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Steps to Financial Freedom: You have to OWN Your Financial Life
To achieve financial freedom, you have to own your financial life. Don't think of your finances like something that is happening to you. Treat the money flows like a business. What is your income? What are your expenses? Where can you reduce costs and boost income?
Treat it Like a Business
- How can you find new revenue streams?
- Can you negotiate a raise?
- Can you make an investment that will return greater than a savings account over time (CDs, Bonds, Stocks, Real Estate)?
- How can you handle financial flows to minimize taxes--401k, IRAs, Health Savings Accounts, itemized write-offs? (These tax minimization strategies effectively increase your income.)
- Where can you reduce expenses on fuel?
- Where can you minimize costs by buying in bulk?
- Where can you simply cut out costs altogether?
- What expenses will actually make you more income in the future (investments in education, moving to a new job)?
- What are the costs of your commute? Can you carpool? Work from home? Move much closer to work and just walk?
- What are your fixed costs (insurance, housing, taxes, and more). How can you reduce these?
- Where do you shop? Can you buy the exact same product somewhere else and save money?
- Where are you buying gas? Can you find it cheaper elsewhere?
- What are your expenses for owning your vehicle? Is this the right vehicle for you when you look at your finances as a business?
- Are you mindlessly buying bottles of water day-in-and-day-out because you're too disorganized to simply fill up your own bottle at the start of the day?
- Are you batching errands to save time, gas, and wear and tear on your car?
It's Time For You To Own It
Warning, I'm NOT encouraging you to adopt the Scrooge Mentality. This is about both Offense (boosting income) and Defense (chopping expenses). Really, you are just professionalizing how you relate to money, financial flows, and your career.
You can master this area of your life. It's really just basic math. But you need to own it.