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When we celebrate Independence Day we are remembering the historic day our country declared freedom from Great Britain’s rule. Your independence does not have to stop with one celebration. Just because the holiday has passed doesn’t mean you can’t become financially independent and secure. Continue to think of your finances and what it will take to accomplish such a feat. The United States of America gained its independence in 1776—make 2014 the year you conquer your finances with these seven simple steps.

Save Money

It may sound cliché, but saving your coins will always be a benefit to you. Think about it—what if you have an emergency and no money? The situation can get tougher if you don’t have anyone to rely on. So, why not save yourself the torture and make a little nest egg? Put it away in a savings account with a separate bank, so you aren’t tempted to dip into it when you log into your bank account online.

Carpool

There are several benefits to carpooling that will ultimately save you money. Firstly, gas is expensive. I’d personally much rather torch my car; than pay for gas. But luckily there are much more sensible options.

Carpooling allows you to chip in a portion of gas costs instead of carrying the burden alone.

It also saves your tires from wearing down and having to spend money on car maintenance. Plan to be ready early though. If the driver has to pick up other passengers, you don’t want to be the one holding everyone up.

If everyone carpooled once a week, traffic would be reduced by twenty percent. That means less pollution and more clean air. Look at you saving money and the environment at the same time! 🙂

Create a New Budget

Talking about money can make anyone’s skin crawl, and the mere thought of budgeting can make you want to gag. We get it! It is totally understandable, but in order to become financially free you’ve got to…like Nike says, “Just Do It!”

If you don’t have a budget, make one. If the one you have isn’t working for you, create a new one. Look at your budget everyday and remember the goal you want to accomplish! Even if you have to recite affirmations like, “I can be financially free” everyday, positivity goes a long way. You can do it!

Pay Down your Credit Cards

Try to pay down your credit cards and refrain from making additional purchases while you are in the “pay-off” phase.

Using your income to make purchases, instead of credit, will keep you out of further debt. If you make payments on your credit card and continue to charge purchases to your card, it will keep you in a never ending cycle of debt. Your goal is to get out and get out for good.

Cut Costs

If you are living above your means, it would be wise to cut back immensely. However, if you are living from paycheck to paycheck; look at your expenses, and see if you can cut your expenses down. Do you watch a lot of TV? If not, ask yourself if you could go without cable. A Netflix or Hulu subscription could save you big bucks. Try dining in, instead of eating out. If you need other ideas on how to cut costs, click here. The sacrifice will pay off once you are free from debt.

Pseudo Lay-A-Way

Where in the rule book of spending does it say not to spend? It doesn’t! It’s okay to go shopping, just don’t break the bank. Put yourself on a budget. Know what you want before you go inside the store, make your purchase and run like the wind. We don’t advise you put on horse blinders, but hey, whatever it takes 🙂

If you want to buy something expensive, plan for it. Set aside a certain amount of money so you can save toward your big purchase. Then save every month until you have enough.

Join a Support Group

Hello my name is [insert your name here] and I’m a shopaholic. We’re kidding! It is very hard to go on this journey alone, and it’s okay to find a support group or a friend to encourage you when you need it; or to yank the credit card out of your hand, cut it into tiny pieces, and drag you out of the store.

Being around people who know what your goals are and can keep you focused will help get you to the finish line.

No matter what stay focused. You can become independent and free from debt. It is an attainable goal! All you have to do is change the way you spend and save more. When you reach your goal, you can have your own fireworks just like the Fourth of July festivities all around the country. Wait—that’s illegal…maybe you can throw confetti?! Lol!

Anyway, celebrate! The fruits of your labor have finally paid off.

 

Sources:

http://www.statisticbrain.com/carpool-statistics/

Written by Joel Manzer

Once an active writer on financial issues, Joel is a blogger, social media maven and autism dad, Joel now runs autisable.com one of the largest living with autism sites in the world.

The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional financial advice. You should consult a credit counseling professional concerning the information provided and what should work best in your financial situation. And any action on your part in response to the information provided is at your discretion.

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