Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Wish you could just quit work and not worry about paying for rent or groceries in the next few months? What you want is financial freedom. According to Jonathan Chevreau, author of the fictional finance book Findependence Day, financial freedom or financial independence is working not because you have to, but because you want to, reports Forbes.com. But apart from winning the lottery or inventing the next best thing to sliced bread, how do you do this?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Get out of debt.

The first step to a financially free mindset is to settle all your debts. It may seem daunting at first, especially if you owe people or institutions a lot of money, but you can do it if you have a plan. Sit down with yourself (or with your husband) and decide on which debt to prioritize first. For most, this means credit card debt, and according to financial guru Suze Orman, you need to at least pay the minimum charges every month and, whenever possible, “send in some extra money on the card that charges the highest interest rate.” Do this consistently and, slowly but surely, you’ll be able to carve out a clear path to financial freedom.

2. Embrace the simple life.

According to Dave Bruno, author of remarkable book The 100 Thing Challenge, “Since the dawn of the modern era, individual affluence and national economies have increasingly, increasingly relied on excess as proof for success.” This has led to a never-ending cycle of buying and discarding, and everyone knows that the more you have, the more you want. But if you whittle your material possessions down to the necessities and shift your focus on the more important aspects of life (such as your family or your spiritual growth), you wouldn’t be pressured to keep up with the latest trend.

3. Prepare for the unexpected.

Life can be unpredictable. You could be sitting on a pot of gold one day, only to have it taken away the next. To keep you from worrying about such uncertainties, you must learn to plan ahead. For starters, think about getting life insurance. Its purpose is to provide monetary support to designated beneficiaries should the person insured pass away. You should also strive to have a well-maintained emergency fund. Forbes.com describes it as “the financial equivalent of a spare tire–something you need to have and hope to never use.”

4. Start a business or learn to invest.

Having a stable job with a good salary may be more than anyone could ask for these days, but you should also consider other sources of income like a business or an investment. After all, you can’t stay as an employee forever (even if you want to). There will come a time when your company will fold, you'll start resenting your job, or you'll reach retirement age. As early as now, you need to start mastering your money and not the other way around. Take Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki; he doesn’t believe in working for money, he believes in making money work for him.

(Photo by William Warby via Flickr Creative Commons)

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