When we are young it is easy to settle into a free-wheeling approach to money. We generally don’t have a significant number of obligations and the future consequences of our actions seem so far away.
However as we get older these habits can stick around, impacting our future financial stability. Trying to change them can feel very daunting and procrastination inducing.
When it comes to my quest for financial freedom I found inspiration in the decisions these financially free individuals consider life changing.
Making no financial decision is the worst financial decision – Kelly Burch, Financial Journalist
Financial freedom is built from the amount of money you have going to investments and the amount of time you have it going there.
The longer you procrastinate and don’t invest, the more money your future self is losing out on.
And this isn’t just about investing, when it comes to financial decisions such as a will, insurance and such you cannot afford to procrastinate.
Kelly’s best financial decision was deciding to take action. She visited a financial planner and started on her financial freedom journey.
If you cannot control your money, you cannot control your life – Sam Dogan, Financial Samorai
Sam Dogan realised early in life he wanted financial freedom and the way to get it was to be the master of his money.
He diligently planned his spending, lived a frugal life and relentlessly diverted all his excess cash to building his assets.
While his focus was on achieving financial independence by 28, it may not necessarily be yours and total self-denial and self-depravation is not a way I want to be living my life every day to be honest. His focus on directing his money to where he wanted it to go is a good lesson to take away, nonetheless.
Make sure every penny you earn has a job, and that job is to make sure you get to live the life you want to be living, now and in the future.
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” — Robert G Allen
Saving has a place in everyone’s financial plan, however if it is the only way you are hoping to grow your money you will be disappointed because money earning interest in a savings account is likely to be earning less than the rate of inflation effectively reducing the value of this money over time.
While savings accounts are considered a safe bet for your money, the return is very risky in terms of achieving your financial goals.
In order to reach your financial freedom number you are going to have to take on some risk in the form of investing.
And the simplest way to get started is to start a monthly allocation to passive index tracker funds, automate it, and leave time to do its thing.
“By periodically investing in an index fund the know-nothing investors can actually outperform most investment professionals” Warren Buffett
Avoid debt that can harm your financial security – Helen Modly CFP
Debt can be a valuable lever for building wealth. However debt that stretches you financially and causes significant financial stress is bad debt. Avoid this debt or pay it off.
Helen learnt early in her career that the other “bad debts” to avoid are:
- High Interest Debt. This typically attached to unsecured consumer debt such as credit cards. Credit cards are useful financial tools but be sure you can pay the full balance off at the end of each period to avoid the high interest charges.
- Debt to purchase a depreciating asset: These assets don’t increase in value over time and typically include cars, vacations and shopping sprees. By using debt on these types of assets you are effectively stealing from your future self. As your future self will still be paying this debt when there is nothing of value attached to it!