It has been said, "Everything happens for a reason." The same is definitely true when it comes to financial freedom.
Everyone has a personal definition of what financial freedom means to them. For some, it could be a million dollars and for others it could be just getting the bill collectors to stop calling.
Although each of us has a personal definition of financial freedom, oftentimes we lose sight of what's financially important to us by being lax, or worse, by becoming “financial flunkies,” trying to "keep up with the Joneses."
Sometimes, the most difficult step about being purposefully rich is facing the sobering truth about your finances. For most, financial reality typically sets in about twice a month on payday when you find yourself elated when direct deposit comes into your account, and deflated the following Monday when your balance is about where it started the Thursday before.
The financial high and low was hit all in one weekend. Talk about a roller coaster!
For others, that sobering financial moment comes once a month when the statements start coming in the mail and you can see a visual reminder of your absent-minded behaviors...A swipe here, a charge there, net-worth eroding everywhere. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way.
Waking up to Financial Freedom
Your bank statements and receipts can be an effective partner on the path to being purposefully rich.
Try This: Review your receipts and statements and identify three things: what you were doing, who you were with, and why you made the spend.
You see, your relationship with money often goes deeper than what's in your wallet; it's often a clue to how you view yourself, what you believe about how others view and/or accept you, and what you think you have to do to gain or keep their acceptance.
Absent-minded, guilt, and passive spending can eat up as much as 10-20% of your take-home pay or more. In real terms, breakfast at the drive-thru, lunch at the carry-out, and dinner at the buffet can quickly become a financial bullet...On the other hand, using those same funds to eliminate debt can ease a financial burden, or spawn great memories on a family vacation. At just $15 a day, five days a week, mindless purchases can quickly total more than $3500 in a year's time. Would you rather get a combo #1 or a week's vacation at the beach?
Attitude is more than a state of mind, it sets the tone for how we interact with, give, and receive money.
Try This: Ask yourself a powerful question. Changing from an "I don't care" attitude to a "Do I care?" question, shifts you from a bold, negative state to an empowering, decision-making position.
Now that you have put yourself in the decision-making spot, it is time to take action. According to Dictionary.com, the word Proactive means, "serving to prepare for, or control, an expected situation." Sadly, many people address their finances from a weakened, or reactive, position, choosing instead to let the situation control them, rather than controlling the situation.
Taking action with money provides proof that you are prepared to handle it, or any situation that might come your way, as both a giver (such as paying bills on time or donating to charity) and as a receiver.
Ask yourself this question, would you give someone $100 if you knew he or she was going to to waste it? Of course not. Yet, many people pay their bills on, or very close to, the due date, risking late fees and costing hundreds of dollars in interest.
Try This: Pay your bills three days earlier.
Taking action with money provides proof that you are ready to handle it, or any situation that might come your way, both as a giver, (such as paying bills on time or donating to charity) and as a receiver. Being proactive with money keeps you empowered through action, whether paying it out responsibly, or receiving it joyfully.
Now that you're in financial driver's seat, you can stay on course to being purposefully rich by monitoring and making small adjustments along the way that strengthen and reinforce your financial goals.
Try This: Regularly deposit $5 into a savings account.
Five dollars may not seem like much, but a small adjustment in just one behavior can bring big dividends down the road.
Let that combo meal turn your savings account into a big deal. Challenge yourself to double your deposits until you reach a benchmark of 10% of your income.
Empowered, you can make smart money moves like switching to a lower-interest credit card, transferring to a higher-yield savings account, laddering CDs, buying stocks and bonds, or simply creating a vacation fund.
These four simple steps can put you on the path to being purposefully rich!
About the Author:
Shonn Scott is a professional speaker and facilitator who has presented to small to large groups at Morgan State University, Community College of Baltimore County, Project Second Start; the State of Maryland Department of Human Resources, (DHR) and the Maryland State Department of Education, to name a few.
Click the following link to learn more about: Shonn Scott