Need Tips for Financial Independence?
As the July Fourth holiday descends upon us, so too will a smorgasbord of hot dogs, hamburgers and varieties of mayo-infused “salads.” As you celebrate America’s independence, take a look at your own financial state. Do you feel financially independent? If you need some help, take a look at some ways you can achieve varying degrees of financial freedom.
The first step to financial independence is understanding your finances and tracking your spending. A budget can help you manage your monthly payments, as well as help you save for the future. Additionally, you can maintain control with Ameris Bank Mobile App Card Controls.
Forming a budget will allow you to better understand where your money goes after your paycheck hits your account. Allocating money for monthly expenses like mortgage and car payments, utilities and insurance will show you how much is left over for things such as entertainment, travel and investments. That will provide some true peace of mind when you are indulging in luxuries such as a dinner out.
Spend Less Than You Earn
This one seems pretty simple, right? Running in conjunction with the budget advice above, spending less than you earn is a matter of discipline.
Keeping up with the Joneses is a trap as old as time in the personal finance world. Avoiding it while sticking well within your means will allow you to sleep easy at night, as the cushion under your head resembles the cushion in your bank account.
Focus on Paying Off Debt Sooner than Later
You work hard for your money. No matter what you choose to spend your money on, one of the worst things it can go to is an interest payment. No matter where your debts live, focusing on shrinking those outstanding balances will put more money into your pocket.
Some debts are bigger than others, but all are conquerable with the right plan in place. If it means a night watching Netflix instead of buying tickets to a concert downtown, reallocating that saved money toward paying off debt can build over time. Set a plan, decide what you can cut from your budget to start paying off debt, and before you know it, a mountain of debt can resemble a molehill in no time.
Build Out Reserve Funds
There are many things in life for which you can prepare, but not even the most fervent of Boy Scouts can always be prepared. Life throws curveballs in the way of unexpected medical bills, fender benders, new members of the family and more. Those unexpected expenses can provide stress, both on your state of mind and on your wallet.
While some things are unavoidable, what isn’t unavoidable is your way of preparing for the unexpected. By putting away some money from each paycheck toward a rainy-day fund, when something comes out of left field, you’ll have your glove ready.
Piggybacking off the last tip is something that will help your piggybank: investing in quality insurance. It may seem like the right decision at the time to have less money taken out of a paycheck for lesser coverage for your home, car or health. When that insurance is needed, however, you could be looking at a much more formidable bill than the money you saved over time.
It could wind up that you were stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Only you can decide what is right for your home, car and health given your circumstances. Just be sure to consider what would happen if you get sick, your car gets hit or you forget about the macaroni and cheese in the oven.
Monitor Your Subscription Services
In the era of streaming, deliverable items and digital media, there is a subscription service for just about everything. Sometimes, companies will ask you to subscribe up-front to save off your initial purchase, and you wind up forgetting you ever signed up in the first place. It may be less than a dollar per month, or significantly more than that, but it compounds to real money over time.
You can check for annual or monthly deductions from your financial accounts, and most phones will allow you to see the subscriptions you are signed up for through your apps. Every once in a while, it is prudent to review what you are paying for each month or year and decide if you really need it in your life, or know you had it at all.
Even implementing one of these tips could help you get on the right track to financial independence. Start with small steps and, before you know it, you will have made big jumps in the financial independence world.
By: Michael Quirk
Michael Quirk is the communications coordinator for Ameris Bank. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Katy, and their two dogs. He enjoys running, playing fetch with his golden retriever and watching any sports that come across the TV.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.