Living the free spirit lifestyle includes maintaining financial flexibility. Being financially flexible provides the ability to adjust quickly to unexpected situations, maintain control over your life, and not feel trapped due to your finances. Unexpected events that will impact your financial state will occur, so you must maintain flexibility to smoothly adapt to life’s’ events.
Expensive cars, a big house, nice vacations, and the latest gadgets, like the latest smartphones, are not needed. Freeing yourself from wanting those items puts you closer to living a free-spirited life. At one point, I had loved having the latest electronics; I always bought the latest video game system or smartphone, but I realized I was wasting thousands of dollars. It made me happy for a short time, but it never provided long-term happiness.
Starting now, make an effort to free yourself from your financial constraints. Follow my guidelines below to stay financially flexible and maintain control over your life.
Live a minimum lifestyle
Part of living the free spirit lifestyle is living a minimum lifestyle. Our culture values excess. A lot of things we have in our homes are not needed and take up space, so try to de-clutter the material things you possess. You can throw, give, or sell the things not needed. Selling your items is probably the best option because it allows you to bring in extra income that can be used to pay down debt or save.
You should also stop buying what you don’t need. As you get rid of the things in your house, ask yourself if those items were necessary. You will learn that a lot of those items were wasteful, and you would have been better off not purchasing them. Learn from that and in the present moment make the change that you will not waste money anymore.
Stand in knowledge
Track your monthly expenses to understand your spending habits. Use online budget tools like www.mint.com to help categorize your expenses. You will be astonished to find where you spend money, and I guarantee that it’s not where you think. Knowing your spending habits helps you understand the areas that require better control. Question all of your expenses; ask whether it was needed. For an example, is your cable bill too high? Do you use your gym or sports club membership fees? Do you need to eat out 3 times a week? Be fully engaged in knowing where you spend money and why you spend it the way that you do. Only you can decide if your spending habits make sense. We are unique individuals. We spend our money based on our interests, so no one can tell you where to spend your money. Once you understand your habits, set a budget and set limits for your categories.
Always choose freedom
You do not have financial freedom if you are in debt, and it’s not a good feeling to have, so work to minimize the amount of debt owed. Struggle if you must to pay it off because it needs to be a high priority. Going forward, keep your debt as low as possible. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you need to have a nice, big house to live the American dream. Having a house that you can’t afford is more like a nightmare. The real dream for free spirits is having the freedom to live your life, your way.
Expect the Unexpected
SAVE. The rule to live by is to save at least 20% of your gross income. This could be in a retirement or personal savings account. I don’t care where you spend your money in any given month as long as you are saving at least 20% of your income. If you can do more, that’s even better. If you can only save 10%, that’s fine. Be happy that you are saving, but try to make it 20%.
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