We are in an age where many people believe that they will have to work until the day that they die. We also live in a time where people believe it’s just not possible to feel financially secure in their lives. But here’s the thing… it is possible to reach financial independence, and it is possible to feel secure with your money.
Here’s Why You’ll Never Reach Financial Independence
This post has been written by our staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.
You know, reaching financial independence doesn’t automatically mean retiring either. It just means that if you were to lose your job, need to retire, or decide to leave your workplace and explore the world, you could. But…start doing any of the things below…and you’ll never reach financial independence. I can assure you of that. So be careful, and steer clear of the below actions!
1) You Think Negatively About Money
First things first, if you have a negative mindset around money, you will never reach financial independence.
- When you think negatively about money, you focus on not having enough.
- You also feel guilty when money comes your way.
So instead, you’ll…
- continue to work low-paying jobs,
- consider people greedy when they make a lot of money, and
- will wonder why you aren’t getting further in your financial journey.
Money isn’t bad. Having money isn’t bad. Wanting to make more money to live a comfortable life isn’t bad. Money is just a tool to get you to where you want to go. And yes, contrary to popular belief, you do need money to thrive. Now, I’m not saying that money solves all the problems in this world, but I am saying I’d rather have money and be able to afford my problems than to not have money and be worried about my problems and the lack of money.
This may all sound a little woo-woo when you think about “money mindset” but even studies have shown that a negative mindset around money can affect how much you earn, your health, and more! Your very first step to try and reach financial independence should be changing your mindset to think positively about money.
2) You’re Trying To Keep Up With The Joneses
You also can’t reach financial independence if you’re constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses.
- Owning a home doesn’t automatically make you wealthy.
- Having new cars in the driveway doesn’t mean anything if you’re struggling to pay the car notes.
- Trying to throw the best Christmas party won’t do anything but stress you out.
I’m not saying that you can’t have nice things or that you can’t enjoy spending your money on activities you enjoy. However, if you’re always trying to “one-up” someone, or trying to impress people with your stuff and clutter, you will never be able to reach financial independence.
And to top it off, trying to keep up with the Joneses is dead, because they’re most likely just as broke as everyone else! Don’t let the outward appearance of what someone has fool you or make you feel like you aren’t enough. It’s okay to drive an old car and keep money in the bank.
3) You Don’t Have A Budget
How are you supposed to reach financial independence if you don’t even know where your money is going? You don’t have to be a stickler for budgeting, but it is important to at least have a simple budget.
- Have a certain amount go into savings every payday.
- Don’t overspend on wants.
- Live below your means.
- Only spend what you have in your account.
These tips and “rules” are simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t follow them.
On top of having a budget, you should have a budget that makes it easy for you to stick to it. For example, cash envelopes have gotten super popular over the years, but I don’t budget with cash because I don’t use it! I don’t even like going to the bank. So why would I choose a budgeting style that doesn’t fit my current lifestyle? Instead, I use Every Dollar and track my spending once a week. If I notice myself slipping in my spending habits, I can reel it in. This budgeting method works for me, my bills are paid on time, and I have savings and investments.
If you have a budgeting system that works for you and that you can stick with, you can not only reach financial independence but also enjoy it as well!
4) You Don’t Have Financial Goals
Along with a budget, you need to have financial goals if you want to reach financial independence.
- How much money would you need to save to be financially independent?
- How do you want to live once you reach financial independence?
- Would you want to retire early or could you wait until you were 65?
You can’t save and prepare for financial independence if you don’t have any goals to work towards. And this includes even small goals, like saving 10% of your paycheck to invest or opening a Roth IRA. All of those little financial goals can add up in a huge way and will get you closer to financial independence each time you complete them.
Don’t just run around throwing money at things. Have goals and work towards them. Prepare for your future because it’s important!
Will You Reach Financial Independence?
It is possible to reach financial independence, no matter how much you make or what people think about you. There are so many people who have done it already, and that’s because they have the right mindset, goals, and don’t try to keep up with broke people.
So how about you? Will you reach financial independence?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.