How to Become Financially Independent This Year

Ever wonder how some people get to be so financially independent? It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but it can be worth it. The whole month of July is a time to think about areas of your life that could be more independent, including your finances. And there are many ways to achieve financial independence – even for the majority of American who don’t have millions to invest their money in the stock market. Some people choose to work for companies instead of building their own businesses. Others become entrepreneurs.

Summer should be about enjoying time at the pool or over a barbeque with family and friends. Because it’s the season to chill in the sun, it’s also a great time to rethink what habits might be holding us back and even ask for advice if we need it. Here are some steps to help you get started on the right foot.

Adjust Your Attitude Toward Your Finances

The fact is, most Americans own some form of debt. It can be frustrating. The more time that passes without getting control of it, the situation starts to feel like you’re never going to be able to save enough money – whether you want to own a home someday or just buy that new jacket you saw online. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you want to become financially independent, you may need to think differently about your money. Instead of spending your hard-earned paychecks on little things you don’t need, it’s time to start saving as much as you can. Even setting aside a few dollars a week for an emergency fund can make a difference. Two years down the road, an unexpected medical bill will be less likely to leave you in the red. Once you have enough money, you might even look for ways to generate more income. This will require discipline, but it will also give you the freedom to do what you want without having to worry about making ends meet.

Make Extra Cash Through Freelance Work, a Side Hustle or Part-Time Gig

Do you enjoy being in control of your own schedule? Side hustles are a great way to earn extra money for the independently minded. A side hustle is a small business that you run on the side, rather than your main job. It can be anything from a simple blog, to an online store, and eventually can even be a full-time job. The key is to find something that interests you and that you enjoy doing. The best way to learn is to take action and start small. You may need to spend a little time researching different kinds of businesses, writing a business plan, and looking for potential clients.

Naturally, a temporary or part-time job is ideal for folks looking to make a little extra dough over the summer. If there aren’t enough opportunities that fit your schedule and experience, look for ways to freelance using skills you already have. Everyone has talents. If you’re a parent, you probably know a thing or two about managing people, communicating ideas and organizing an office. Make a list of things you enjoy or are good at, and don’t sell yourself short in your next interview!

Pay Off Debt One Dollar at a Time

Paying down personal debt can feel impossible at times. Many people struggle to make ends meet and keep up with their debt payments. With a large amount of debt, it can seem like a never-ending battle. But there are steps you can take to keep your balance as low as possible. When you’re ready to tackle your debt, you’ll want to learn more about the kind of debt you have. Some of the common types of debt include credit card debt, student loan debt, auto loan debt, and cell phone debt.

Did you find yourself in debt because you bit off more than you can chew? If so, you may find yourself working extra hours to pay it off. Either way, give some thought to how you got here. Perhaps you’re paying higher interest rates than you should. There may be ways to pay that debt off more quickly:

  1. Make a plan, including much cash you can put towards your debt on a consistent basis.
  2. Ask about lowering any interest rates.
  3. Use a prepaid debit card instead of a credit card.
  4. Pay the bills you can on time.
  5. Consider debt settlement; negotiate with your lender.

Everyone deserves a fresh start. Your nearby Community Currency Exchange (CCEA) will have loads of information and services to help you make fiscally wise choices in the future. Stop by your nearest location this summer and take advantage of our many convenient and reliable services.

American money in front of an American flag.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.