Every year on July 1st, we celebrate National Financial Freedom Day – a day dedicated to empowering individuals to take control of their finances. Financial freedom goes beyond simply having a luxurious lifestyle; it’s about having the power to design a life that aligns with your deepest values.

Here are some tips to help guide you along the road to financial freedom:

Automate Your Savings: Automating your savings can be a powerful tool to guide you toward financial freedom. Determine the amount you’d like to save and set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings every payday. This “set it and forget it” approach removes the temptation to spend that money and helps ensure consistent growth of your savings. By automating a set amount, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your savings can accumulate – without feeling the pinch.

Develop Your Financial Roadmap: Create a comprehensive financial plan that reflects your unique values, needs, and assets. This plan should serve as a compass for all major financial decisions, whether it’s saving for early retirement, funding your children’s education, or making a down payment on a house. Take some time for introspection – what truly matters to you? Is it securing your family’s future, traveling the globe, or pursuing a creative passion project? Once you identify your core values, align your financial goals accordingly. Aligning your finances with your values creates a powerful motivator to stay on track.

Live Within Your Means: Living below your means might require some short-term adjustments, but it’s a crucial step toward long-term financial freedom. Regularly review your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. There’s a difference between mindful frugality and deprivation. The goal isn’t to eliminate all enjoyment from your life but to cultivate an appreciation for what you already have. Think of the famous “marshmallow experiment,” where children who delayed gratification for a larger reward later in life enjoyed greater success. Apply this concept to your finances. Don’t deprive yourself entirely, but consider delaying non-essential purchases. Minimize ongoing expenses by reviewing your credit card statements monthly and canceling subscriptions you no longer use.

Celebrate Every Milestone: National Financial Freedom Day is just a starting point. It’s a journey, not a destination. Every step you take toward your goals is a cause for celebration. Acknowledging your progress will help keep you motivated and focused on the long-term prize – living life on your own terms.

Dedicate National Financial Freedom Day to learning and practicing new money management skills!

Author Edward K. McDougal Financial Advisor

Edward has extensive experience with financial, tax, and estate planning, primarily working with high-net-worth families, widows, and executives with international planning needs.

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