Financial independence. If you ask 100 different people you’ll probably get 100 different answers as to what it actually is.
For most, it’s the ability to do what they like, when they like. If you love your job, it may simply mean that you continue to work but with a strong safety net behind you. For some it happens at retirement, but you can work towards achieving it long before you retire.
The idea sounds great, but to many people financial independence can seem like a pipe dream.
Here are 5 simple steps to help anyone start working towards a stress-free retirement today
Slash your expenses
This is a biggie. If you want to achieve financial freedom, having a good hard look at your current expenses is key.
You don’t have to go to austerity, eating beans and rice and listening to the radio. However, you should look at what you’re spending and where. Have a think about whether you’re really getting good value from that Netflix subscription or lunches out every day.
Pay down “bad” debts
Bad debts can be a financial independence killer. Credit card and other personal debts can quickly spiral out of control.
If you want to achieve financial freedom, paying down those high-interest debt obligations is an important step.
Look at balance transfers to low or no-interest cards and direct any spare cash towards paying down those bad debts.
To help you long term, it may pay to consolidate high interest personal debts into your home loan. The key here though is to not spend the extra interest / repayment savings, but increase your home loan repayments to help pay off your home loan sooner.
A lending specialist can be a good resource to guide you in this area.
Make a budget
Once your expenses and bad debts are under control, it’s time to make a budget.
Unless you’re very disciplined, it’s hard to achieve financial independence without some sort of budget. It’s a little bit like trying to drive to an unknown destination without a map.
A good tip is to sit down and make a budget of income, expenses and your personal “profit” each year. This will let you plot out how much of your income you’ll have left for investments, or to make extra lump sum payments off your home loan.
If you have a home loan, a key here may be to review your home loan to see if there are better options for you in the market that will help you achieve your goals!
Save a consistent portion of your income
It’s easy to splurge when you first see that income hit your bank account. Achieving financial independence doesn’t require magic, but it does require discipline.
Rather than spending that money, make sure that you save it. If you can consistently save a good portion of your pay, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom.
Invest, invest, invest!
Now that you’ve got your personal finances sorted, you can start to investigate investment options that may help you reach your ultimate goal of financial independence.
This may include an investment into property, shares, or even into your own business if you think that is the right path for you!
If you choose to invest, it always pays to seek advice from a licenced provider.
A final takeaway
This is just a quick guide to help potentially make your financial independence dreams a reality.
Increasing income can be challenging, particularly given the current economic landscape, but by slashing expenses and making a budget you’ll already be making positive steps in the right direction!
If your goal is to buy a house or invest and you need to borrow to do so, a lending specialist can review your current position and assess your eligibility.
It can all start with a simple phone or web chat.
Download our handy ebook today!
We hope you found this article helpful. If you'd like to discuss it further please fill in the form below and we'll be in touch.
This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.