Charting Your Path To Financial Freedom

By BankBazaar | August 15, 2017

Charting Your Path To Financial Freedom

Financial freedom is sought by all but achieved by only a few. This is because most just think about attaining financial freedom, dreaming that money will magically manifest itself, while only a handful take concrete steps to achieve it. The second lot understands that it all starts with small steps which, over time, morph into big returns.

Some of you might argue that a humble life is easier to pursue and offers much more happiness than a fleeting, flamboyant one. That’s subjective, but can humility cope with inflation? No matter your aspirations—rich or humble way of life—you need to stay out of debt. For this, you need to ensure that you have an income and a savings plan that beats rising costs without fail.

After all, debt doesn’t make a good companion or a friend. It’ll give you many sleepless nights, stress and hair fall. Do you want to see yourself balding? You’ll save money spent on expensive hair care products, but that won’t really help.

After all, debt doesn’t make a good companion or a friend. It’ll give you many sleepless nights, stress and hair fall. Do you want to see yourself balding? You’ll save money spent on expensive hair care products, but that won’t really help.

It’s not about just surviving, it’s about living it out with fanfare and without worry. This article will touch upon some simple pointers you can keep in mind to get out of the paycheque-to-paycheque cycle. Let’s seal the little holes in your daily budget from where the money leaks. Let each little saving lift you out of debt and give you a stress-free and financially secure lifestyle.

Bonus Read: 4 Possible Leaks In Your Budget

Get Strict About Grocery Shopping

We just can’t get over this one. We have tried and tested it and seen for ourselves that groceries can help save a lot. Grocery shopping is kind of fun too. Anything to do with food is exciting. This is one reason why none of us ever stick to our grocery list. Once in the store, we can rarely resist buying that box of ice cream or frozen chicken nuggets. But if we control ourselves and stick to our grocery list that was created at home, on a full stomach, we are sure to save a lot. We are not saying that don’t give in to your temptation anytime. A one-off case is absolutely acceptable. But don’t make this a habit.

But if we control ourselves and stick to our grocery list that was created at home, on a full stomach, we are sure to save a lot. We are not saying that don’t give in to your temptation anytime. A one-off case is absolutely acceptable. But don’t make this a habit.

Additional Reading: Where Did the Money Go? 10 Ways to Save More of Your Paycheck

How do you go about it? Sit in your kitchen and make a list of all that you want. Check all the cupboards and counters and make sure you leave nothing behind. Before making the list makes sure you have eaten well. This will ensure that you don’t add unwanted items or a lot of junk to your list. Make a list on an empty stomach and you’ll see there will be more biscuits, snacks and chips on the list than items of daily needs.

The second step is to go grocery shopping on a full stomach. Retail stores are laid out in a fashion to encourage buyers to buy goods and items they don’t need. It’s temptation through and through. Do you know, the tiny chocolates and chewing gums at the billing counter are strategically placed to make you spend?

After pushing the shopping cart around many aisles you are likely to indulge yourself in a chocolate or two. You will be better able to resist this urge if you are on a full stomach. Don’t be like those people who pick a bottle of energy drink while navigating the aisle. It’s added cost. Stick to your list and you’ll see your grocery bill drop by a good few hundreds.

Additional Reading: Home Makeover On A Budget

After pushing the shopping cart around many aisles you are likely to indulge yourself in a chocolate or two. You will be better able to resist this urge if you are on a full stomach. Don’t be like those people who pick a bottle of energy drink while navigating the aisle. It’s added cost. Stick to your list and you’ll see your grocery bill drop by a good few hundreds. Deprivation is not good either. You need to treat yourself now and then, or one day all hell will break loose and special services will need to be called to escort you out of the grocery store. You’d have probably gobbled down five boxes of chocolates and two cartons of aerated drinks among other offerings. Give in to our cravings to avoid frequent binge-eating episodes. Get that box of ice cream or a packet of chocolate cookies. It won’t cost much on your pocket or on your weight.

Deprivation is not good either. You need to treat yourself now and then, or one day all hell will break loose and special services will need to be called to escort you out of the grocery store. You’d have probably gobbled down five boxes of chocolates and two cartons of aerated drinks among other offerings. Give in to our cravings to avoid frequent binge-eating episodes. Get that box of ice cream or a packet of chocolate cookies. It won’t cost much on your pocket or on your weight.

Deprivation is not good either. You need to treat yourself now and then, or one day all hell will break loose and special services will need to be called to escort you out of the grocery store. You’d have probably gobbled down five boxes of chocolates and two cartons of aerated drinks among other offerings. Give in to our cravings once in a while to avoid frequent binge-eating episodes. Get that box of ice cream or a packet of chocolate cookies. It won’t cost much on your pocket or on your weight.

One last point under this section is – look out for deals. Your grocery store might offer deals and discount on a specific day of the week. Look out for these days. Also, scout for more grocery stores in and around your area. Look out for local markets. They offer good quality products at cheap prices. A little effort of walking around and you’ll save a lot.

Get Health Conscious

Get health conscious. Please. Need we mention the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle? Wondering how does this help other than getting a slim waist. Well, if you are healthy you will spend less on medical bills. Medical costs are soaring. A simple viral fever or even off-the-counter medicines can make your bill soar. You can avoid all this by going for a run every morning.

Talking about health, don’t ignore dental care. We often tend to forget about our teeth when we talk about health. Keep them shiny and healthy. Fear the dentist. They give you a lot of pain – physically and financially. Once one tooth goes bad, the others follow. They have some team work going on there. Just like for your teeth, take care of the rest of your body. Use natural ingredients for your skin and hair. Eat fresh fruits, drink water and consume a lot of proteins. Club all this with kickass workout sessions and you won’t have to make friends with a doctor or dentist.

Taking all this up a notch– replace artificial proteins with natural foods. This will save you thousands and you can boast about it to your friends. Remember, all the money you saved on groceries? Use that to buy an all-encompassing Health Insurance Plan. It will help you if you ever find yourself bedridden.

The 21st-century lifestyle is such that in spite of all the health care regime, you may find yourself face to face with a debilitating, chronic illness. Hence, it’s wiser to gift yourself a complete body check up every year. This will ensure that any life threatening illness is nipped in the bud. If you have an illness running in the family, make sure you check for that regularly and adopt cautionary health practices.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus Read: 10 Things You Should Ask Your Investment Banker

Throw House Parties

It must be annoying to have everybody tell you what to do and what not to do. Well, here we are telling you to party! Yes, you need to party to eliminate the stress from your life. Once you eliminate stress, you can save more money. The best way to eliminate stress is to throw a party. Isn’t that counter-productive to the idea of saving?

Well, not so if you throw a house party. Going out can turn out to be an expensive affair, and doing it very weekend is very bad for your financial health. Start throwing parties at home. Call your friends over and let everyone bring their own booze and snacks.  You will have more booze than all of you can drink and more food than your stomachs can hold. Moreover, it’s a lot more fun drinking in your shorts, all sprawled out on the couch. You can even customise your music. Now pair this with some dim lighting (ambient lights don’t cost much) and your house is party-ready.

Biggest advantage – there is no deadline. Party until the wee hours of the morning or party for days at a stretch. Nobody is stopping you. No worries about calling a cab, driving, or getting home.

This is not to say that you don’t go out at all. Do go out now and then, but balance it out with house parties. You can take turns. New house, new party.

Save Fuel

21st century means technological advancements overtaking every corner of our lives. This also means that cars, which were once a status symbol and mark of luxury, are now a necessity. People from all financial backgrounds own a car today because it is important. A simple as that. You need to weather the rain, sunshine, pollution and what not.

We are not asking you to adopt the ascetic life and return to the stone age, but we urge you to be sensitive to the environment. Walk to your local shopping area. Ditch the bike and the car. It’s good for your health and the environment. Moreover, petrol prices are ever on the rise. Making these little walks will help you save thousands on fuel money each month. If your work place is not too far, you can perhaps cycle it up.

Get those toned legs, flatter stomach and let the word obese describe your wallet.

The Always Buzzing Mobile Phone

No matter what people say, mobile phones are the best invention after the wheel. Imagine being able to reach anyone in the world you want within seconds. It’s not just audio, but also video communication. All this seemed so impossible just some time ago. Mobile phones are a necessity. They keep us connected to our loved ones, but for a price.

Agreed, telecom providers have slashed their prices to very affordable rates but even these affordable rates are an expense. Then there is the Internet cost. It’s always up and running. Mobile phones are so close to us that we can’t imagine a life without them. Don’t. But give this cool piece of tech a break and learn to live a few hours without it.

Decide timings when you won’t take or make calls. If you hit the bed at 10, make sure you don’t take calls after that (unless, of course, it’s urgent). Also, set a phone budget every month for your calls and Internet usage and make sure you don’t cross it. It might be a few petty hundreds, but over time it will amount to a lot.

Talking about mobile phones, let’s discuss the hardware too. There is a new phone out every month, with a strong processor, good battery life and a kickass camera. Very tempting. But you don’t have to switch your phone every other month. Extract all the juice you can from your existing phone before you make a jump to the new one.

If you are someone with a penchant for breaking phones, then get friendly with second-hand mobile phone buyers. Make sure they know you as their loyal, regular customer and give you a good deal when you hand them your phone with a shattered screen.

Just like loyalty doesn’t work with Credit Cards, loyalty doesn’t work with telecom providers too. If you feel your bills are spiralling out of control, just switch to a different provider. Now, with the provision of number portability, you won’t even lose your number. There are services available to you, make use of them when need be.

When reading, these suggestions might not seem very helpful. You might think you’ll save pennies and all this is not worth it. Well, all we’ll say is give it a shot and you’ll know. Even if you are saving pennies, it’s nonetheless saving. Once you start seeing money in your account, you’ll start appreciating the little efforts and will find yourself innovative ways of saving more money. Just a little bit of self-restraint and some thought will take you and your bank account a long way.

While you make savings, also updates yourself with all the latest investment plans. Just saving won’t multiply your money. Saving will keep you financially secure and out of debt. Investing will help multiply your money and make you rich.

Additional Reading: The Stack Method: An Effective And Speedy Way To Clear Your Debts

To help you with your savings plans we have a host of Credit Card options with cashback and other rewards program. Spending is inevitable, but you can at least earn some rewards for doing so.

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