From Debt to Financial Freedom
The vast majority of working people are in debt. The vast majority of people who are now in debt are always struggling to find better jobs with higher pay checks. As strange as it may sound the more you think about it the more you will come to realise that the more money people make the deeper they get into debt. It almost seems that finding another job with better pay check is not the most effective solution to get out of debt.
These same people are now so weary that they are wishing to be out of debt forever, dreaming to never have to worry about money, craving to be financially free.
As you know, jumping from being deep in debt to having financial freedom is not a small leap at all. To attain real freedom takes concrete planning and self-discipline in taking orderly and progressive steps from where you are now to where you want to be.
Before your finances can actually soar you need to get out of your deep hole of debt first. This should be your first goal. As soon as you are out of debt, you can easily embark your journey to your financial freedom!
Track your daily expenses
The aim for doing this is to know exactly where your money goes everyday. Record every incoming and outgoing penny and evaluate every week how much money you spent on necessities and how much money you could have saved. Was it really necessary to buy those $200 shoes using your credit card? Could you have bought something less expensive with the money you actually had in your wallet instead of using your credit card again?
By recording and evaluating your expenses regularly you will come to see that there actually are ways to reduce expenses and save money! The more money you can save everyday the more money you will have to pay off your debt completely.
Don't rob Peter to Pay Paul
Some people are so deep in debt that they don't know what to do. It is common that at some point they would obtain cash advance on one visa to pay other credit card bills.
Do not go through this kind of "rob Peter to pay Paul" strategy! They usually don't work. Most people are too easily tempted to further use the visa or the cash which was initially intended to pay other bills for shopping. Eventually, they wind up accumulating even more debt.
As you see there is no financial advantage for you in having more than one credit card. On the contrary, the "robbing Peter to pay Paul" strategy would only make your debt worse.
Cut up your credit cards and keep one card (if really necessary) for emergency ONLY.
Now that you are trying to get yourself out of debt and have actually started saving money to pay it off, stick to your plan and stop accumulating more debt. This should be your next goal.
One credit card can be very useful in case of emergency and having one credit card is usually still manageable. But if you are in debt with more than one credit card, in addition to other kinds of debt like car loan, mortgage etc., there will be times when you feel that you are drowning in it.
Choose one credit card to keep and cut up the rest. If you don't trust yourself enough lock up the one card you have in your drawer at home to make sure you never use it for shopping. Discipline yourself not to use it unless in an emergency. Remember: you want to get out of debt, not accumulate it!
Plan Your Debt Elimination Process
The best ways to start your debt elimination process is by first sitting down and making a plan of attack.
Write down each debt that you have: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, car loan and so on. Now, make a list of your debt, starting from the smallest total balance to the biggest.
What you are going to do is concentrate on one debt for the next few months (or years depending on how big your debt is) and start paying off all of them one by one. Focus on the smallest debt first. Write down the monthly minimum payment of the smallest debt you have and add the number up with a percentage of your net income.
Let's say the smallest debt you have is your Visa with the minimum payment of $148. The 5% of your net income is $70. For the next few months (or years) you will be paying off your Visa with the minimum payment PLUS the 5% of your net income, which is $218.
While you are focusing on your Visa, you should pay off the rest of your debt according to each monthly minimum payment agreement. This should go on until your Visa is paid off completely.
As soon as your Visa is paid off, you focus on the smallest debt. Like before, add up the minimum payment with 5% of your net income. But this time add the sum with the minimum payment of your Visa that is already paid off.
If your next smallest debt is the MasterCard with minimum payment of $183, this should be added up with the 5% of your net income AND the Visa minimum payment. The total payment for your MasterCard would be $401. Now that your Visa is paid off you have more money to pay off the rest of your debt faster.
Your next debt should be paid with the money you used before to pay off your Visa and your MasterCard minimum payment. This process should be repeated on and on until all your debt is eliminated.
By doing this you will shorten the years of your debt elimination process.
Manage Your Time and Money Wisely
Time and money is the most precious resources everybody has to actually attain financial freedom. But yet, none of us are taught in schools to manage them wisely.
Now you are in the process of paying off your debt. If you manage your time wisely to make more money to save or help to pay off your debt, you will not only speed up your debt elimination but retirement process and your financial freedom.
Devote some of your spare time to reducing your expenses and increasing your income. The sooner you become debt free the sooner you can save more money and invest to start working on your early retirement process and attain financial freedom.
Everybody knows the disadvantages of being in a debt. But not many of us are aware of the advantages of being debt-free. By being debt-free you have more money to save and invest to prepare for your retirement. And this should be your next goal. Use your time wisely to create extra money and use your extra money wisely to prepare for your retirement and eventually your financial freedom.
Create Passive Income
Now you have paid off your debt, taken up a side job and saved money for investing.
Your next important step to financial freedom is creating passive income.
Passive income is income which requires little or no work at all. Although it is possible to attain freedom just by saving, it will take decades to actually accumulate wealth. Some people never even make it there. By creating passive income you will not just be able to speed up your debt elimination and retirement process but also your journey to attain financial freedom.
The most powerful way to create passive income is by having your own small business or home-based business. This type of business does not require a lot of capital.
Keep your business expenses low and try to put aside a percentage of your net income for saving and another percentage for investing in your own business. Note that for the next 1-2 years you will be experiencing negative cash flow from your new business. But keep in mind that if you persistently invest your spare time, effort and money in your business, you will have all the quality time you want to spend with your family and friends, all the money you dream of for you, your family and even your grandchildren and all the freedom to live your life abundantly.
To learn more about financial freedom and how to achieve it visit http://www.financialfreedomawaits.com.
Resource Box: Dinar P. Wiria-Atmadja is the owner of FinancialFreedomAwaits.com, helping families and individuals achieve financial freedom in years instead of decades. Visit the site here at www.financialfreedomawaits.com">http://www.financialfreedomawaits.com. You are free to publish this article to your site as long as the article is not changed and the resource box is included.