Imagine the moment when you finally quit your job because you already amassed a lot of money to sustain your lifestyle. Would it be amazing to see yourself travelling to different places and do the things that you love? It is no doubt that all of us want to be financially free the soonest time possible. Unfortunately, many of us do not know how to achieve it.
You might be wondering why in the world I said to give when all you need to do is save in order to be financially free. Do you believe that when you give you will receive a thousand fold? Giving 10% of your income to your local church or to your favorite charity demonstrates how to be a good steward of the wealth that is entrusted to us. The Bible says many verses about tithing; one of them is Malachi 3:10 which is the only place in the Bible that says it is alright to test Him.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
I have experienced miracles as a result of tithing. I firmly believe that if you give your first fruit to the Lord, He will find ways to sustain your needs and pour out His blessings.
Strategy # 2: Have Your Financial Goal In Place
When you want to travel, you should have a place of destination. When you go to school, you know when you will graduate. Similarly, you should have a financial goal in place. This will serve as your target and will help you to keep in focus. When you achieve your financial goal, it is a guarantee that you are ready to quit your job.
Strategy # 3: Live Within Your Means
What you normally do when you receive your monthly salary? I will read your mind… You are thinking now on how much you will allocate for the bills. How much you will spend on that gadget you wanted. Instead of thinking all of these expenses, try to consider saving first for yourself before you engage in spending. Try also to learn differentiating your “needs” versus your “wants”. Wants can surely wait and you should have a plan before you buy them.
Strategy # 4: Start Your Emergency Fund
In your journey to financial freedom, certainly the ride will not be smooth and there will be bumps along the way. Emergencies and unplanned expenses might happen that is why you need to prepare for it. The idea of having an emergency fund is to expect the unexpected events. It is not a question of if it will happen but a question of when it will happen. The verse describes this
“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” -Proverbs 21:20 (NLT)
Strategy # 5: Pay Off All Debts
According to the verse from the Bible,
Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender” (NRSV). Whenever we get that loan from the bank or scratched that credit card, you might be bringing yourself towards the bondage of debt. You should understand debts. Analyze if you are getting leverage from the debt you are acquiring. You might be in debt right now and have no idea how to get away with it. Seek the right information on ways of paying it. Always remember that you can build wealth faster if you are debt free.
Strategy # 6: Get Appropriate Life Insurance
One of the purposes of earning money is to sustain yourself and your family. Similarly in my case, I am an expatriate and the main reason I worked abroad is to give my family a brighter future. But what if something happens to soon, our family will be left behind. Are they prepared financially? Understand life insurance and get appropriate protection for you depending on your financial needs. Reflect on the verse regarding this
“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” –Proverbs 22:3
Strategy # 7: Organize Your Bank Account
May I ask you something? Why your wallet has many compartments? The wallet is made like that so that you can separate your money into different allocations. One section for your daily expenses, one section for your credit card, one section for your electrical bills, so on and so forth. Similarly, you should organize your bank account. I learned that having more than one saving account allowed us to appropriately manage our money tidily and efficiently.
Strategy # 8: Build Up Your Retirement Fund
Building up money for your future takes time. With the right interest rate of return and discipline of saving regularly, you can accumulate wealth faster. The best time to do it is to start saving early.
Reflect also on the verse regarding this
“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow”. – Proverbs 13:11
Strategy # 9: Look for Other Sources of Income
There are plenty of ways to increase your income. You can put up a business related to your skills or interest. You can try reducing your expenses and streamline your spending habits. You can also maximize your spare time by making it productive through side line / part-time jobs. Try to look for legitimate other sources of income out there.
Strategy # 10: Sell Your Junk
If you look around the house, you will notice that there are things that you do not need anymore which still have value. You can sell this through eBay or Amazon. When my family transfer and live with me here in abroad, we did a garage sale of the stuff we have accumulated. It has generated sufficient amount for us to alleviate the needs in our relocation.
Strategy # 11: Get Long Term Health Care
You are the money machine and the bread-winner of the family. If you get sick, your family will be adversely affected. Consider getting an appropriate long-term health care insurance so that when you no longer able to work because of aging or sickness, you are financially prepared. You will not depend to your children (whom by the way might have their own family that time) or to anybody. There are services out there that cater this.
Strategy # 12: Give More
The money that you have are not really yours, it is God’s money. It is imperative to learn to share what you have, even if its money, time or skills. Sharing them can be a blessing to others. It is clearly said in the Bible,
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”-2 Corinthians 9:6
Also, remember the Parable of the Talents, where we can learn that if we are faithful managing small amounts, we will be delegated with more.
Do you have other strategies to achieve your financial freedom? Feel free to share it.