Updated: Oct 1, 2021
What does financial freedom mean to you? When I ask my clients what financial freedom means to them, most respond by saying they want to be comfortable and free from worry. Do you agree? What else would you add? Maybe you would add a desire to not feel weighed down by financial stress. Maybe you just want to simplify daily life. Chances are you have tried fulfilling these goals before, but life happens, and you are stuck in the same place where you started. Here are some tips for breaking the cycle.
Sleep on it!
Summer can be a very tempting time for extra purchases we hadn’t planned on. The warm weather sparks more impulsive shopping trips and weekend getaways that end with us spending more than we intended. Whenever you are faced with an impulsive purchase, it is important to sleep on it. If you are still thinking about it the next day, then go back and make the purchase. Most of the time you won’t go back, but for the times when you do, you’ll know you made a mindful decision.
Stop using your credit cards.
Many people I work with have created a habit of reaching for their credit cards and paying the balance off later. Unfortunately, many times they don’t reserve enough cash to pay the entire bill and end up carrying balances for months. If you have other bills like a mortgage or car payments, you do not need credit cards to help your credit score. Avoid any mishaps by using cash exclusively.
Consider borrowing from yourself to pay off high-interest debt.
Taking a loan from your 401K is a low cost and affordable way to pay off credit cards. You could also take advantage of your home’s equity. Mortgage rates are very low. Consider a refinance to take cash out for paying off more expensive debt.
Remember lessons learned.
Remember that time not so long ago, when we were quarantined in our homes and weren’t allowed to go shopping, gather with friends, or visit a salon? How many things did you live without that you once thought were impossible to give up? Just because the stores are open doesn’t mean we have to revert back to old habits. It is important to support local businesses, as long as you make mindful purchases. Be sure to make your own financial health a top priority.
Easier said than done, I know.
I’ll admit, this all sounds easy, but creating new habits takes time. My most successful clients are the ones who lean on me for support and accountability. If having someone in your corner keeps you motivated when life throws you a curveball, let’s talk. I’ve been helping clients for over 12 years and am passionate about celebrating every success, big or small. Are you ready to celebrate with me?
Christina Gatteri, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886