These 11 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom and Wealth
To have financial freedom and wealth with sufficient savings, investments, and cash on hand that I never have to worry about money again.
Does this sound like your goal?
Sadly, you have struggled with financial emergencies, settling accruing debts, wasteful spending, and other issues that have halted your journey to financial freedom.
Well, not anymore!
The truth is that even though living in financial freedom sounds like you partaking in a dramatic consolidation of events, the real change comes from the simplest change of habit.
In this article, I’ve explained 11 important habits that will set you on the right path, help you reach financial freedom and wealth easily, and keep you at that level forever.
The only question now is, “Are you ready to live financially free?”
Remember that even though these habits are your ultimate guide to financial freedom, you must consistently work hard to make them a part of you.
Found your answer yet?
Great! Let’s get started.
Set Life Goals and Financial Goals That Are Clear and Motivating
Everyone has goals. That’s what makes us human beings.
However, your goals could be mere words on paper or just figments of your imagination if you are not motivated to achieve them.
No doubt, the path to our goals may not always be smooth and easy, which is why you must be deliberate about setting your goals.
Below are four great tips that will help you set clear, motivating, and inspiring goals.
1. Create SMART Goals
You may have probably heard about the SMART goals, but are you applying the rule to your life goals and financial goals?
The simple truth is that for your goals to be clear and motivating, they have to be SMART.
Here’s what SMART stands for.
Let’s see how you can create SMART goals.
Set Specific Goals
When setting your life and financial goals, ensure that they are well thought and defined. Generalized goals won’t provide enough direction that will keep you motivated.
Imagine you sell on Etsy. You can be specific with your financial goal by setting it to selling 2,000 items on your store or making $5,000 on your store before a specific time.
That way, you are making it easy to stay motivated and achieve all you want by defining precisely how you want your goals to be.
Set Measurable Goals
Include the precise amount, date, number, and whatever you can add to make your life goals and financial goals measurable.
So, say you have a life goal to help people struggling with addiction, how will you know when the goal has been achieved?
Is it after one year when you have taken more than five people away from the streets or after three years when you have created a support group?
Keeping your goals measurable will help you know when you have achieved a part of your goal or even the whole goal, and that will help you stay motivated to accomplish more.
Set Attainable Goals
Are your life goals attainable? Do you think you can achieve the financial goal you set for yourself?
These are very important questions you must ask yourself when setting your goals.
Your goals should be possible to achieve. If they aren’t, you are just robbing yourself of every confidence and motivation that you have.
However, as you are setting attainable goals, resist the urge to make them unbelievably easy.
That’s because setting goals that you didn’t work hard to achieve will affect your drive to accomplish other goals.
In a nutshell, set realistic yet challenging goals that require you to go all out as they will bring the greatest personal satisfaction and motivation to accomplish more.
Set Relevant Goals
Your goals should reflect who you are or who you want to be.
So, set life goals and financial goals that align with the different areas of your life as they will keep you focused and determined to accomplish everything you want.
Set Time-Bound Goals
Your goals must have a deadline or some time frame attached to it.
That will help spurge a sense of urgency in you, which will keep you motivated as you accomplish those goals.
Imagine you have a goal to own a podcast with 1 million subscribers. You can add a timeline to it, say, one year. That way, you’ll be motivated to put in all the work to achieve your goal within that time frame.
2. Write Your Goals Down
When you write your goals down, they become real, concrete, and tangible rather than mere ideas or imagination running through your mind.
As you write down your goals, include positive words of affirmations to keep you excited about achieving them and keep the goals you have written in a place where you can always see them.
Also, write your goal with regards to what you want rather than what you don’t want. For example: “I want to lose 80 pounds before January” rather than “I don’t want to be overweight by January.”
You can get a journal and write your goals in it or create a vision board and pin your goals to it so that you can be reminded daily to keep working towards accomplishing your goals.
3. Create an Action Plan
After you have set out these goals, create a plan. Think about the steps it will take you to achieve all your financial and life goals.
If the goals are big, you can break it down into subgoals and note down all the steps you’ll take to achieve every subgoal.
Having various smaller goals makes achieving the bigger goal seem easier and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
Even if you don’t know the first step to take, you could start by conducting a simple research on the internet.
Plan out the different ways you’ll achieve your goal successfully and actively work according to your plan.
4. Reevaluate Your Progress Constantly
Just like any other thing, goal setting involves a lot of learning and dedication. The more you do it, the more you’ll get better at it.
However, as you take steps to achieve every milestone, pause, and reflect on your progress, experiences, and mistakes. Make it a weekly or a bi-weekly activity and stay consistent with it.
Here, you’ll discover if you need to restrategize your plans or adjust your goals.
Whatever decision you make at this point will help shape the outcome of your goals and keep you motivated to achieve them.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
Every great financial plan starts with creating a budget. However, the budget will only become a flop when used as a wish list rather than a guideline to attain financial freedom.
Treating your budget more as a way that you need to spend your money rather than a way that you’d like to spend your money will ensure that you stick to it successfully without any hitches.
According to a survey carried out by Pew on some group of Americans, 55% of them spend all or more than they make monthly, while 33% have little or no savings to deal with any financial emergency.
I sometimes wonder if they had a budget that they stuck to strictly, maybe they would have had enough savings to invest and attain financial freedom.
That’s why you need a budget that you can work with to achieve your financial freedom.
Here are five straightforward steps that will help you create a budget that you can stick to.
1. Review Your Income
You will need to review your income to determine your spending and saving level.
Compile all your income sources together and find out how much you make after tax for each month.
Sources of income can include your job, alimony, child support, rental income.
If the amount you make each month varies, you can always round them up or use an average. However, the more accurate you are, the better.
2. Calculate Your Expenses
After reviewing your income, group your monthly expenses into the different areas of your life.
These could include food, housing, utilities, education, transportation. You could also give room for additional expenses like travel and donations.
Also, some expenses may not bill monthly. So, review the prior month’s expenses critically to have a full picture of your monthly expenses.
However, you must ensure that all the expenses you have noted are important to you and not unnecessary.
3. Calculate the Differences
While calculating the expenses that are important to you, two things are bound to happen.
Either your expenses will be greater than your income, or your income will be greater than your expenses.
If your income is greater than the expenses, that means you’ll have enough funds to invest.
However, if your expenses are greater than your income, you might be running into debt.
Here’s what you can do about that.
Look back at your budget and determine what can be reduced. Strikeout irrelevant and unimportant things from the budget.
One easy hack here is to follow the 50/30/20 budgeting rule to determine what you need rather than what you want.
Ask yourself if you want the item or if you need the item.
With the ability to see the difference between needs and wishes, you will remain within your budget and reduce unprompted purchases.
Also, in cases where your income is greater than your expenses and you have funds to invest, you can assess the funds available and determine if you are satisfied with it. If you are not, go back to your budget and cut down on those irrelevant things.
4. Determine What to do with Your Savings
Once you have followed steps 1 – 3 properly, you will already have established a budget that you can easily relate to and is focused on helping you attain financial freedom.
And yes, you’ll also have savings!
So, determine the best and most important thing to do with your savings at that time. If you have any debt, that’s the time to pay them off so that the interest rate doesn’t keep accumulating.
You can also accumulate money in your savings account and build it into an emergency fund or invest the money in your preferred investment scheme.
5. Make Your Budget a Lifestyle
According to a survey by Bankrate, 82% of Americans say they keep a budget. But the real question lies in how many are sticking to their budget.
Creating a budget, even one as detailed and relatable as this, is one thing. However, sticking to it and following it up judiciously is another thing.
Here’s what you can do.
- Aim at reviewing your budget weekly or biweekly. That will help you track your spending level and discover if anything needs to be changed. You’ll also get to know if you are sticking to your budget or gradually moving out of line so that if the latter is the case, you can easily trace your steps back before things get worse.
- Stick to saying “no” to things that you don’t need.
- Duly obey and follow your budget strictly till you can feel it becoming something you cannot do without.
- Avoid cutting down excessively on your expenses that you feel robbed.
- Discipline yourself and avoid exposing yourself to the stuff you have to say “no” to. For example, window-shopping, hanging out near locations where you love, visiting online stores.
Pay Off Credit Cards and Student Debt in Full
The student loans have reached a disquieting level for both college graduates and the government.
The U.S recorded 1.5 trillion dollars of student loan debt in 2020. Still, student debts may not be decreasing anytime soon because of the significant increase in the number of people enrolled in tertiary institutions.
However, don’t worry. You can get off the hook, pay your student loan quickly, and attain financial freedom if you follow the steps below.
1. Know the Details About Your Loan
The first step is to know every detail about your debt across all your different loans.
If you do not know how many loans you have, you can go to the National Student Loan Data System for concise information on your federal student loan.
You can also check out the Office of the U.S Department for Education, where you can find out all about your loan terms and payment calculation.
If you have any private loans, you can also check your credit report to know each of your lenders and how much you owe.
When you have gathered all the details, then you can conveniently approach paying off your loans correctly.
2. Pay More than Required Monthly Payment
Once you begin borrowing money for your student loan, your bank or lender (whoever you’re borrowing from) assigns you a minimum monthly payment.
Adding more dollars to the minimum requirement every month will reduce the time you’ll take to pay off the loan completely.
For instance, if you have a loan worth $32,000 at 6% over a period of 10 years, your minimum monthly payment will be $355. Paying more than $355 monthly would go towards settling the $32,000 which is your loan’s principal value.
That way, you won’t only be reducing the loan value, but you’ll also be reducing the interest on your loan since interest is calculated according to your loan amount.
3. Sign up for Autopay
The Federal student loan services offer a quarter-point interest rate discount if you can allow them to automatically deduct payment for your student loan from your bank account.
Although the savings from the discount will most likely be minimal, it is a great way for you to start paying your debts to prevent an insane interest accumulation.
For instance, if you opt for the federal government 10-year repayment timeline for your $32,000 student loan, the interest rate will drop from 6% to 5.75%, which is quite fair.
4. Avoid Credit Card Debt
When you have a credit card, it’s really easy to go wild with it, forgetting that every transaction is just like loans.
You must note that credit cards are not cash in hand. It’s simply more and more debts.
So, instead of frivolous spending, handle your credit card sparingly. Build credits and leverage on rewards that credit companies offer.
Thankfully, the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 has established some restrictions on how credit card companies should market their deals to students and minors.
You can take hold of that opportunity to prevent ending up accruing debts.
However, if you need to have a credit card to build your credit history and protect your checking account from unauthorized purchases, then here are some of the best credit cards with wide acceptance and low fees.
Best Overall Credit Card with Flat Rate Cash Back.
Citibank’s Double Cash card offers an introductory 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for 18 months, after which a 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR will apply depending on your creditworthiness.
There’s no annual fee, and for every purchase, you earn 2%. That means you get an unlimited 1% cashback when you buy and an additional 1% when you pay for the purchase.
However, to earn the cashback, you must pay at least the minimum within the due time frame.
Most Preferred Credit Card with Amazing Bonus.
Discover’s Cash Back card offers an introductory 1% – 5% cashback match and an APR period of both purchases and balance transfers.
You earn 5% quarterly cashback when you make purchases at Amazon, Restaurants, Grocery stores, Gas stations, and pay using Paypal. You also earn an automatic 1% unlimited cashback when you make any other purchase.
Discover doesn’t issue an annual fee. However, there could be a slight issue in acceptance outside the US.
Most Functional Credit Card for Small Income Earners.
Bank of America’s Cash Rewards cards offer no annual fee and an introductory bonus of $200 on purchases worth $1000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
You earn 3% cashback in any category of your choice, 2% cashback at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and an unlimited 1% cashback on any other purchase.
There’s also no expiration on rewards, and you get a 0% introductory APR for 12 months, after which you’ll pay a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99% depending on your creditworthiness.
Most Popular Credit Card with Diverse Bonus for High-Income Earners.
American Express’s Blue Cash Preferred card offers a rich introductory bonus of up to $300 for new cardholders on purchases up to $3000 within the first six months.
You earn 6% cashback at US supermarkets, 6% cashback on some selected streaming subscriptions, 3% cashback at US gas stations or on transit, and 1% cashback on other purchases.
However, American Express’s Blue Cash Card has an annual fee of $95 (although the first year is free for new cardholders), and is not as widely accepted as a Visa card or Mastercard.
Pay Yourself First With Automatic Savings
Anyone would ordinarily think that the term “pay yourself first” is about getting a paycheck. However, it is very far from that.
Pay yourself first is a reverse financial technique that focuses on building your spending plan around saving for your long-term needs or investing your savings before any other expenses are made.
Most Americans struggle with their savings because they put so much attention into settling their expenses first.
Settling your expenses is important, but if you think about your savings only when every other expense has been paid for, you are putting your savings in the second category, making it easy for you to end up with nothing left to save or invest.
Automate Your Savings
No doubt, it can be challenging to start paying yourself first, especially when you already struggle to keep up with your bills and other expenses.
However, your easiest and most convenient option is saving automatically.
Automatic saving is the success key to the pay yourself first habit, and there are two incredible ways you can accomplish it successfully.
- Send Paychecks to different accounts automatically: You can automate your savings by sending your paychecks to different accounts. So, instead of the amount going into your checking account, it will be deposited directly into your investment account, retirement account, or savings account, depending on your choice.
- Deduct savings from your checking account automatically: You can set up an automatic deduction directly from your checking account to your savings account, retirement account, or investment account. However, ensure that you set the automatic deduction for the day after you are paid to prevent spending the money on other expenses.
So, rather than focusing on your immediate expenses, you are securing your future and reaching your financial freedom by saving automatically before spending.
You should also note that Paying yourself first doesn’t apply to only self-employed people. So, even if you are traditionally employed, you should also adopt this financial habit and pay yourself first.
Financial Independence 101: Start a Business That Grows Your Wealth and Prosperity
Building wealth and making more money is also essential for your financial growth and prosperity, and one reliable way of doing this is by starting a business.
A sustainable and reliable business that will bring in streams of income.
The easiest way to avert this is to take your time and plan out the kind of business you want to start and all the necessary steps you’ll need to succeed in the business.
Below are five solid businesses you can start that will not only grow your wealth and prosperity but will stand the test of time if you obey all the steps.
Let’s look at them below.
Step 1. Launch a High-End Blog
Do you know that half of the top 200 Fortune 500 companies had a corporate blog in 2018?
And if that’s not convincing enough, there are currently over 600 million active blogs globally.
That shows that many benefits await you in the blogging industry, which can skyrocket you to financial freedom and wealth.
Let’s see how you can launch a high-end blog and reap all these benefits.
1. Set Up Your Blog
The first step in launching your high-end blog is to find a perfect blog home and set up your blog.
Let’s see the best homes you can choose for your blog.
Best Overall Web Hosting Platform with Immense Scalability for Bloggers.
Bluehost is one of the biggest in the web hosting industry globally, providing hosting plans to any level of expertise.
It has a high-performance speed, and you get amazing benefits such as access to numerous themes and features to customize your blog just as you’d like and a 24/7 customer support system.
And you know what’s more?
With just one click, you can install the most secure and latest version of WordPress.
WordPress is a free site builder that has built a name for itself in the blogging industry and is easily everyone’s top choice because of its flexibility.
You can also easily monetize your blog and monitor the traffic via Google Analytics.
Although WordPress is free to use, you’ll have to pay for hosting and domain name on Bluehost.
Hosting on Bluehost costs $2.95 monthly for the Basic Plan, $4.95 monthly for the Plus plan, $5.45 for the Choice Plus Plan, and $13.95 for the Pro plan.
However, you get a free domain name for a year upon creation of your WordPress hosting account.
Most Preferred Blogging Platform for Beginners.
If you need an easier option than WordPress, then Wix is a good option.
Wix offers amazing templates for every kind of blog with a simple and straightforward user interface.
It has a drag-and-drop tool that helps you customize your blog easily with built-in analytics and SEO tools and features.
It also has an automatic email subscription feature, and you can share your blog posts on all your social media pages.
Wix has a 14-day free trial, after which you’ll have to purchase its paid plans starting at $4.5 monthly for the Connect Domain plan, $8.5 monthly for the Combo plan, $12.5 monthly for the Unlimited plan, and $25.5 monthly for the VIP plan.
Most Functional Blogging Platform with Unlimited Customization Options.
Squarespace is a simple to use blogging platform that offers a wide variety of options to customize and create your perfect blog.
It has its own analytics dashboard to monitor your traffic and a built-in SSL encryption for maximum security.
You also get 24/7 customer support whenever you need help.
Squarespace operates via a subscription-based model. The Personal Plan costs $16 monthly, and the Business Plan costs $26 monthly.
Most Conventional Blogging Platform for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.
Weebly is a blogging platform that provides a wide range of easy-to-use features to create and customize your perfect blog.
It has a drag-and-drop building tool that you can use to customize your blog easily.
It also has loads of SEO features to help you rank better on search engines, and it integrates with Google Analytics so you can easily monitor your blog's traffic.
Weebly is free to use but have paid plans which offer more benefits.
The Personal Plan available at $9 monthly allows you to connect to a custom domain, the Professional Plan available at $16 monthly allows you to build a branded website for your business, and the Performance Plan available at $29 monthly allows you to grow your business with integrated eCommerce tools.
2. Create Unique and Insightful Contents
After setting up your blog, you must organize your blog content.
When your readers open your blog, it’s the quality of the content that will determine if they will remain on the blog or not.
That’s why you must dish out high quality, insightful, and unique contents to increase the traffic on your blog.
Here are four vital points to note as you create high-quality content.
You must know that anyone visiting a blog and reading a blog post is looking to get something out of it.
So, what is your blog offering?
Whatever values you associate with should lay the foundation of your blog.
You can also call it the blog niche which gives your content direction to know who your audience is and what they will be expecting.
However, ensure that there’s something your audience can take along with them, a lesson that they can learn as they engage with your content.
When producing content for your blog, consider the audience you have and the audience you want to attract.
Ensure that your blog’s content is relevant to your audience. Remember, this blog isn’t about you.
For instance, you can’t have a golf blog and then create content on fish farming.
Do you understand what I mean now?
Any blog content must prompt your audience to take action. That’s one easy way you can keep them coming back to your blog.
The blog content can give tips, encourage people to take actionable steps towards certain areas of their life, explain a process, or teach something new.
Good blog content is usually long.
Some people may argue that as long as your content provides value to your readers, you are good to go.
However, longer contents receive more interaction and engagement.
The table below explains more reasons why long content is more rewarding.
|LONG CONTENT||SHORT CONTENT|
|You can easily create an in-depth explanation of a topic, say “How to create an inspiring vision board” when the content is above 3000 words.||Imagine a 400-word content explaining “How to create an inspiring vision board”.|
|When you write longer content, you naturally include more keywords and links that increase your SEO. You can search for a random keyword on Google and check the top-ranked websites to see for yourself.||There are fewer content and links for the search engine to match a random search with.|
3. Plan Out Your Content Pattern
Now that you have decided on the type of content to post on your blog, it's time to discover and plan out your content pattern?
First, you must brainstorm ideas for your blog. Pull out a jotter and write down every idea you can think of for your blog.
Ideas can hit you at any time, so be sure to take the jotter with you always.
After getting ideas for your blog, you can now plan your posting frequency.
What days of the week do you want to post your content? What time of the day? How many times do you want to post in a week?
You have to be realistic about your posting frequency because you have to be consistent with it once you launch your blog.
Finally, select a variety of content types to post on your blog regularly. They could be stories, lists, how-to, best-of, or tutorials.
However, ensure that you adopt a blend of these content types to keep your audience engaged and interested.
4. Grow a Loyal Audience
Now that you have found a platform to blog on, you need to ensure that the audience that visits your blog keeps coming back.
You’ll need to be consistent with your blog content and posting schedules because it may most likely take over six months before you would be able to see growth in page views and shares. So, stick with it!
You should also ensure that you engage with your audience frequently. Reply comments and emails so that your audience can feel like they matter too.
Lastly, share your blog posts on your social media page and talk to people directly about your blog.
Always remember that you’re in it for the long haul.
Step 2. Offer Your Freelancing or Consulting Services
In 2019, US freelancers earned almost $1 trillion.
With advancements in technology, so many businesses are rapidly turning to freelancers, including giant companies, small businesses, startups, and even solopreneurs.
Therefore, more than ever, this is the best time to offer your freelancing services or consulting services to thousands of clients waiting for it.
Here are the easy steps you can take to offer your freelancing or consulting services and reach financial freedom.
1. Discover Your Skill
Before you can start a consulting business or become a freelancer, you’ll need to have a skill.
There are different skills available today, and as technology advances, more skills are emerging.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a skill set. You can always learn one online anytime.
But first, surf the internet for different skills and write down some that you can handle.
Have you thought of some skills or perhaps discovered your own skill?
The next thing you have to do is ensure that the skills are profitable.
Some skills are called high-income skills because of the increase in demand, the type of work being put into it, and global technological advancement.
While it is advisable to have high-income skills, other skills can still earn you a decent living.
You can surf the internet for facts and statistics around the skill. You can also ask family, friends, or speak to a mentor (if you have one).
Social media could also come in handy. You can send messages to people that are already bosses in that skill or ask a general question on your social media page.
You will surely get enough answers that will streamline your options and help you discover your perfect skill.
2. Build an Astonishing Portfolio
Even if you’re the best freelancer or consultant in the world, if you do not put yourself out there, no one will ever notice you talk more of hiring you.
So, you need to create an online presence and build your portfolio there.
You can start by creating a website. You can also leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
As you build your portfolio, ensure you clarify the skills you have and the services you offer, your ideal customers, what every client stands to gain from your services, and what makes you different from the competition.
You should also include your past work, excellent reviews, certificates acquired, and everything that can make you look credible.
Remember, it’s all about the first impression, so you have to ensure that your portfolio speaks well about you. When your brand is appealing, you can confidently set high prices for your services.
3. Choose a Freelancing Platform
There are a lot of ways you can offer your freelancing or consulting services.
You can advertise your services on social media channels like LinkedIn, or a past client or family member could refer you.
However, freelancing platforms are the most popular because they provide a safe space where you can connect with your potential clients effortlessly.
Here are the best freelance platforms to choose from.
Best Overall Freelancing Platform with Highly-Secured Jobs.
Upwork is a free freelancing platform with over five million clients regularly uploading jobs on the site and looking for the perfect freelancers, including Microsoft, Airbnb, and Dropbox.
It has a simple user interface that can be navigated by anyone and offers amazing features, including a secure payment system that ensures that you get paid for every job completed.
You can also see your client’s history with other freelancers and read reviews about them. This will come in handy when selecting jobs.
Upwork has an online community and tons of help articles that can help you solve any difficulties you may have with the platform easily.
Most Preferred Freelancing Platform for Beginners.
Fiverr is a free freelancing platform with an impressive record of providing jobs to more than 200 categories of skills. It’s safe to say whatever your skill is, Fiverr can accommodate it.
It’s very easy to navigate, and your conversations are protected through private communication channels within the platform.
You also get free learning courses to teach you how to pitch to clients and develop your skills perfectly.
At Fiverr, every job begins at $5. However, you can also sell your skills above $5.
All-round Functional Freelancing Platform with Unlimited Freelance Resources.
SolidGigs has an enormous online library containing courses, templates, and scripts that can help you become a better and more successful freelancer.
But that’s not all.
Unlike most freelancing platforms where you have to search for the perfect fit job, SolidGigs scours through numerous freelance jobs available on the internet and sends you 2% of the best freelance jobs weekly.
So, if your skill is copywriting, you’ll receive at least two copywriting gigs weekly.
SolidGigs is a paid freelancing platform. Pricing starts at $2 upon registration, which will last for 30 days, after which you’ll pay a monthly fee of $19.
Most Flexible Freelancing Platform with Numerous Opportunities.
Flexjobs is one freelancing platform that offers flexible on-site and remote jobs (both part-time and full-time) in addition to the numerous freelancing opportunities on the platform.
The jobs available on Flexjobs are always screened thoroughly to ensure authenticity and legitimacy.
You also get in-depth expert resources, webinar and career guidance from its in-house coaches.
However, Flexjobs is not a free freelancing platform. To become a freelancer on Flexjobs, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription of $15.
4. Fix Your Price
Fixing your price could be a very confusing stage because you don’t want to fix your price too low that you’re running at a loss or too high that it chases your potential clients away.
So how do you fix the perfect price?
Put all the factors into consideration as you think of fixing your prices, such as the resources you used to achieve the job, your time spent on the job, and your cost of living and maintenance.
Doing this will ensure that you are charging enough to make a decent and sustainable living.
Also, most clients won’t hesitate to pay higher rates for any freelancer that sweeps them off their feet with an incredible first impression and a high-quality job.
So, how possible it will be to increase your price is definitely up to you and the quality of services you offer.
5. Build Solid Client Relationship
Building a solid relationship with your client is one important part of freelancing.
When you maintain a good connection with your client and provide high-quality work, you are more likely to secure more consistent jobs in the future and get referrals from them.
So, ensure that you obey every instruction, meet every deadline, and keep the lines of communication open.
Also, make yourself available for any questions or concerns that the client may have. That can help you get high reviews and ratings, which is good for your portfolio.
Step 3. Create and Sell Online Courses
The eLearning industry is fast becoming a gold mine.
Apart from the rapid increase in the number of people interested in online learning, the eLearning market is projected to be worth $375 billion by 2026.
What does this mean for you?
Sharing your skills and knowledge through online courses is one of the best ways to reach financial freedom and wealth.
Let’s see the easy steps that you can follow to create and sell online courses.
1. Choose an Online Topic
Before you can create an online course, you need to decide on what you want to teach.
That means you’ll have to discover what you are good at and create content that can generate a useful result for people consuming it.
Once you have discovered what you are good at, you should also go the extra mile and ask people what they think.
You can ask close family and friends where they think your strength lies and if there’s any demand for knowledge in those areas.
You can also ask your followers on social media. These days social media have poll options, so you can easily set up a poll with various topics you think you are good at and have your followers make their suggestions.
Then compare all the suggestions with yours and decide the best online topic for you to teach and sell.
2. Create Your Online Course Content
So, you have chosen an online topic. It’s now time to create the course.
Spend some time planning out the structure of your online course and create a curriculum. You can organize the contents of the course into chapters and lessons.
The chapters will represent milestones, and the lessons will be the steps that will help your student achieve a milestone.
Also, your online course content is mainly a progression of videos as well as other forms of media like images and pdf files.
However, the core of the content remains the videos where you’ll explain the topic you chose in a step-by-step manner.
You can choose to record a video of yourself in front of a camera explaining the topic, or you can choose to record a screencast, where you’ll be talking over pictures and documents on your computer screen, whichever works best for the topic you’re teaching.
To make things more interesting and engaging, you can also add quizzes and tests at the end of each chapter.
3. Select on Online Course Platform
Once you have created your online course content, you can then sell it on an online course platform.
These platforms give you full control over your courses, and they are very easy to set up.
Let’s see some of the best online course platforms available for you.
Best Overall Online Course Platform Providing Maximum Student and Teacher Interactions.
Teachable is an online course platform that helps you create interesting content for your courses, which you can import directly from the cloud.
It has a user-friendly interface and numerous amazing features such as a built-in email marketing tool, affiliate, and sales tool.
It also has a page editor tool that allows you to customize and launch your online course easily.
You can issue certificates after course completion and integrate Google forms into your courses to collect students’ feedback.
Teachable does not have a free plan, and pricing starts at $39 monthly for the Basic plan, $119 monthly for the Professional plan, and $299 monthly for the Business plan.
Most Preferred Online Course Platform Offering All-in-One Solution to Beginners.
Thinkific is an online course platform with an easy-to-use user interface and rich multimedia that allows you to deliver and sell your online course with ease.
It has a drag-and-drop tool that allows you to build powerful landing pages and supports sharing course information on Google Adverb and Facebook.
Thinkific has a free plan with limited functionality. However, its paid plans offer better access to its features, starting at $49 monthly for the Basic plan, $99 monthly for the Pro plan, and $499 monthly for the Premier plan.
Most Preferred Online Course Platform for Entrepreneurs and SMEs.
LearnWorlds is a cloud-based online course platform that provides numerous templates to build an unlimited number of online courses.
You can easily customize your courses with its built-in course authoring tools, learning tools, and assessment tools.
It also has marketing and affiliate features, and you can create a website without having any technical skills.
LearnWorlds has a 30-day free trial available for all its customers. However, paid plans start at $29 monthly for the Starter plan, $99 monthly for the Pro trainer plan, and $299 monthly for the Learning center plan.
Most Versatile Online Course Platform for Selling Downloadables and Simple Format Courses.
Kajabi is an online course platform that offers you so many tools and features to create your customized course easily.
It has a drag-and-drop tool and numerous themes that allow you to create your online course content easily.
It also has an email marketing tool and allows the creation of landing pages.
You can build a website on Kajabi even as a novice, and you also get easy to use custom domains and subdomains.
Kajabi offers a 14-day trial, and pricing starts at $149 monthly for the Basic plan, $199 monthly for the Growth plan, and $399 monthly for the Pro plan.
4. Price Your Online Course
Now that you have decided on the platform to sell your online course on, there’s one more question you must ask yourself.
How much are you going to sell the course?
That deserves more than a few minutes of thought because if the price is too low, you will be at a loss, and if the price is too high, people may not buy the course.
So, how do you determine the best price for your online course?
When pricing your online course, you must consider every aspect, such as the marketing of the course, the type of students you are expecting to buy the course, and the time you’ll be putting into following up and supporting your students.
You can decide to price your course by offering a one-time payment option or regularly, say monthly.
You should also consider your competitors and price your course at a more affordable option than theirs.
However, always resist the urge to price your courses low.
Step 4. Start an Online Store
There has never been any better time to own an online store than today.
The online market is worth over $4 trillion now and is projected to be worth about $6 trillion by 2023, making it one of the perfect places to start your journey to financial independence and wealth.
So, let’s see the easy steps you can follow to become a successful online retailer.
1. Choose a Niche
Choosing a niche basically means “what you are selling” and “who you are selling to”. Sadly, a lot of people do not pay enough attention to this.
One major tip here is always to follow your passion because when managing the store starts getting stressful, your love and passion for your store will keep you going.
Also, avoid picking a niche that’s overtly unique. Just pick a niche that’s easily relatable, reliable, and affordable.
After discovering your niche, you might still want to streamline your choices and specialize in a particular item.
You can head over to three or four online shopping platforms’ bestseller lists and check out the well most purchased item under your niche.
Here’s an example of Amazon’s best selling product in 2019.
2. Choose an Online Shopping Platform
Choosing an online shopping platform is quite easy because you do not need to be tech-savvy to open one.
However, before you start, you must look out for the best online shopping platform that perfectly suits your niche.
Some online shopping platforms are niche-based and allow only certain items, while others may just allow anything to be sold.
For instance, if you are an art collector, your best option will be to sell on Etsy because since the shopping platform only allows the sale of arts, crafts, and vintages, it will be easier for your customers to locate you there.
Here are some of the best online shopping platforms for you to start selling on.
Best Overall Online Shopping Platform for Beginners.
Shopify is easily the fastest-growing online shopping platform because of its ease of use, accessibility, and numerous themes available to choose from.
It has several amazing features, such as a highly customizable user interface, custom domains, direct sales from Facebook, and Instagram. It also allows you to fix the items in your store on WordPress or any other website.
Shopify offers a free trial for new sellers and has a Basic plan which offers all the basics for a new business available at $29 monthly.
It also has two other plans, the Shopify plan which allows for five staff accounts and USPS mail pricing priority available at $79 monthly and the Advanced Shopify plan which allows 15 staff accounts and other advanced features for scaling your business available at $299 monthly.
Most Functional Online Shopping Platform that Offers Unlimited Customization Options to Businesses.
Wix has been popularly known as the platform that allows you to create a free website.
However, they have now incorporated online sales functionality as one of their services called “WIX eCommerce”.
In addition to its numerous customizable templates and user interface, Wix also offers online and offline payments, direct sales from Facebook and Instagram, and multiple custom shipping options.
Selling on Wix begins at $17 monthly in their Business Basic plan, which offers you 20GB storage and allows for five video hours.
Other plans include the Business Unlimited plan, which offers 35GB storage and ten video hours available at $25 monthly, and the Business VIP plan, which offers 50GB storage and allows for unlimited video hours available at $35 monthly.
Best Open-Source Online Shopping Platform with an Easy-to-use User Interface.
WooCommerce is an open-source online shopping platform controlled by WordPress. That means you can run your store free on WooCommerce, provided you have a WordPress site.
It has a simple and straightforward user interface with various features, such as social media integration, built-in marketing tools, and email marketing integration.
WooCommerce also has several free and paid extensions that let you add more functionality to your online store.
Most Preferred Online Shopping Platform for Artists, Crafters, and Art Collectors.
Etsy is a niche-based online shopping platform that allows the sale of handmade arts and crafts or vintages on its platform.
It has an easy to use user interface and a robust support system both online and offline.
However, for any item to be sold on Etsy, you must fulfill the following.
- Listing fee: Every item you want to sell on Etsy must be listed, and each listing costs $0.20.
- Transaction fee: For every successful purchase, Etsy deducts 5% of the total sale price.
- Advertising fee: Etsy advertises your listings through offsite partners (Google, Bing). So, if any buyer clicks on the listing and orders from your shop, Etsy will charge you 15% advertising fees from the total sale.
3. Check Out Your Competition
After selecting your niche, you need to look closely at your potential competitors.
If many people already dominate that space, you might want to restrategize and think of another niche to choose from.
However, if you decide to go through with that niche, you would already have first-hand knowledge of what hurdles awaits you, and you can easily come up with ways to tackle them.
4. Find a Business Name
Your business name is as important as your business itself. It’s the first thing that your customers see before they make any purchase from your store.
So, ensure that your business name describes your business as much as possible.
When choosing a name, consider the following:
- The name should be as original as possible.
- The name shouldn’t be too long.
- The name should be easy to pronounce by anyone.
- The name should be relevant to your store.
- Keep the name simple. Avoid adding numbers or special characters.
Step 5. Record Your Own Podcasting Show
Do you know that a whopping 37% of the US population listened to a podcast last month?
That’s about 104 million people listening to a podcast monthly.
No wonder the number of podcast episodes keeps on increasing, currently at 30 million episodes globally.
But what really is podcasting?
Podcasting involves sharing information but in an episodic series of spoken words digital audio files.
So, the user can easily download the audio file to their personal device and listen to it anytime.
With all the stats above confirming that owning your podcast is indeed a good step at reaching financial freedom and wealth, Let’s see how you record your own successful podcasting show.
1. Determine Your Audience
So, you have decided to record your own podcasting show, but who are you recording it for?
One important factor to consider here is that podcasting is most popular among the middle-aged and young demographic, so you might want to choose a niche that they can relate with.
If you have a niche idea in mind, maybe an area you are passionate about, research to find out if there’s any audience available to listen to it.
The reason is that no matter how passionate you are about any niche and there’s no audience available to listen to what you have to say, it is as good as no effort.
If you don’t have any idea in mind, the internet can be a good place to start looking. There, you’ll find a wide range of marketable ideas.
In addition to researching and checking the internet, you can also ask family and friends around for their opinions. Then compare their opinions with your findings and select the best niche.
2. Select Your Podcast Topic
For every podcast episode, you must talk about a particular topic.
It could either be a new topic for each episode or a group of subtopics, which you can make into a series. It just depends on your choice and pattern.
As you brainstorm topics for your podcast, ensure that they are topics you can talk about for hours without end and be monetized.
3. Choose the Right Podcast Format
You’ll also need to create your own unique structure and format by which your podcast will operate.
You can either decide to have a monologue podcast where you are the only host or a co-hosted podcast, which will consist of two or more hosts.
Scour through the different formats available and choose the one that’s best for you.
4. Name Your Podcast
Simply put, your podcast name should define the purpose of your podcast.
Make sure that the name contains keywords that are relevant to the purpose of your podcast.
Also, remember to keep it short, simple, and easy.
5. Select a Podcasting Software
Before you plug your USB Microphone into your computer, you’ll need some software to record and edit the audio.
Here’s the best Podcasting software you can choose from.
Best Overall Open-source Podcasting Software for Beginners.
Audacity is a free podcasting software compatible with macOS, Linux, Linux (Beta), and Windows operating systems.
It allows you to record your podcast, edit multiple episodes, use effects, and export the audio as numerous file types, including MP3.
It also has tons of online tutorials to guide you through your podcast production process.
All-round Functional Podcasting Software with an Easy-to-Use Interface.
Buzzsprout is a very simple and straightforward podcasting software that allows you to create your podcast in minutes.
It has unique features like Magic Mastering, which uses advanced technology to edit your audio, automatic audio optimization, and affiliate marketing to monetize your podcast.
You can also monitor your podcast statistics directly on Buzzsprout and share your podcast directly to top directories such as Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, Amazon Alexa.
Buzzsprout has a 90-day free trial period, after which you’ll have to pay before you can access its services.
Pricing starts at $12 for an upload time of three hours monthly, $18 for an upload time of six hours monthly, and $24 monthly for an upload time of 12 hours monthly.
Most Preferred Podcasting Software with Increased Functionality.
Adobe has made a name in the multimedia space, and their software Adobe Audition is one of the most sophisticated Podcasting software available.
It has beautiful features like noise reduction, single and multi track recordings for cases where you have a co-host and built-in presets that help to set your audio before you begin recording.
It also has numerous tutorials to help you make use of all its features and tools.
Adobe Audition has a free trial available for download on the Mac and Windows operating systems. However, pricing starts at $20.99 monthly.
Most Versatile Podcasting Software with Unlimited Features.
The Hindenburg owns several audio tools. However, their software, Hindenburg Journalist, is the best option for entry-level podcasters or just any podcaster at all.
It allows you to import and edit your recording regardless of their bit rates, and it can also conveniently integrate with some podcast hosting providers.
It has numerous unique features, such as a voice profiler tool that balances your recording quality, and you can upload your podcast directly to Soundcloud or Loudness.
Hindenburg Journalist has a free 30-day trial available after which you’ll buy their paid plans.
Pricing begins at $95 for the Journalist plan, $375 for the Journalist Pro plan and $500 for the HABC Narrator plan and they are all one-time payment plans.
6. Record and Edit Your First Podcast
Recording your first podcast may not go smoothly. But as you continue recording more podcasts, you become more experienced.
Write out a script of how you want the podcast to be and the time duration. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be an Oscar-worthy type of script.
The purpose of the script is to give you a sense of direction.
Set up your mic properly and ensure that you speak directly into the mic at every point you are talking. Don’t get carried away during your recording and start speaking away from the mic.
Once you are done with recording, you can then import and clip the recordings together, edit, and export as an MP3 or any other file type of your choice.
Remember to number and name every episode you record.
7. Promote Your Podcast
Once your podcast is available as an Mp3, you should consider listing it in Top directories like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, or Pocketcasts.
You can also advertise your podcast on your social media platforms, websites and tell people directly about the podcast.
Start Investing Now to Achieve Financial Freedom
Developing a passive income stream through investing allows you to build a base that will help you live a financially free life later on.
So instead of spending your money, save it and invest it. This way, your money will earn interest, dividends, and will appreciate with the value of your investment.
However, before you invest your money, here are three rules you must keep to strictly.
- Investments are not a get rich quick scheme: An investment won’t grow overnight. Investments take every bit of time and energy. You have to be patient and give it time for your investments to grow.
- You need to cross-check: Don’t just jump on investments. You must read through their terms and conditions over and over again. Check the markets before you make a deal. Don’t make up your mind until you are sure a deal is fair. Check and cross-check the risks involved and don’t engage the deal if you do not feel it is safe enough for you.
- Try again: You can’t earn it all on your first investment. You will definitely win some and lose some. What you must do however is desire to get better. You must always try again and again.
Let’s look at the steps you can take to start investing now. With these, you can be sure to start on your way to financial freedom.
1. The Stock Market
The stock market is one of the most lucrative investment options out there.
As at 2019, the value of the global stock market was over $80 trillion indicating that the global stock market is on a torrid run, a race which you should get involved in as fast as you can.
The way it works is simple.
When you buy stocks, you own a certain percentage of the company you bought into.
If the company makes a profit, you can get paid the profit proportional to your original stock.
Alternatively, you can allow your stocks to grow over time as the company makes a profit and develops. If your stocks grow to a certain point, you could sell them off.
The stock market is, however, a high-risk investment option meaning that while it can yield a lot of profit over time, it can also crash at any time.
Incredible returns, scarcity and protection against inflation are great reasons why you should invest in cryptocurrencies.
As at November 2020, the US dollar equivalent of 1 bitcoin is over $18,000 as opposed to its initial value of $13,000 in October 2020.
Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are available in many parts of the world already, and they appreciate over time. So, after you purchase them and they appreciate, you can sell them off or leave them to keep on appreciating.
However, as with any business, there’s a risk of value depreciating. Still, one hack here is to follow the market statistics of the type of cryptocurrency you want to invest in.
Check the market value, stability, and consistency of the cryptocurrency. That way, you will know which is more profitable as there are so many cryptocurrencies available now.
3. Savings Accounts
While a savings account may be going out of fashion, it is still an effective way to save.
Basically, what this means is that you put your money in a bank account and let it gather interest.
A savings account is a low-risk investment plan which means that you are at less risk when investing here. Less risk, however, means little profit or returns.
You can use your savings account to pile up cash to procure other investments or prepare for unseen emergencies that would usually deplete your funds.
4. Real Estate Investment Funds (REIT)
REIT is a safe, reliable, and cheap way of investing money and acquiring ownership in houses, apartment complexes, and commercial properties.
You only need about $500 to start investing, and you get a monthly dividend payout of about 4 – 7% return on investment.
So, say you invest $5,000 with a 7% return on investment, that’s about $ monthly. However, as your capital increases, your returns on investments also increases.
There are two types of REIT.
- Equity REIT: Here, investors own properties and can generate revenue by renting them out.
- Mortgage REIT: Here, investors can own mortgages, purchase them from lenders, and loan money for mortgages. The investor then generates revenue from the interest earned on mortgage loans.
Whichever type of REIT you choose will largely depend on your capital, ROI value and the type of REIT you are most comfortable with.
5. Investment Bonds
The overall size of global bond markets is estimated to be worth over $128 trillion, meaning that the bond market total capitalization is more than that of the stock market, although neither is small literally.
Unfortunately, the stock market gets more press and media attention than the bond market.
Here’s how investment bonds work.
You loan a certain amount of money to a company. That company will then pay you the profit from your loan over the specified period of the bond.
Investment bonds are not great opportunities to skyrocket the value of your investment and earn multi-bagger returns. However, it is a simple and straightforward means of saving your money and earning a decent ROI.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Negotiation is that strategic discussion you have with another party whereby you both settle your differences about an issue and reach a compromise peacefully.
It is important you note that negotiation is never about the argument but always about reaching an agreement.
As you begin to negotiate frequently, you get more comfortable talking about money, attaining financial freedom, and living an abundant life.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully.
1. Ask for It All
When presidents of major countries negotiate terms, they ask for more than what the other party can accept.
The assumption is that you can always have back your initial offering if you ask for it all.
It is always difficult to increase your price and easier to lower it once the negotiation starts. So, since you have increased your price from the onset, you can always lower it during negotiation without losing anything.
2. Don’t be Afraid or Ashamed to Negotiate
Negotiating doesn’t make you look petty if you do it with the right amount of decency.
It simply means you’re politely but firmly exerting the fact that you do not see the reason why a product or service should cost as much as it does.
Opinions are like noses, and fortunately, everybody has one. So, there is no need to be scared that the other party would get angry or be ashamed that they will look down on you.
3. Research the Other Party
It’s so easy to assume that other people want the same thing that we want, and unfortunately, that’s never the case most times.
Hence, you need to know all about the person you are dealing with.
Ask yourself these questions in the image below as you try to find out who they are.
Negotiating when you know the perspective of the other party will always lead to better results.
4. Point Out Faults
Nothing deflates anyone’s competence and edge to bargain like the realization of a flaw in their product or services.
It could be as tiny as a speck. However, as long as it isn’t meant to be there, you should utilize that opportunity.
Point it out repeatedly to the other party and exaggerate on how that spoils the deal. Make it clear you came for a perfect product or service and that if you would settle for less, they equally have to get less.
However, note that this is not an avenue to pick on products that have no flaw whatsoever because it can ruin your relationship with the retailer. If a product or service is good and clean, then you may want to keep this card in your pockets.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
If you ever feel like you are not getting the right deal, then you should walk away.
Don’t be too emotionally caught up in getting what you want that you neglect the opportunities of getting a better rate somewhere else.
Go and try your sweet-talking in a different place. You might get it there.
However, even if you don’t, nothing stops you from going back to that same place to get what you want.
Always remember it’s your money being spent which is that’s enough reason for you to be firm with your decisions.
6. Don’t Give Up
You can’t become a professional negotiator in one week.
If you want to get to that point where you can negotiate off your back or maybe even sell online courses to people on how to negotiate, then you have to keep trying all the time.
Just go out there sometimes and haggle for the fun of it. By so doing, you’re building your negotiation muscles.
Also, don’t be discouraged if you have had any unsuccessful negotiations. Acknowledge the mistakes you made and improve on them.
Make Continuous Education and Life-Long Learning a Habit
Learning, as we all know, is a continuous process.
Every day, we see increasing reasons why anyone can’t afford to stop learning. Let’s see some of them in the image below.
So, in order to stay updated with the advancements in the world and attain financial freedom and wealth, you must prioritize continuous education and life-long learning and make it a habit.
The concept behind continuous education and life-long learning is that when you expand your knowledge in an ongoing way, it creates a challenge of always working to achieve something new in an attempt to reach the next goal.
This sense of challenge then keeps you motivated and inspired to accomplish all your goals.
However, this means that you’ll have to be consistent in learning in and beyond formal educational settings.
Here are the easy steps you can take to make continuous education and lifelong learning a habit.
1. Discover Your Interest
What field interests you the most? Is it Politics, Entrepreneurship, or History?
What events do you expect your life to play out in the nearest future? It could be managing and leading teams at your workplace, better relationships with people around you, or coaching people.
Find out the various subjects that you are interested in. If you have not specified these subjects, you may find yourself moving from one knowledge genre to the other without gaining any understanding.
When you are aware of your passions, ambitions, and their outcomes, it helps you streamline what you will be learning, how you will study them, and what resource materials will be best for you.
After discovering what you want to learn, set up objectives that motivate you to pursue more knowledge about those subjects.
For instance, you can choose to plan a reading chart that lets you read at least five books on every subject of your interest within one year.
2. Create Time to Learn
Be intentional about fixing learning periods into your schedules.
Fill in those unproductive activities in your day with learning activities or create time on your schedule for learning even if your schedule is busy.
You can take 30 minutes or one hour to learn, take classes, or read educational materials on the internet.
Just ensure to create some time out of your daily routines to learn something.
You can decide at which time and at what place you’ll learn and be committed to it as you would to an appointment with an actual person.
3. Learn, Learn and Learn
There has never been a time when knowledge is so available on multiple learning channels as now.
Presently, there are over 400GB of information available online, revealing to you how much information is available for your learning purpose.
Whatever topic it is you want to learn, there are hundreds and thousands of ready materials in varying forms waiting for you. However, it all depends on your preferred learning style.
While some may prefer reading books, some may prefer watching videos that explain the subject. Just ensure you’re doing what works for you.
Circumstances may also play a role in deciding what learning style to adopt.
For instance, if you are always on the road, using audiobooks or audio-taped materials would be your best learning option.
As time progresses, your passions may change, and so should your learning materials.
4. Surround Yourself with Likeminded People
Learning will easily become a habit if you surround yourself with people who also take learning seriously.
Ask yourself these questions.
Do my friends value continuous education and life-long learning?
Do they motivate me to continue learning?
If they are not life-long learners themselves and do not motivate you to be one, the chances are that you may struggle as you try to make this a habit.
That’s also not encouraging you to sever all relationships with those who are not quite enthusiastic about learning; rather, it advises you to evaluate those around you.
Surrounding yourself with people who can motivate you to take continuous education and life-long learning seriously makes your progress in learning measurable and exciting.
Frugal Lifestyle: Live Below Your Means to Have Cash to Invest
Ordinarily, the term “living below your means” can be misleading. However, it is one of the best ways to help you save cash to invest.
Living below your means does not mean that you can’t spend money doing the things you love.
Instead, you make conscious financial decisions to save extra money, create a spending budget, and cut back on unnecessary expenses so that you can have cash to invest.
Here are five amazing tips that will help you maintain a frugal lifestyle and live below your means adequately.
1. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is one great tool that can help you live a frugal lifestyle.
Write out your needs for the season according to their scale of preference and create a budget, calculating your income and expenses.
That will make it easier for you to know what you truly need and don’t need. It also makes price allocation to those needs easy.
Having a firm grasp on your finances will prevent unnecessary debts from recurring and help you focus on how much you can achieve with less money.
Budgeting also helps you mark out areas your creativity can help reduce the financial implication.
For instance, you could cut spending by eating more home-made meals than buying take-outs regularly.
2. Reduce Unnecessary Spending
In 2017, over $60,000 was the average annual expenditure of Americans, which is over 80% of their yearly income.
Although these expenditures cover every area of American life, it’s a lot of money to spend, and there won’t be much left to save or invest.
An easy hack here would be to cut back spending in some of these life areas.
So, before you make any purchase, ask yourself this question, “Do I really need this?”
Analyze the importance of the purchase and if it is something you can live without, then forfeit it.
Depending on your choices, here are a few areas you can reduce unnecessary spending.
Cars, Houses, and Clothes
You can have enough cash to invest if you reduce your taste from just what you can afford to something lesser yet provides comfort.
Ask yourself, “Do I really need that latest Air Jordan?” before you proceed to make any purchase.
Even though you may have enough money for a big mansion, choose a smaller house instead, which allows space for you, your family, and your belongings.
You can go for smaller cars that consume less gas than the SUVs or the latest Range Rover and also spend less on clothes by shopping at thrift stores. Doing this will save you a lot of income.
Cancel out subscriptions whose purposes can be replaced by cheaper means.
You do not really need magazine subscriptions when you can easily get all the information or entertainment on the internet. You also do not need to be subscribed to all the entertainment platforms.
Cut down on those subscriptions which are not essential at the moment and which you can live without.
Reduce the frequency at which you eat out or, if you can, stop eating out at all.
That’s because it is way cheaper to make your meal at home than eating at restaurants or ordering take-out.
However, in cases where you must eat out, avoid visiting restaurants with exorbitant prices.
3. Do Things Yourself
In order to live a frugal lifestyle, you should consider rendering certain services to yourself.
If you pay someone to change the oil in your vehicle, you can decide to cut that and start changing it yourself.
If you pay for laundry services to take care of your clothes or a housekeeper to take care of your house, you should start caring for your clothes and house yourself.
It may take some level of effort and time, but it’s way cheaper.
4. Stop Impulse Online Purchase
Online stores are increasing every day, with over 2 billion online shoppers worldwide.
Wondering why the large number?
That’s because online shopping is much easier and less stressful to engage in, unlike physical shopping.
Just from the comfort of your home, you can make so many orders and have them delivered to your doorstep.
So, it’s very easy for anyone to continuously buy things and even make purchases for the things that they don’t need at that moment.
However, to live a frugal lifestyle, you must avoid the temptation of impulse purchases from online stores.
One hack here is to delete all the online store apps from your devices and engage more in physical shopping than online shopping.
You must also be true to yourself and be disciplined because these online stores can also be accessed via their website even after deleting the apps.
5. Save From the Onset
To avoid any form of temptation, divert money from your paycheck to your savings account, or investment account immediately when you get paid.
Nowadays, most financial institutions allow automatic transfers, so set an automatic transfer limit with your financial institution so that whenever you get paid, funds automatically disperse to the accounts you selected.
Take Good Care of Your Health
It’s so easy to get caught up in your quest for financial freedom that you can leave your health unattended.
However, as much as attaining financial freedom is essential, living healthy will ensure that you enjoy all you have worked for.
When you continuously neglect your body, it won’t take long before your body starts demanding that you take care of it. By then, you may be spending the money meant for your savings or investments to treat yourself.
To prevent this, below are five ways to ensure that you stay healthy.
1. Exercise Your Body for a Happy Mind
Ideally, anyone would think exercise is just for weight loss or to get the perfect body shape and size.
While this is right, exercise does far more than that.
In addition to that, when you exercise, the body releases certain brain chemicals called endorphins.
These endorphins interact with your brain receptors triggering a positive feeling in your body, which leaves you feeling relaxed.
2. Keep a Journal
Psychologists James Pennebaker and Sandra Beall examined the effect of writing on 46 undergraduates for 15 minutes on four consecutive evenings.
They reported a long-term decrease in health problems of those that participated.
Writing about your experiences, thoughts, worries, fears, plans, or gratitude can help you manage them in a healthy way.
Here’s how you can achieve this.
You can keep a journal beside your bed and make it a habit of writing in your journal first thing in the morning or late at night for 20 minutes daily.
Don’t be bothered about spelling or grammatical errors. Once you begin journaling, the only rule is that you have to continue until your time is up.
As you constantly write in your journal, you’ll always be reminded of the things that matter to you, and that will contribute significantly to your peace of mind.
3. Visit the Doctor Regularly
Going to the hospital or booking a doctor's appointment should not be only when you are physically ill.
You should set appointments with your doctor and make it a routine activity.
Get checked regularly for every kind of common illness for people in your age bracket.
Also, judiciously follow the doctor’s advice and take vitamins and other mineral supplements recommended by the doctor, which can help you maintain good health.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Only a well-rested body and mind can achieve great goals, which can be gotten when you have enough sleep.
In fact, sleeping is just as important as exercising.
The UK lost over €40 billion in 2016 and is set to lose over €46 billion in 2025 because of lack of productivity caused by lack of sleep.
So, how long do you sleep?
Doctors recommend an 8-hour daily sleep, but unfortunately, many young people are not getting enough sleep.
Sleeping adequately helps reduce stress, improve your mood, improve concentration and productivity, and elevate your immune function, all of which are critical considerations for living a healthy life and attaining financial freedom.
5. Schedule Time for Yourself
It’s almost normal to exclude time for yourself from your daily activities.
You’ll always fix important meetings, conference calls, and submission deadlines, and by the time you are done, you find out that there’s no space left for YOU.
Even the weekend is not an option as so many people take their work home with them and never really get any time off.
So, when next you are filling your daily schedule, try to include time for yourself in the schedule.
If you are not used to it, you can start by filling out time for a little morning meditation or some sort of spiritual awakening activity.
Once you have gotten a hold of that, you can include more time for yourself to visit family and friends, go on a mini-break, or go for a personal appointment.
This way, you focus on the things you enjoy, which will keep you motivated and energized as you fulfill your daily activities and attain financial freedom.
Set up an Emergency Fund
There will always be emergencies and unexpected expenses ranging from surprise medical expenses, emergency home repairs to living expenses after a job loss.
When any of that happens, how prepared are you to tackle it?
In a summer Bankrate survey, 21% of Americans said they don’t have any emergency savings, while 35% said they have less emergency savings now prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s quite a sorry position to be in because not being able to pay for surprise emergencies can lead to debt accumulation and a pile of unpaid bills.
Thus, it is critical to set up an emergency fund to avoid allowing unexpected expenses to lead you down the road to financial impotence.
Just as the name suggests, an emergency fund is the cash savings you set aside specifically for those essential and unexpected expenses.
In addition to catering for the unexpected, having an emergency fund will also help you stop spending on impulse and prevent you from making bad financial decisions.
Usually, emergency funds should be easily accessible but not so easily accessible that you’ll be tempted to make withdrawals for your regular spending. It should also cover at least three months of your expenses.
Here’s how you can set up an emergency fund easily.
1. Determine the Amount You Want to Save
Before you set up an emergency fund, you need to know how much to save and set that as your target. Setting a target will keep you focused and motivated till you reach your goal.
For instance, if your monthly expenses cost $1,000, you will need $3,000 as an emergency fund to cover your three months expenses or $6,000 as your emergency fund to cover your six months expenses.
However, note that there’s no outright amount of money that is perfect for an emergency fund.
You can start small while making sure that the amount you have planned to save is realistic.
You can begin by building your emergency fund to cover your three months expenses or setting your goal at $10 per week for a year or $20 per week for six months and then increasing it as you complete each milestone.
2. Select a Place to Save Your Emergency Funds
When choosing a place to save your emergency funds, you should consider the following in the image below.
The easiest place that fulfills these points and will help you accomplish this task easily is a savings account linked to your checking account.
Most savings accounts are covered by FDIC insurance of up to $250,000, so in case of bank failure, your savings are safe.
You can also consider using a money market account where you can earn interest on every cent you have saved in the account.
However, a money market account is different from a savings account because a money market account requires a higher minimum balance.
3. Track Your Emergency Fund
Having a budget is the best way to track your emergency fund and ensure that you’re staying true to completing the target.
As you create a budget for your expenses, include the amount for your emergency fund in it.
The amount set aside should be one that you are most comfortable with, which wouldn’t strain your pockets.
If you are finding it difficult to raise enough money for your savings, you should strike out the unnecessary expenses from your budget. These are things that are not pressing and which you can do without.
4. Move Money Into Your Savings Account Automatically
After you have tracked your emergency fund and decided on the amount to deposit into the savings account, you should set up an automatic transfer to take place from your checking account into your savings account.
That way, funds are automatically removed from your checking account into your savings account, and you won’t have to think about it or be tempted to tamper with it.
5. Assess Your Emergency Funds
You’ll need to assess your emergency funds monthly to know how much you have saved and keep a general track of your savings.
That will help you make meaningful and significant decisions towards the funds.
If there’s a change in your financial situation, you can also reflect it in your emergency funds.
Last Word on Setting Up an Emergency Fund
If you set your emergency fund to cater to three months’ expenses and you have successfully reached the goal, you might be tempted to stop saving.
However, don’t fall for that. Keep on saving.
If an emergency requires more money than the three-month limit that you had set, you’ll be glad that you have this money at hand.
Always remember that the money is for emergency purposes, and there’s really no right amount of money that suits emergencies perfectly.
Wrap Up on Habits to Reach Financial Freedom and Wealth
Building these 11 habits will not happen overnight. But if you are determined to attain financial freedom and wealth, making these habits a personal commitment is a sure way to get there.
At first, these habits may seem challenging to adopt, especially when cutting down on unnecessary things. I mean, those things were not unnecessary to you before now.
However, duly obeying these 11 habits will help you build the character and skill that will make you successful.
It will also offer you the opportunity to make money, climb out of debts, save for emergencies, reach financial freedom and wealth and live a prosperous life, the life that you’ve always envisioned.
So, what are you waiting for? Your time to finally become a wealthy and financially free individual is here. Start building these habits by taking your first leap of faith and setting clear and motivating goals for yourself.