There exists a group of personal finance guru’s advanced far beyond the likes of average man. They through around terms like: credit card arbitrage, passive income, frugality, bored money, and most importantly early retirement. To the average man, only the last of those terms has any meaning.
In the following I will walk you through some of the methods and philosophies these experts use in their march toward financial freedom.
The overwhelming philosophy of experts is easy. Live below your means. By not overextending yourself, your finances are much easier to manage. You have to embrace frugality and not try to impress people with their possessions. Even if you have had a past riddled with credit card debt and overspending, you can always be re-born as a financially savvy saver rather than looming towards bankruptcy.
Everyone should have a snapshot of where they stand financially (i.e. a balance sheet), a budget they will attempt to stick to, and finally short & long-term financial goals.
You should keep your finances simple and shouldn’t have to worry about money. You should not worry about where the next mortgage payment is coming from because he has purchased every DVD released over the last 2 years.
Here are a few tricks to get you started:
Track your Spending
One reason these professionals stay out of financial trouble is because they keep meticulous records of what they spend versus what they save. They generally know where just about every penny of their money is. There are a variety of free and pay software available to track this, but it can also be done in a simple spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel or even use the free Google Spreadsheet)
Only buy if you have to
Another rule of thumb is to buy something only if you have to. There are a myriad of sites that allow you to trade items like books or dvd’s, there are also sites like “Freecycle” that give away things they no longer want. In the services world, the trend is to do as much as possible on your own (i.e. cut the grass, laundry, haircuts, and more!).
Form a budget
If you form a budget to keep your spending on track you will be much more likely to have success with keeping your spending in line. Form a budget based on your big spending buckets like: mortgage or rent, food, groceries, entertainment, gifts, charity, and other areas where you spend a lot.
These are just three of the many tricks to help you save money and become more financially independent.