og Mandino book, “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. In that book, he talks about the wealthy Persian merchants in Babylon, 6,000 years ago. They treated money with respect and thus it accumulated and took care of them. They believed that “a part of all I earn is mine to keep”. I believe that it’s not how much money we make that’s important. It’s how much of it we keep. Otherwise, how would explain the little old librarian in Vermont who retires with a half a million dollars in her savings? She never made much money each year. However, she simply kept a part of all she earned each year and put it into her savings. After many years, she had a great nest egg.
Thus, I suggest that the first item on your written budget should be to your savings. It doesn’t matter if it’s initially $25 a month. It’s not the amount. It’s the habit of paying yourself first. Because, if you don’t, you and I know what will happen. Savings becomes the last item to think about and there’s usually not any left at the end of the month. If you don’t consider yourself, and your financial future important, no one else will. Your financial future must come first on the list! Then, as you continue to be more productive with money, you can increase that monthly contribution toward your financial freedom.
Thus, to establish the foundation toward financial freedom, change your mindset about money, don’t say words about money that you don’t want, stay out of debt, operate on a written monthly budget, and pay yourself first.
“Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I deserve to be successful! Money comes to me easily from all directions. I have a prosperity attitude!”
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger