Unless you are a pro athlete or a celebrity, chances are good you’re not happy with your financial circumstances. Luckily, there are strategies you can implement to help get you closer to where you would like to be so you can feel more financially fulfilled and in control of your present and future.
While the road to financial fulfillment might not be easy, it’s worth whatever struggle is involved to be able to sit on a nest egg and have the confidence that you can face whatever monetary hiccup comes your way.
9 Strategies To Get Proper Financial Fulfillment:
1. Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
This is a fairly new term and refers to the situation where a person’s income increases but so does their spending, essentially putting them in the same financial position as they were previously. How can you avoid this?
- Be hyper-aware of your spending
- Keep your financial goals a priority
- Purchase items only after you implement the 48-hour rule (wait 48 hours to be certain you still want them)
- Increase payments to credit cards and other debts to pay them off more quickly
2. Define Financial Freedom
What does becoming financially free mean to you? You might envision bi-annual tropical vacations or affording a luxury car. Whatever it is, write it down so it becomes more concrete. Drill down each goal to be as explicit as possible in how you will reach it. Use the SMART goal technique:
- Specific. Be specific with each goal you want to accomplish. This is the mission statement of your goal.
- Measurable. How will progress be measured quantitatively?
- Achievable. Think about the skills you have and the skills you need to accomplish the goal. What new tools do you need to achieve your goal? (for example: taking a class)
- Relevant. Is your goal relevant to your overall lifestyle and other goals?
- Time-Bound. Ask yourself when you expect to complete the goal. For example, you may give yourself 6 months to pay off a credit card debt entirely.
3. Examine Insurance Policies
Insurance is a lot like software that runs in the background of your life. It’s there to support and guard you, even though you might not give it a lot of thought. This also means that some policies can become outdated and no longer match your lifestyle accurately.
To save money and be sure policies are congruent with your way of life, research auto insurance quotes online for a policy that works best for you while saving money, month after month.
4. Take Care of What You Have
Maintaining your home, your car, and your health are the easiest ways to keep replacement and medical costs to a minimum. The saying is – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that works not just for people but also for items like appliances, clothing, etc.
5. Pay Off Your Credit Cards
Owing money to creditors is the opposite of financial fulfillment. There is no way to build equity in your financial future if you are not at least paying credit cards in full every month. It is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break free of, but with some effort and motivation, is well worth the ‘sacrifice.’ Keep in mind that you may have other loans that are not nearly as toxic to your financial fulfillment: student loans, a mortgage, and other similar loans often have very low-interest rates and are not as crucial to pay off as credit card debt.
6. Pay Yourself First
Does your employer offer a matching contribution when you enroll in the retirement plan? Take full advantage if they do. You can also opt for automatic deposits from your paycheck into a separate account that is for emergencies only. This allows you to keep the money you live on untouched if something goes awry – like the roof starts leaking.
7. Keep an Eye On Your Credit Score
Your credit score is important when you want to buy a new home, refinance your existing one or take out a loan for a new car. It may also affect life insurance premiums as well as car insurance. Make a point to look at your credit report regularly so you can fix any issues that arise, inconsistencies, or even errors that could be hurting your good credit.
8. Live as Frugally as Possible
Living a frugal life doesn’t mean spending endless hours clipping coupons or never throwing anything away. It means to live within or even below your means, so the extra can accumulate nicely in your savings account or investments. With any luck, you’ll be in this life for the long haul and when retirement hits, you’ll want to ease into it and not have to adjust your lifestyle so dramatically for the worse that you no longer recognize it.
9. Learn the Art of Negotiation
As Americans, we are somewhat programmed into believing and accepting that the price tag is set in stone. This isn’t necessarily the case. Small business owners are often up for a bit of negotiating if it means a sale, so get past the hesitancy and overcome the societal handicap.