Few people ever attain financial independence. This is a shame, because it’s not that challenging, provided you get started in early adulthood. You probably don’t want to be one of those people that work for 40+ years and still can’t retire because you haven’t accumulated enough money over the years.
No one wants to work in their later years if they can avoid it. You have other things you’d rather do. With financial independence, you have the freedom to live any way that you choose.
1. Waiting too long to begin saving and investing. Time can be your friend or your enemy in investing.
- When you start early, it’s amazing how little you have to save each month to become wealthy by retirement age.
- However, if you wait too long, it’s amazing how much you have to save each month to reach the same level of savings.
- Use one of the online savings calculators and prove it to yourself. Play around with the contribution amounts and the number of years.
2. A lack of financial goals. You’re just floating adrift if you don’t have financial goals. Goals provide a context for choosing your behaviors and making other important decisions.
- If you don’t have financial goals, now is the time to make them.
3. A lack of an emergency fund. An emergency fund isn’t very exciting, but it can have a large effect on your financial independence. Without an emergency fund, you can be forced to dip into your savings or your retirement accounts. This can be disastrous.
4. A greater interest in short-term pleasure than long-term security. Would you rather enjoy a pizza or look good on the beach next summer? Would you rather buy something you don’t really need or save the money for the future? Short-term enjoyment is the enemy of long-term progress.
5. A failure to maximize income. How much you save is impacted by how much you earn. Make a real effort to maximize your career growth. Do what you can to increase your earnings. Too many people just settle into a comfortable job and ride it out as long as they can.
6. Overspending. The more you spend, the less you can save. It’s that simple. You’d be surprised how many wealthy people spend relatively little.
- Take a look at your spending over the last few years and think about what you have to show for it. Would you rather have those items, or would you rather have all of that money back?
7. Too much debt. Debt is another roadblock to your financial independence. Debt is just spending with added interest. Debt is a major source of stress, too. Work to pay off your debt. Keep in mind that the less debt you have, the more money you can save.
8. Caring too much about what others think. Why do you want to live in a fancier, and larger, home than you need? Why do you want an expensive car? If you’re honest with yourself, it’s largely to impress others.
- Ask yourself what car you would purchase if no one would ever see it or know about it.
Everyone should have the goal of financial independence. With enough money, you don’t have to work for a living. You can spend your time as you please.
Financial independence is a possibility for everyone. Make a plan and get started today. Time is on your side if you start early enough. Get started today if you haven’t already.