Financial Freedom and How to Get There

Financial freedom means different things to different people. For some, it could mean that you never have to work again and you live in a house near the ocean, surrounded by nature, totally disconnected from the world. For others, it could mean that you are financially independent of your parents, moved out of the house, and have a job that supports you. However, although it means something different for everyone, one question holds true for everyone: What motivates you to get out of bed and go to work?

This doesn’t just mean your job. It also means whatever actions you take to reach those financial freedom goals you have. This could be anything from improving your credit score so you can buy a home, paying down your debt so you can relieve your anxiety, or finally taking the step to invest and build your retirement fund. Whatever it means to you, here are some steps that can help you achieve your goals. 

1. Stop paying your credit card company

Credit card debt leads to anxiety, interest rates, and the fear that you will never get out of this debt. For some people, getting out of their credit card debt could be their financial freedom. However, your credit card company does not care as they make money off of the high-interest rates they are charging you. A website called AmOne is here to help. If you owe your credit card company $50,000 or less, they will match you with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off every single one of your balances. You will only be left with one bill to pay each month and since personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne starts at 3.49% APR), you can get out of debt much faster.

Another plus: no credit card payment for this one. AmOne makes sure to keep your information secure and confidential which is why it still has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau after 20 years. It only takes two minutes to see if you can qualify for up to $50,000 online, and you don’t even need to give a real phone number in order to qualify. 

2. Add up to 300 points to your credit score

If you have the goal of leasing a car, owning a house, or even just opening a credit card in your name, you know that a good credit score is essential. When it comes to a credit score, it is important to be organized as it will play a huge role in any big purchase you make and it could save you thousands. A free website called Credit Sesame is here to help you. Within minutes, you will gain access to your credit score, debt-carrying accounts, and a bunch of personalized tips to improve your credit score. You will also be able to spot eros holding you back. Plus it only takes about 90 seconds to sign up. 

3. Put aside money for your family’s future

Your checking account balance will not last forever, and many are concerned about how one’s family will manage after their income is gone. If your dream of financial freedom also includes your children’s financial freedom, you need to prepare in case it arrives too soon. You should keep a large amount of savings in the bank, but if you want to give your family up to $1 million, you should use term life insurance. A company like Bestow can help for as little as $16 a month. You can take advantage of it until you are 54 years old, and the sooner you do, the cheaper it will be. You don’t even need to leave the house to get a free quote from Bestow. It takes minutes and you will be able to leave your family a life that you wanted for them. 

4. Start investing and save for retirement

Investing can seem overwhelming if you are new to the game. However, in order for you to reach financial freedom, letting your money sit and earn pennies is not going to get you there. If you feel like you don’t have enough money, that is not the case, You can even get free stocks (worth up to $200) if you know where to look. If you have $5, $400, or thousands of dollars, you can start investing with Robinhood. You have probably heard of it. Many beginner investors as well as pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can sell and buy stocks for free with no limits. It is also very easy to use.

In addition, when you download the app and fund your account, Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It is random, but the stock could be worth anything from $2.50 to $200 and is a nice boost to your initial investments. 

5. Become a better save and grow your money faster

Investing can be a fruitful and rewarding way to reach your financial goals, but you should not ignore smart savings. Make sure it is a place where you can put your money safely, but also make sure that it is still earning money. Storing it under the mattress will do nothing for you, and a savings account is not much better. However, there is a debit card called Aspiration that lets you earn up to 5% cashback and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. You can also get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account after you confirm your email, and securely link your bank account so they can help you get extra cash. Your money is also insured by the FDIC so it is totally safe. 

6. Cut your expenses and save hundreds

Having more money in your pocket will help you reach financial freedom sooner. There are probably monthly bills that cut down this saving dramatically. Thus, you should shop your options every six months which can save you a lot of money. It is probably not the first thing you think about when you wake up, but it doesn’t have to be as a website called Insure.com makes it very easy to compare car insurance prices. You just have to enter your ZIP code and your age and it will show your options. People have saved an average of $489 a year. 

7. Makeup to $69 per hour as a small business owner

Your version of financial freedom might be working for yourself and earning more income. There are many perks of working as a bookkeeper and you can learn to become virtual bookkeepers through online courses on Bookkeepers.com. You do not have to be an accountant to be successful. You just need some decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle problems. It also helps to be very organized. You can make up to $69 an hour and there is no commute. This is a great option for parents who want a part-time job or recent college graduates who want to start earning money. 

8. Make a budget and be sure to stick to it

Making a budget and sticking to it can be someone’s idea of financial freedom. Knowing where their money is at all times and being confident in that is freedom. Even if this is not your specific dream, having a budget and following it will set you up for financial success no matter what. There is a popular method called the 50/30/20 method that is simple and effective. 50% of your take-home income each month covers your fixed expenses such as rent, groceries, utilities, minimum debt payments, 30% go towards things you can live without, but don’t want to like food delivery and a Netflix subscription, and the last 20% goes toward financial goals.

Financial Tips For Living In A One-Income Household

Living in a one-income household is stressful. There is no denying that. There is not a lot of room for extra spending or financial missteps. Millions of people have lost their jobs because of the ongoing pandemic. This has left millions of families to survive on a one-income household for the first time--something very hard to do, especially if you aren’t used to it. 

Although there has been a huge spike in unemployment, we are all still living in the 21st century and the cost of necessities like groceries and rent just keeps increasing, making it harder than ever if you live in a one-income household. Here are some money tips that you can implement in order to make life a little bit easier:

1. Get paid every time you buy toilet paper

Groceries are also going to take up a good portion of your budget--even with good planning. Everyone has to eat so you might as well earn some money back whenever you go to the grocery store. With the app Fetch Rewards, you can get gift cards for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items at the store. After downloading the app, take a picture of your receipt to show the app that you’ve purchased one of the brand items that are listed on Fetch. You’ll then earn gift cards to places like Amazon or Walmart.

2. Start meal planning

As said above, groceries will always be a large part of your budget. Try meal prepping for the week ahead in order to save money. This doesn’t just mean making a shopping list. It helps you use what you buy in order to prevent food and money wate. It also helps prevent on from spending extra money on lunches or take-out. Figure out how many meals you eat per week and how many people there are in your household. Next, figure out how much food you will need to make these meals until the next time you go grocery shopping. If you find yourself buying the same items often, make sure to stock up on them when they go on sale. Stocking up on sale items can also help you freeze meals for the future. 

3. Subtract $540 a year from your car insurance

You should make sure to check car insurance prices every six months or so as it can save you a lot of money. With a website called Insure.com, you can easily compare car insurance prices by entering your zip code and age. People have saved an average of $540 a year with this website. 

4. Don’t overpay for stuff online

Sites such as Walmart and Amazon will rip you off sometimes Make sure to compare prices to other websites to see if your item is available at a cheaper price on another site. You can also come across coupon codes, price-drop alerts, and the item’s price history by doing this type of research. This has saved people $160 million in the past year. 

5. Make $225 by just watching the news

People have been glued to the news more than usual this past year. There are research companies that will pay you to watch the news. All you have to do is sign up for InboxDollars and you will be shown short news clips that you can choose from every day. They will then ask a few questions and the site will pay you every month. You can even make up to $225 a month. The site has already paid its users more than $56 million

6. Stop paying your credit card company

Credit card debt is the most expensive debt and your credit card company often gets people with their high-interest rates. However, with a website called AmOne, you can help your situation. If you owe your company $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off every one of your balances. You will then only have one bill to pay every month as personal loans have lower interest rates. AmOne also keeps your information secure and confidential and has gotten an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

7. Leave your dependents up to $1 million

Many of us don’t have trust funds. However, you can still leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance. With a company called Bestow, you can pay as little as $16 a month. Before signing up fully with this company you can also get a free quote to see how much life insurance you can leave your loved ones. 

8. Have an emergency fund

Having an emergency fund can help decrease your stress about income, even if you don't live in a one-income household. It can help protect you against unforeseen expenses like medical costs or an unexpected repair. Your fund should contain enough money to get you through six to nine months of living expenses. Make sure to set up a direct deposit in order to allocate a percentage of your paycheck to this fund. It helps to ensure that money will go towards the fund and decreases your temptation of spending this money on other things. 

9. Consider tax withholding

Make sure to look at your income tax withholding to see if it can be adjusted because of your smaller annual income. This could help you increase your allowances because you’ll have less money withheld from your paycheck every month. If you aren’t sure if your withholding needs to be adjusted, you can contact the IRS directly or consult a tax professional. After doing so, be sure to adjust your budget if withholding taxes change your net income. 

10. Spend time, not money

Even though your family might not have as much money right now, there will most likely be more time to devote to spending quality time with your loved ones. If in the past you’ve hired help or relied on takeout, this might no longer be necessary. However, you might not want to disconnect entirely from the working world. It’s smart to stay professionally engaged if you plan on returning to the workforce in the future. Freelance or consulting work can help you network and bring in extra cash. 

11. Determine how you’re going to manage finances

Many one-income households decide that whoever is not working and has more time should handle money matters while other people have both people manage finances. You will want to review your bank accounts or joint accounts so it’s easier to track finances. Direct deposit into your savings account instead of checking accounts will make it easier to save money. However, whatever way you choose, it is important that non-working partners have access to the accounts. 

Following these eleven steps can help reduce stress if you live in a one-income household, especially in a time where you might be earning less money than at other times. Transitioning to living on a single income can be intimidating, but with some strategic planning, it is definitely possible. 

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Resources

https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/living-on-one-income

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/budgeting/secrets-one-income/

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