I would like to share a few ideas with you on how you can focus your time on those things that you enjoy most in life while working towards, the much sought after, steps to financial freedom. All I ask is that you keep an open mind to what you are about to read as some of these tried and tested methods may be a little unorthodox to some.

If you have bought into big dreams and “get rich quick schemes” that led you nowhere you have probably developed an attitude of “trusting no one who makes big claims“, in order to protect yourself. That is a sound and logical thing to do. The bigger the promises the more skeptical you should be.

We’d all love to invest in a venture that would see us financially comfortable in the shortest possible time. But that’s not the only way to increase your cash flow or boost your retirement savings. If one of your resolutions is to improve your financial situation this year, consider some of these ways to make it happen.

  1. Be Honest With Yourself and Fully Acknowledge Your Starting Point

If you are going to seriously pursue the steps to financial freedom and commit to have an established budget that you will evaluate regularly, you’ve almost got this step covered. But if you’re like most, an annual check-up isn’t a bad idea. Review the money you have coming in and break down your spending.

If you’ve already been tracking your transactions, you’re ahead of the game. If not, contact me for a few suggestions. A spreadsheet or a simple paper is a start. Go over at least three months of spending history to get a real feel for your cash flow.

  1. Identify and Understand Your Largest Expense

For most, that’s probably your rent or mortgage payment. Consider your housing needs (which may have changed since you signed your lease or purchase agreement) and whether your abode (and its cost) are still your best option. It may be time to consider other real estate options, search for a new apartment, or attempt to renegotiate your lease.

  1. Plan Ahead

Unplanned expenses and emergencies tend to be costly and can disturb your steps to financial freedom, but they’re also often avoidable. Rather than ignoring the grinding sound your car is making or the cough that now seems to be on the verge of pneumonia, make sure to give your  tools and yourself a regular preventative care. Make a list of the appointments you should make (mechanic, plumber, doctor) and get those on your calendar ASAP. You don’t want to increase the probability of emergencies occurring while on your steps to financial freedom.

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