Financial independence often appears to be a Shangri-La beyond the reach of men not fed with the proverbial silver spoon. In fact, many of those who are lucky enough to be born into wealth often end up being slaves for their wealth rather than being financially independent.
The fact remains that being financially independent is less dependent on the millions in your account; rather, it is more dependent on your ability to enjoy life and meet your financial obligations as soon as they arise. Having studied those who are financially independent, I have observed that they do not possess a super-secret code but they live by a simple set of rules that set them apart from the rest. Read on to uncover some four rules that will set you on the path to financial independence.
Negotiate Your First Salary
Many people often limit their chances of breaking out to financial independence starting from the very first job they take. Many people are often intimidated by the idea of asking for more money when they are just starting out at a job because they don’t want to be seen as too money-conscious. However, nothing is wrong about asking for what you think your time and expertise is worth; and yes, everybody is conscious of money.
Hence, even if you are being employed straight out of the university without any work experience, you should know that the firm sees some value in you beyond what is offered by other people that applied for the same job. You should leverage that value to negotiate a better package in terms of salary, title, paid vacations or health insurance among other things.
Reduce Your Miscellaneous Expenses
Another simple yet overlooked rule to creating financial independence is to reduce the volume of your miscellaneous expenses. Miscellaneous expenses are those numerous, seemingly small, yet necessary expenses that will cause you to spend N10,000 over the weekend without being able to account for where your N10,000 went.
Let’s assume that you were planning on a 2-week vacation that will cost you N100,000 by December. When December comes, you might discover that you do not have an extra N100,000 that can be applied towards the vacation in your account. Hence, you cancel the vacation plans because you don’t have money.
However, if you spend N2,000 on going to the cinema to watch a movie, take pop-corn and coke- you’ll have spent N100,000 in 50 weeks on watching movies, eating popcorn, and drinking coke without being able to raise N100,000 for your vacation.
If you want to achieve financial independence, you must be ready to reduce your miscellaneous expenses to the barest minimum.
Be Deaf and Dumb to Adverts
In line with reducing your miscellaneous expenses, you should learn to be deaf and dumb to adverts if you are serious about obtaining financial independence. Adverts are designed to pass you subliminal messages that will induce you to spend, spend and spend some more. You can live without that new television set and you don’t really need to buy new bags and accessories just because you have a date for Valentine.
Gambling is the Biggest Money Drain
One would think that people would see the danger inherent in gambling and thus avoid any appearances of gambling. However, many folks see gambling as harmless fun and a ticket here and there is no big deal since you are not a compulsive gambler. The proliferation of sports betting allows you to make money by supporting your favorite sport teams; but then, you’ll bet money even when an unknown Division II club is playing.
However, a gambling addiction creeps on you without warning and to rephrase an adage- a gambler and his money are soon parted. You should also note that the gambling company is in the business of making profit; hence, gamblers have lost money even before they play.