Budget for financial freedom

Monday, October 24, 2016 1 Comments


There is nothing glamorous about having a budget. You'll have to start saying no and most likely develop a shopping list and meal plan. This takes a lot of structure and can be exhausting. But in the long run, you'll end up keeping money in the bank for when you really need it.

In my mind, there are two ways to get rich. Either you provide a service (entertainment, technology, etc) that makes it big or you save and invest for retirement. The latter is what I'll talk about in this article. It's usually seen as the safe, get-rich-slowly plan but if done right, it is the most full-proof. The downside to getting rich slowly is that you tend to live a more conservative life and you won't be able to enjoy your money until close to retirement.

Now don't get me wrong guys, I'd love to live it up like the celebs. And I'm not telling you to give up on those dreams. What I'm trying to say is to have a fall-back. Always have a backup plan in case your dreams take a little longer to flourish. Work hard at your day job while using it to support your goals. But also try to put a little of that money into a savings account, a retirement account, etc. Just a little something, something for an important expense. I'm in no way a financial expert. If I were, I'd probably be a millionaire by now. I'm also not the best when it comes to money management. But what I am is someone who is trying and who understands the struggle of reaching financial freedom.

By nature, I'm a spender. And as such, I find it hard to see money just sitting there doing nothing. I start thinking of all the things I could buy. The clothes, food, makeup, hair products! I'm sure you guys can relate. But I've slowly developed the discipline to go through a series of questions before every purchase. Do I really need this? Was this a planned purchase or am I just emotional? Do I have something similar? What will I remove to make space for this item? How many hours of work do these items cost and are they worth it? These questions help me decide if this is a planned expense or an impromptu one. Based on my answer I can tell if I'm making a financially intelligent decision.

Let's say you get paid bi-weekly. What I'd suggest is to split your bills between checks. Figure out when each bill is due and pay them with the check that comes in around that time. Figure out how much you make after taxes, total up your bills, and subtract them from your income. The money left over is how much you have for food, gas for your car, and savings. You'll have to adjust your numbers accordingly and the longer you do this the more money you'll be able to move around to build up your savings account.

I do realize I'm coming from the viewpoint of someone who has the extra money to put towards a savings account. I understand majority of us don't have that luxury. Most people are overworked and tired. I totally get it. I know what it's like to have 3 jobs and in school full time. I know what it's like to not know if you'll make rent this month or where you're next meal will come from. Trust me I've been there and I can honestly say that things wont change unless you find a way to learn new skills that will increase your pay. You'll have to sacrifice sleep and having fun to do this but if you don't the situation wont improve.

I tend to be an optimist. Probably more than I need to be. But I believe there is always a way out of any situation. You just have to tell yourself that failure is not an option and give it 100% of your effort. If you do that and always focus on the good things (no matter how small) I can assure you things will start working out.

Love,
Ruseberry


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