Rules for Financial Freedom

Stephen DeFilippis |

Are there certain rules you can follow that will help you attain financial freedom? Fortunately the answer is a resounding yes! My next several blog posts will cover some commonly accepted principles that, when followed, will go a long way to helping you achieve financial freedom:

Too much month left at the end of the money? Pay yourself first! Aim to save 15% of your income for retirement. Utilize all options available to you: 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, annuities, etc. And don’t leave your company’s 401(k) match on the table.

Setup a budget. Most people have no idea how much they spend or how they spend it. There are many apps and software programs available to help you automate your budget. Once you have a handle on where your money is being spent, you can determine where you can eliminate discretionary spending and redirect this towards savings. Make savings a priority in your budget.

Did you get a raise, receive a bonus? Save it! Most people increase their spending when they get a bonus or a raise. If you save it instead, it will not impact your current lifestyle and will improve your chances for achieving the retirement lifestyle you want.

We live in a consumption society. We are constantly bombarded with messages urging us to spend, spend, spend. “You need this”, “you can’t live without this”. Unless we are disciplined, it is easy to rack up significant amounts of debt “keeping up with the Joneses”. My experience with my clients proves to me that financial freedom doesn’t depend on how much you earn, it depends on how much of what you earn is saved. Distinguish between needs and wants and focus your spending on needs. Live beneath your means. It just takes discipline and determination.

Even saving a small amount each month can significantly accumulate over time. For example, if you save an extra $5 per week that adds up to $260 per year. Over thirty years that equals $7,800, and that's assuming you don't invest this money and enjoy the benefits of compound earnings!

I can help you set up a budget or review your current budget. I can also help you devise saving strategies that can help you change your behavior from consumer to saver.