Keep Tabs on Your Purchases in Order to Ensure Financial Freedom

At one point or another, it happens to everyone. You’ve paid all of your bills, spent a little cash here and there, and, by the end of the month, you’re in a deep financial rut and you have absolutely no clue how it happened!

Your twice-daily premium coffee runs, pile of new sweaters, and other small purchases can add up significantly by the end of the month. However, by exercising attention to detail, you can fight the battle of the slimming wallet and win!

Try these tips to track your spending habits and buy yourself a ticket on the train of financial freedom:

1. Define the variables. A mortgage payment, your internet bill, and the gas for your car often cost the same each month. However, your grocery bill and others may vary. Track your spending month-by-month to ensure that you’re comfortable with the amount you’re spending.

* Plan your meals for the week ahead of time, make a grocery list, and stick to it. By holding yourself accountable for your purchases, you minimize impulse purchases at the store and keep your money where it belongs.

* Those on-demand movie purchases can add up. If your family is big on purchasing films from your cable provider, allot a budget and stick to it. Three movies per month often come to a total of $15. But three mindless movie purchases per week can tally up to $60 per month, or $720 per year!

2. Make use of your register. With the luxury of online payments for your bills, you’ll often forget to track how much money you sent to which company or how many items you’ve purchased online. Make it a point to track your online payments and purchases by making use of your bank’s register.

* Keep your register at your computer table at all times. To get an accurate picture of your financial situation, it’s important to log every dollar you spend.

3. Avoid online shopping. If your purchases on a specific online retailer are becoming too frequent for comfort, refrain from using the website. It can be difficult to practice restraint on your own, so use tools that help you minimize and track your online purchases.

* LeechBlock is a free add-on for the Firefox web browser. It allows you to block certain websites for a predefined amount of time. For example, you may choose to block Amazon.com on every day of the week but Wednesday, and only allot 10-minutes to peruse their inventory of items.

* LeechBlock is also a great tool to stop online gambling, visits to X-rated websites or to control the amount of time your children spend on Facebook playing addictive games. In turn, this puts money back into your pocket.

4. Cash only. If you’re going out of the house, leave your credit cards at home. Bring only cash. For example, if you’re planning on just going out to lunch with a friend, only bring $30 cash to avoid impulse purchases that you may later forget to track.

* If you’re concerned about having enough in case of an emergency, keep $100 in your glove compartment. If you use your emergency cash for shoes or a new baseball cap, force yourself to pay the price of your actions by deducting the amount you spent from your petty cash allowance.

Even if you have a high-paying job, you can find yourself in a financial hole if you’re unable to exercise caution with your money. For this reason, it’s vital to your financial health that you know where every penny of your money is going. Spend sparingly and track every penny to begin experiencing the financial clarity and freedom you crave.

Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Can Be Your Ticket to Financial Freedom

A mortgage is a guaranteed monthly expense. Well, at least for now it is. However, you don’t have to wait 30 years, or even 15 years, to be mortgage free. If you’re willing to put 100% effort into paying off your mortgage early, you can be mortgage-free in less than 10 years.

Below, we’ll discuss both the benefits and possible detriments of paying your mortgage off early.

Benefits of Paying Early For Mortgage

If you’re like most American families, your mortgage is your costliest monthly expense. But, what would you do if you didn’t have to make a mortgage payment each month? How many doors would suddenly open to you?

In essence, being mortgage-free provides you with financial freedom. You can continue to earn your yearly household income, without having to fork over $10,000 to $25,000 of it for a mortgage payment.

Here are just a few of the financial benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy without a mortgage:

* Pay off all of your debt in order to truly live debt-free
* Purchase a brand new car with cash
* Become a landlord; invest in the real estate rental market in order to earn passive income
* Purchase a vacation home for your family
* Take exotic vacations
* Purchase a boat for leisure
* Fully invest in your 401k
* Save 100% cash for your children’s college tuition
* Renovate your home without the need to incur more debt
* Build a fully stocked emergency fund

These possibilities are just the tip of the iceberg! For example, if you’re able to get rid of an $1,800 mortgage payment, that’s over $21,000 per year that you can save or spend in any which way you please. By saving up just 5 mortgage payments, you can pay for a $9,000 car outright. Or this can also be used as startup for a small business you can start on the side of your 9-to-5 job.

Common Arguments

Not everyone believes that paying off your mortgage early is a smart idea. And truthfully, for some people, paying off a mortgage early isn’t the best option. This includes those with astronomically low interest rates and those with an already tight budget.

Here are some of the most common arguments for opting to keep your mortgage payment:

1. Tax credits. When you hold a mortgage, you’re able to use the amount you pay in interest as a tax deduction. However, deducting $15,000 would save a mere $3,750 in taxes.

* Would you rather have $15,000 in the bank (plus the payment that is applied to your principal) or save $3,750 on taxes? $15,000 could buy you a new car, while $3,750 might only pay for your family vacation.

2. Diversification. Some people believe that diversifying your investments is the most secure route to ensuring the highest return. If you spend all of your extra money each month to pay off your mortgage payment early, you won’t be able to partake in other investments or build a hefty nest egg in case of a rainy day.

* A good rule of successful investing is certainly diversification, as it minimizes risk.

When it comes down to it, eliminating your mortgage payment provides you with the security of knowing that you’ll always have a roof over your head, whether you lose your job or not. Plus, you also gain financial freedom – and wealth – by being able to invest in opportunities which otherwise wouldn’t have been available to you when paying a mortgage payment.

Paying off your mortgage early will take hard work and dedication. And for several years, you’ll need to pour a great portion of your available cash into increasing the power of your payments. But the sooner you pay off the mortgage, the sooner you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Money Saving Tips – Easy to Implement

Your savings account is a tool that can give you financial freedom and peace of mind. It provides a buffer in case of emergencies and relieves you of needless worry. When the car breaks down or your child needs to see a doctor, you have the money in the bank when you save on a regular basis.

Even a little savings can add up to a sizable nest egg, especially if you’re saving on a consistent basis!

Follow these money-saving tips to grow your bank account and peace of mind:

1. Brew your own coffee. By brewing your own coffee each morning rather than making a daily run to your favorite premium coffee and latte store, you’ll save a considerable amount of money over the course of one year. As an added bonus, you’ll likely lose weight by opting for a cup of simple, homebrewed Joe rather than a frothy frappe with all the bells and whistles.

* Assuming that your daily premium coffee order is priced between $3.75 and $4.35, you can save between $975 and $1,131 each year!

2. Use coupons strategically. You can maximize your savings by shopping at a grocery store that automatically doubles your coupons. If you truly want to ramp up your savings, deposit the amount you save into your savings account.

* Media outlets, such as NBC and CBS have featured stories where power coupon queens purchase up to $250 worth of groceries for as little as $20 by doubling coupons and shopping strategically. Search their online database of videos to view these clips.

* Some grocery stores, such as Price Chopper, Harris Tetters, Super Value and Kroger’s double coupons up to $1. However, in select locations, some stores only double coupons up to $0.75.

3. Tip jar. When you eat out, you tip your waitress 20% of your bill. Apply the same logic to eating at home. When you cook an especially complex meal, treat yourself to a tip. Keep a tip jar at the counter, and estimate the amount you would have paid for a similar meal at a restaurant and bank 20% of that amount in your “chef’s tip jar.”

* Let’s say, for a meal of pasta for four, you pay $45. Save money by cooking the meal at home, and tip yourself $9 rather than the waitress.

* If you don’t have cash on you, write yourself a check and actually cash it. Alternatively, you can simply transfer the amount of your “tip” to your savings account.

4. Coin operated laundry. Keep a jar in your laundry room and pay yourself $3 every time you do laundry. One dollar to wash, one dollar to dry and one dollar to fold. And, if you’re feeling generous, leave yourself a tip!

* Assuming that you do laundry three times per week, you can save $156 per year!

Saving money can be fun if you’re creative. By implementing these simple, quirky tips, you can put a smile on your face and add a remarkable amount to your savings account throughout the course of just one year!

Four Personal Finance Success Tips

Does financial freedom seem like an unreachable goal for you? For some, the only goal in sight is getting that next paycheck so you can pay the bills before services get disconnected. Even if your current situation seems dire, there are things you can do to achieve personal finance success. Options that can improve your financial situation are all around you.

When you want to move your financial life forward, the first step is deciding on a worthwhile goal. What do you want to see happen? When? As soon as you’ve made that determination, you can begin marching toward your success in a step-by-step fashion. A worthwhile goal ensures you know where you’re going before you set out on your journey.

Long-Term and Short-Term Goals Are Both Critical

You might have a short-term goal to pay off a credit card and a long-term goal to pay off your mortgage. Those are both reachable, but one will take longer than the other. Makes sense, right?

Well, that’s why it’s so important to set a realistic timeframe for your goals! Stay encouraged by tracking your progress along your planned timeline. When you see a goal getting closer to achievement, you’ll become more excited and motivated to keep moving forward.

If you only set long-term goals, the payoff is too far away to provide any real motivation. These goals take a while to achieve and the lack of immediate progress may make you want to quit without shorter-term goals to look forward to.

The goal is to set long-term goals and couple them with short-term goals that excite you. Or, break your long-term objectives into short-term milestones that provide encouraging feedback on your progress. That way, you remain interested in pursuing your financial success.

You Can Get There From Here!

Too many people get discouraged and stop working for their goals. Don’t let this happen to you! Avoid allowing yourself to end up financially stuck and struggling because you let setbacks derail your train to financial success and prosperity.

Instead of giving up on your success and stopping yourself from living the good life you deserve, use these strategies to move forward:

1. Reap your rewards along the way. Set realistic goals and reward yourself when you meet them. Divide your large goals into small steps and celebrate completing each step.

2. Be flexible. Be willing to move your completion dates if you see they’re too soon. If you experience a setback, learn from it, adjust your goal’s completion date, and continue moving forward.

3. Focus. Stay focused on what matters to you instead of getting sidetracked. Remember the reasons why your success is important to you when the going gets rough.

4. Make the work toward your dreams more enjoyable. Moving forward doesn’t have to be all tedious work. Include goals in your life for things you enjoy, too.

  • Turn your hobby or other enjoyable activities into a profitable venture.
  • Ask yourself how you can make tasks you dread more fun.
  • Include a friend.
  • Make it a game with yourself.
  • Whatever you do, keep a spirit of playfulness in your work and success is sure to follow!

Your hopes and dreams are what fuel your happiness. You deserve a life that’s filled with rich experiences, meaningful relationships and inner peace. With a positive mindset and a determination to succeed, you can achieve all of this and more. Financial independence and the dream life you seek are within your reach.

When you reach your goals – even the small ones – you set yourself apart from most people, who dream big dreams but stay on the sidelines of life.

Get in the game!

Brainstorm the short-term and long-term financial objectives that matter to you. Pick the most important ones, sketch out a plan, and take the first steps toward your personal finance success today.