We are getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July at neighborhood parades and family barbecues. Independence Day is also the perfect time to review your finances and make sure you are on track to creating financial independence.
What is financial independence?
It’s knowing you have options to work or not work. It’s the confidence that you will be all right. It’s a viewpoint of living in a prosperous world with an ever-expanding pie. And, it’s knowing you have the ability to make a positive difference for others.
- Spend consciously. A wise (and financially savvy) woman once told me: “The less you need the more you have.” Need is the most important word in that sage advice. It is easy to build a lifestyle with things that feel like needs. Problems arise when the things you spend money on become needs and the thought of losing them grips you in fear. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend money on things you value, indeed you should. But spend money intentionally.
- Be a great saver. It may seem painfully obvious, but spending less than you earn is one of the most important ways to build financial flexibility for yourself. Designing a lifestyle that is based upon only utilizing a portion of your income is really one of abundance – you have more than enough money to do what is important to you. The rest is put away (or given to causes important to you). This will allow you to have greater choices when you are ready to make financial transitions in your life.
- Know things always work out the way they are supposed to. People who are great with money take personal responsibility for their financial situations. They don’t blame the government, their employer, their estranged spouse, their dead-beat son or their parents for the realities of their financial lives. Instead they learn from past mistakes and move on. They adapt to changes in the economy and look for opportunities.
- Commit to generosity – it breeds financial contentment. People who are great with money know that when they give to people in need (and causes that they value) it shifts their attention from themselves on to helping others. Studies on happiness have shown that when we assist others we benefit as well. Financial stress is usually associated with fears of not having enough, losing what’s been accumulated or making a big mistake. Giving is an amazing stress buster.
- 5. Focus on what you have – it will bring more of what you desire. People who are great with money put their attention on what they appreciate in their lives as opposed to what is lacking. They share about how content they are and what is working well. You won’t hear them saying that they don’t have a fancy car or go on big vacations, instead they’ll share that they really love their home or spending time with their grand kids. When we put our focus on what is working well, and not on what’s missing in our lives, we are not only happier but abundance finds us!