On July 4th, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American Colonies were no longer part of the British Empire, giving birth to a new nation: The United States of America. From that day forwards, the US citizens have commemorated the Independence Day on the 4th of July.
People usually celebrate this important date having family reunions, barbecues, enjoying parades and watching the fireworks at the end of the day. The importance of this holiday brings you the opportunity to take a moment to think what makes you free nowadays and the aspects of your life in which you need to declare your own independence.
According to Oxford Dictionary, freedom means “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”; therefore, think if there is any aspect of your life in which you are feeling repressed: Is your job good? How about your finances? Is everything going well in that area? If the answer for this question is “no”, then it’s time to take responsibility and free yourself!
Keep always in mind that being independent and free also means being responsible; when the United States separated from the British Empire, the leaders had to be in charge of the nation’s political, social and economic matters and progress. On the other hand, if your answer to the questions was “yes”, great! You have something else to celebrate!
Here are Five Tips to Celebrate Your Own Financial Freedom.
- Check your Financial Plans; How Is It Going So Far?
This is a great date to check how your financial plan of the year is going so far, make yourself the following questions: Have you stuck to your budget? Have you reduced debts? Are your expenses within your means? Have you looked for any extra income? If your answer for most of these interrogations was ‘yes’, perfect! Continue doing what you have been doing so far.
If your answers were ‘no’ you need to adjust your plan and modify your strategy in order to achieve your goals. Remember to keep your financial plans as close as possible to reality. Planning for things we are not likely to accomplish will drive us further from our goals and make us feel we’re failing.
“Independent and free also means being responsible; when the United States separated from the British Empire, the leaders had to be in charge of the nation’s political, social and economic matters and progress”
- Find New and Better Opportunities.
Celebrate this 4th of July as the starting point towards finding new job opportunities to make some extra money. Investigate about freelance jobs you could do, for example: you could share about things that you like in a blog or in YouTube; also, if you have a hobby such as taking pictures or making handcraft consider selling them online; that could be an interesting, different way to increase your income. Set yourself free from old prejudices about how to make money and try if possible to monetize your hobbies.
Moreover, think what you could do to make yourself better qualified for a job (it could be for the one you have at the moment or for the one you wish to have), consider further studies in your area of expertise or taking courses available to update your skills. On the Internet there are thousands of great, cheap options, even quality courses or lessons for free. In pages like Udacity, Udemy and Teachlr you can find any course you need; there are also Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) usually offered by well-known institutions.
- Treat Yourself.
If you have achieved your financial goals so far this year, maybe is now the moment to treat yourself. Be careful not to lose your mind by acquiring a new and unnecessary debt or super expensive products just because you have a few extra bucks. Think about the money you have been saving for a specific purpose (a new laptop so you can work better; for example), if you already have the money, then go for it! Tip: Investing in experiences will probably make you happier and be less expensive than the newest iphone.
- Make a Budget.
The first step to achieve financial independence (if you don’t have it yet) is taking responsibility; therefore, if you haven’t achieved your financial goals so far and you haven’t follow an economic plan (or even if you haven’t done it), now is the time to free yourself from the oppression and the headaches of having a financial mess in your life; take this holiday as the starting point to change your behavior regarding this matter.
To this end, the main thing to do would be to create a budget: Establish your monthly incomes and expenses; define a saving strategy and make a plan to pay for your debts; the sooner the better. If you don’t know how to do it, look for an expert counsel.
- Make A Plan to Free Yourself from Your Debts.
As you well know, you cannot be completely financially independent if you have big debts to pay. For example, if you have a mortgage for your house you can make a plan to reduce its paying time; this will bring two main benefits for you: First, you will own your house and you will get rid of the headache of paying monthly for a mortgage. Second, you will save some money on interest rates.
July 4th is a day to rejoice liberty; therefore, financial freedom must not be putted aside, let’s celebrate it too! And if you don’t feel you have it yet, follow the example of Americans in the XVIII century and start working on your own independence.