3 Paths to Financial Freedom

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\You have decided this is the year you get out of debt.  You can see the finish line and can almost feel how amazing it will be to be debt free.   You are formulating a plan and budget and you’ve chosen to refinance your home so you don’t have to use high-interest credit cards to supplement your income.  Sometimes, this can be difficult to do.  With average credit card APR of 16.65% as of April 2018, paying down balances is challenging.  But you don’t want to be free of debt. You also want to have enough funds or income for comfort.  Here are some things you can begin today to help you achieve financial success.

Cut Expenses

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Cutting expenses and living a more frugal lifestyle can take some time to adjust to but will benefit you on the road to financial freedom.  Cooking at home instead of dining out is a great start.  The money you would have spent going out for dinner can be applied directly towards high-interest debt or put into a savings account to begin building wealth.  Once you start to develop the habit of saving money and cutting expenses, it can become addictive!  Look for other areas of spending that you may be able to adjust like cutting the cord with cable tv and switching to streaming devices instead.  Look for fun free activities that you can do in your neighborhood or city on the weekends.

Increase Income

The flip side of cutting your expenses is to work on increasing your income.  Looking for areas of opportunity for growth in your current position, or actively seeking out a higher paying new job.  Maybe taking a class or certification can help you to earn more in your career.  Picking up a part-time job is also an option.  Putting back all the income from your part-time job into a savings or investment account can help build your nest egg.  Or, if you have high-interest debt, a part-time job can do wonders for eliminating the deficit quickly.  Do odd jobs around the neighborhood or even host a yard sale. It is incredible how much stuff we accumulate that we no longer use but could sell.

Pay Off High-Interest Debt

You cannot have financial freedom if you are still in a cycle of debt.  Part of cutting expenses and paying off debt is thinking through your medium and large purchases.  Waiting to purchase big ticket items until you have the funds to cover it in cash is the best way to go.  If this is not an option, then pay in cash what you can, charge the rest and try and pay it off within 30 days to avoid accruing additional interest.

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If you owe on multiple cards or owe a higher balance, a secured loan could be the answer.  Regardless of where you live, you can find a title loan company to help you.   It could be Philadelphia or Los Angeles.  Just look up your location and “title loan in Google,” and you can get the help you need.  For example, “San Jose title loan”  in a quick search online could be the answer.

With secured loans, such as a title loan, you can use your vehicle title as collateral to obtain a loan with a lower interest rate.  You can use these funds to pay off the high-interest rate cards, make a lower monthly payment, and continue driving your vehicle during the life of the loan.

Any step you take towards gaining your financial freedom should be celebrated.  Work off small victories and don’t be too hard on yourself if you indulge occasionally.  Make small changes first, such as paying off a credit card or loan with a more modest balance, then tackling the next and so on.  You will find creative ways to pay off debt and find ways to earn extra income at the same time.  We wish you luck on your journey!

Erin Schollaert is a full-time teacher, mother, driver of children, cooker of dinner, washer of laundry, sayer of bad words, and hockey mom extraordinaire. She is not afraid to speak her mind, even if that means dropping a few old-fashioned hashtags, $#!&. In her free time — like that exists — she blogs in order to vent the frustration that comes with raising three kids. Her mantra, blogging, and swearing are better than a drinking problem.

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