Financial freedom is a journey
What does financial freedom look like for you?
But financial freedom isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. It’s a target that you need to work towards over many years, with strategic and careful planning.
Set clear goals
The first step to achieving financial freedom is to decide exactly what it means to you.
Is it being debt-free, mortgage-free and being able to pay unexpected costs without worrying? Or is it more ambitious, with all the above plus being able to enjoy hobbies and pursuits such as regular holidays?
Deciding what financial freedom looks like to you is really important so you can devise a plan that reflects the outcomes you want to see.
Get on top of your finances
It’s crucial that you have a good oversight on how much money you have coming in, your expenses and what you’re saving.
By making sure you have a holistic understanding of your finances, you can create a budget that reflects your income, expenses and savings targets.
You could also identify areas where you could cut back, so funds can be reallocated to other priorities, such as savings, pensions and paying down debts.
Create an emergency fund
You don’t want your journey to financial freedom to be derailed by sudden and unexpected expenses, such as repairs to your home or replacing expensive household appliances.
It’s therefore well worth setting aside a pot of money exactly for when disasters and unforeseen events strike, so you have a safety net in place in case the worst happens, and don’t have to dip into your all-important savings accounts.
Pay off high interest debts first
If you have multiple debts to pay off, prioritise those with the highest interest charges, as these will ultimately be more costly in the long run.
Paying these debts off first can free up more money overall, which again can be diverted towards helping you achieve your financial goals.
Diversify your investments
You can invest your money in countless ways, from pensions and Individual Savings Accounts to stocks, shares and various asset types.
If your money is invested in different ways, you’ll be less exposed to risk, so your wider portfolio will be better placed to withstand any shocks or slumps in the economy or wider markets.
You should also make a point of regularly reviewing and adjusting your investment strategy at least once a year, as your financial goals and circumstances may evolve over time and your portfolio needs to reflect that.
Cut back on impulse buying
It’s so easy to spend a few pounds here and a few pounds there on items we don’t need without really thinking about it.
If you have a set financial objective in mind, it might be worth reviewing your bank statements and seeing how much money you’re spending on unnecessary impulse purchases.
That might then encourage you to reevaluate your spending habits, so you’re not wasting precious funds unnecessarily, when they could instead be helping you reach your goal sooner rather than later.
Seek professional financial advice
If what we’ve described seems overwhelming and time-consuming, then help is at hand, as a professional financial planner can work with you to devise a financial strategy, based around your specific needs and aspirations.
By working with a regulated specialist in this field, the pressure of getting on top of your finances is removed, and you can trust them to oversee your financial affairs while you get on with living your life.
That can make a huge difference to you when you’re making big financial decisions, and allows you to move forward with a degree of confidence, certainty and assurance that you’re doing the right thing.
If you have any questions about managing your finances and setting yourself up for the future, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to speak with you.