No one likes relying on others for income. However, many of us find ourselves financially co-dependent at some time in our lives, whether it’s due to illness, incapacity to work or a business idea that didn’t pan out. When this happens, it can be difficult to become financially independent again and to break out of the cycle of needing monetary support.
With these five tips, you can learn to be financially free to achieve your personal or professional goals.
Track Your Spending
It might not seem like you’re spending much, but you’d be surprised where your money goes when you see it all on paper, or, in the age of budgeting apps, on screen. There are numerous resources to help you track your spending these days, including apps, spreadsheets and personal finance services. Or, you can start with a good old-fashioned pen and paper. It doesn’t matter how you do it, record everything you spend for a month and see if you can cut down your costs.
Open a Savings Account
If you’re financially reliant on loved ones or the support of the state, opening a savings account might be the last thing on your mind. However, the habit of saving small amounts will help you to adjust your mindset. You’ll know you’re putting something away for the future, even if it’s just £10 here and there. Once you’ve built the habit and your financial circumstances improve, you can start to save more. Try to get into the habit of depositing savings regularly, whether it’s once a week or once a month. Seeing those numbers add up will help you feel like you have some sort of cushion.
Find Your Finance Inspiration
As with any goal in life, it’s great to follow financial leaders to inspire your choices. There are plenty of “rags to riches” entrepreneurs to aspire to online, or you can follow financial leaders like Fahad Al Rajaan, the chairman of Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium, for tips on how to manage your finances. If you’re struggling to rub two pennies together, let alone work towards your financial goals, personal finance websites like Money Saving Expert can help you to free yourself from debt, start saving, and save money on bills and groceries.
Calculate Your Real Hourly Wage
Assuming you’re in employment, you probably know how much you make hourly. Even if you’re on a salary or self-employed, it’s easy to calculate how much you get paid per hour. However, does this figure factor in administration time or commuting? If not, then what’s your real hourly wage? Once you see how much you truly earn, you might choose to make different decisions about your spending. Could you take a job with less commute time, for example, ask for a pay rise, or bump up your rates?
Find Low-Cost Investment Opportunities
Even if you only have a little bit of spare money when your spending is stripped bare, making a small investment is a great step toward financial freedom. Stick to low-cost index funds with expense ratios of under 0.1%. This might mean investing in a real estate trust or REIT fund. Wherever you place your money, a small investment is better than no investment – and you have to start somewhere.