01 Jul What It Really Takes to Achieve Financial Freedom
Part of bringing the American dream to life is having financial freedom to live it.
Studies show that 80% of Americans are tied down in debt, living paycheck to paycheck.
While active measures are needed to unburden this economic weight, there’s something more that can help.
In order to be truly financially free, mindset and habits go a long way. Keep reading for 4 ways to help you achieve financial freedom.
#1 Have a Millionaire Mindset
You may not want to be a millionaire, but to be financially free, you must have the right mindset.
Neglecting your financial situation will not give you the financial freedom you crave…neither does just getting by.
If you want financial freedom, you must have an abundance mindset–a glass-half-full kind of outlook on life.
Here are a few tips on how to develop this kind of thinking…
- Be intent on what you want. If you operate from a lack mentality, you believe there is not enough to go around. This kind of thinking makes you believe the “prize” couldn’t be for you, and the result is that you are easily dissuaded when life gets tough. But, there is enough to go around. Focus on what you want, and be assertive about obtaining it. Millionaires have a play-to-win attitude, and do not let themselves be defeated.
- Set goals and go for them! Little in life is achieved without setting firm goals. Waiting on the luck of winning the lottery to lead you to financial freedom could mean waiting…forever. Create doable goals, and then take steps to get there. If you’re trying to save money for retirement, for example, set a yearly goal and work on achieving that goal. Then, set up practices that will lead to progress. Whether you want to invest in real estate or pay off your credit card, set your sight on the goal, and steadily go for it.
- Spend wisely. Millionaires truly understand the value of money and avoid excessive spending. They balance wants vs. needs and constantly weigh every financial decision against their larger goals. For example, if your goal is to have $20K in savings by the end of year and you’d like a new flat screen TV, take a moment to evaluate. Where are your priorities? Is it more important to have the TV or to invest that expense in a high-yield savings account?
- Aim high. Having measurable goals is part of the millionaire mindset, but so is dreaming big. Extend your get-rich mentality beyond the material benefits. Seeking ways to solve a problem or offer value to others provides drive and satisfaction. Approaching wealth from this angle is expansive and leads to opportunity.
#2 Make the Most of Opportunities
Achieving financial freedom has a lot to do with personal character.
When given tools and experiences, you have choices: You can optimize a situation or misuse it.
What type of person do you want to be–someone who seizes opportunities or someone who complains when trouble arises?
Making the most of opportunities is a key component of economic success.
With time as a commodity, it’s important to evaluate how you use it. Afterall, what you do with your time dictates your future income.
Utilizing time to expand your knowledge through books and courses, networking with others, or cultivating a side hustle has long-term benefits.
According to Business Insider, billionaire Warren Buffett would read 600, 750, or 1,000 pages of a book a day when he started his investing career. Certainly not easy, yet this practice builds knowledge and expertise.
Successful people continually learn and adapt.
Inquisitiveness, curiosity, and a quest for self-learning are qualities that will take you further than you ever imagined.
Invest in yourself this way, and you invest in a promising future.
#3 Choose Growth-Oriented Habits
Just as mindset determines your financial freedom, so do your habits.
Routine patterns dictate your economic reality.
On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. Starting now on both good economic and personal habits can get you closer to your goal.
Evaluate your behavior on a day-to-day basis and ask yourself…
- Is this habit enhancing or diminishing my energy?
- Can I use my free time to enhance my knowledge?
- Are my spending and saving habits contributing to my financial goals?
There are many ways to establish new positive money patterns.
From setting up automatic bill payments to maintaining good credit, the way you show up leads to large strides.
#4 Practice Positivity
It’s human nature to focus on the negative even when a series of positive events occur.
Taking a more optimistic approach to life, however, can shift outcomes.
Practicing positivity is meeting challenges with a more confident and productive attitude. This mental mindset keeps you on the path toward your goals.
Studies show that positive thinking benefits your mental and physical health, too.
Increased life span, lower rates of depression, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress are only some of these benefits.
So when you get that big tax bill or something unexpected sets you back, how do you show up?
Do you let it drag you down and affect your progress, or do you see the silver lining and move forward?
To think good thoughts, try the following…
- Keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude is a pathway to positivity. Writing down what you are grateful for leads to happiness, resilience, and increased self-worth. All are powerful feelings to fuel your journey toward financial freedom.
- Hush your inner critic. Dwelling on negative thoughts about ourselves, or others, only strengthens negative thinking. This stifles creativity, confidence, and progress. Interrupt negative thoughts, and stand up to your inner critic to change course.
- Avoid negative people. The people we spend time with have an impact on our attitudes. If you feel bad after spending time around certain people, try to shift the conversation or limit your interactions with them.
- Be generous. Generosity is a natural confidence booster. When showing kindness to others, we often feel good about ourselves. Additionally, we nurture feelings of community and interconnectedness.