Do you wish you had more financial freedom?
Who doesn’t, right??
Of course, simply wishing won’t get you anywhere (trust me, I’ve tried it). If you want to succeed with money, then you have to stop doing the wrong things with your finances and start doing what actually works.
Following the crowd has likely left your piggy bank thin and weak due to a lack of nourishment. It might even be on its last leg hoping you’ll notice before it is too late. Have you seen signs that your personal finances could use some tender loving care?
If so, I have good news for you!
Today, I’m going to lay out what I’m calling the ten commandments of financial freedom. These steadfast principles are exactly what you need to get on the path to true financial freedom.
10 Commandments Your Piggy Bank Will Love
Financial freedom is about having the economic strength to do what you want. It is about being free of the ties that bind.
Imagine waking up and not having to worry about money or how much you owe. Imagine feeling secure and safe knowing that even if the economy takes a downturn that you’ll be okay.
I’m not saying that if you follow these commandments that you’ll win the lottery.
However, what I am saying is, if you apply this straightforward logic to handling your money, you will create a ton of freedom for yourself and your family. I know because I’ve done it. I used these exact principles to create my own personal economic recovery.
Here are the tried and true commandments of personal finances I follow:
1. Thou Shall Stop Spending More Than You Make
You simply cannot get ahead when you are consistently spending more than you make every month. Living below your means is the first step to financial freedom. You must trim your budget and get your total expenses well below your monthly income.
2. Thou Shall Use a Budget to Manage Your Money
I am convinced, 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you NEED a written monthly budget if you want to succeed with your money. If you hate the idea of living on a budget, then you need to discover how a budget will improve your life. The sooner you get started building your budget, the sooner you’ll be on the path to true financial freedom.
3. Thou Shall Stop Using Credit and Borrowing Money
Debt is slavery. It obligates you to the lender for long periods of time. Obligations are the opposite of freedom. Therefore, if freedom is what you desire, then you must stop borrowing other people’s money. I grew up believing that using credit was normal and unavoidable. It was what everyone did to survive financially. This way of thinking still prevails, but there is a better way. If you’ve never thought otherwise, then I challenge you to learn the advantages of a debt-free lifestyle.
4. Thou Shall Pay Cash for EVERYTHING
One easy way to get a grip on your finances is to start paying cash for practically everything. Psychologically, it is harder to let go of cold, hard cash than it is to swipe a card. Spending becomes more real. This leads to better self-regulation. My wife and I converted to cash by implementing an envelope budgeting system.
5. Thou Shall Get Out of Debt Pronto
Once you’ve gotten your spending under control, you need to clean up all that old debt that still keeps you tied down. You can do this using the debt snowball technique. This strategy is simple and straightforward, but very powerful. My wife and I paid off all our debt except our mortgage in about 18 short months.
6. Thou Shall Pay Yourself First
Building financial success needs to become your number one priority. Therefore, you need to start paying yourself first. What do I mean by this? I mean that every month the first line in your budget should set aside money for you to save toward building wealth. Nothing (except tithing) should come before this.
7. Thou Shall Save at Least 15% Monthly
You should quickly get yourself into the position where you can save at least 15% of your monthly income. This may sound completely impossible to you right now. I know it did to me at first. But, if you follow the commandments above, then before you know it, you’ll have the freedom to do this. In the mean time, read How To Painlessly Save a $100,000 Nest Egg for a creative way to start building wealth immediately.
8. Thou Shall Invest Conservatively and Consistently
Regular people that become millionaires are wise with their money. They don’t invest in half-baked schemes. Instead, they are consistent and conservative in their approach. To learn more, check out my tips for investing money to build wealth.
9. Thou Shall Work Together in Marriage
You must get on the same page with your spouse if you want to succeed financially. It just won’t work any other way. Learn how to talk to your spouse about money in effective ways and then do it. Don’t shrink back from the challenge. If you want freedom, then you are going to have to exercise some diplomacy.
10. Thou Shall Give Generously
Finally, once you get a little financial traction, I encourage you to be generous with your money. Giving is a source of happiness and the joy it brings will keep you on the right path financially. For me and my wife, being able to help our family and those in need was one of the primary reasons we sought financial freedom. Of course, I encourage you to do your research and be sure your helping is really helping.
Follow This Guidance to Succeed with Your Money
There you have it. The 10 commandments of financial freedom. I’ve been applying these in my life for several years now and I can’t imagine going back to my old ways. Freedom is sweet and I never want to give it up. If you still need encouragement to change your financial habits, then take a moment to read more about the nice advantages to living without owing anything on credit cards or car loans.