We work hard every day to help consumers reach financial independence. This goal will take most of us a lifetime to achieve, and it’s never too soon to start.
1. Pay off debt
Our credit and debt counseling services are designed to help consumers conquer debt right away. If a counseling client is a good candidate for a debt management plan, we cut up their credit cards before they leave the counseling session. Even though our debt management plans pay off debt in the short term, getting rid of debt is a crucial early step toward eventual financial independence.
You might realistically think financial independence is something you might strive for in retirement, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But no matter how far off retirement is, paying off debt now is essential.
We can’t stress this enough. Saving has to be a constant habit if you’re ever going to be truly independent. Even if finances are tight and you can’t afford to save much, always save something. It’s important to develop the positive habit of always saving a portion of all of your income–and we do mean all income, not just your wages. Save a portion of monetary gifts you receive, income from garage sales, rebates, or any other money that comes in.
3. Start early
It’s never too late to make positive changes to your financial habits and pay off debt. Our Debt Management Plans can pay off debts in 3 to 5 years, so you’re never too old to get started. When it comes to saving, though, the earlier you start, the better. Check out our infographic on the Cost of Waiting in our post, When if Comes To Saving Money, Starting Early is Crucial.
4. Improve your financial habits
People who live their lives spending frivolously don’t tend to suddenly change their spending habits when they transition to a fixed income. If you can hope to successfully live a financially independent life in your later years, you need to start developing good financial habits now. Learn to live on a budget, pay cash for things rather than use credit, stop buying things you don’t need, plan ahead for big purchases… this fourth point is a big one. Don’t be intimidated, though; you don’t have to be perfect overnight. The idea is to spend your adult years developing these good financial habits so that you have them mastered by the time you get to retirement.
Over the past four decades, we’ve helped millions of consumers get closer to financial independence. We can help you, too. Talk to one of our certified credit counselors today to get started on eliminating debt. The income you free up from reducing your debt payments can help you get started on your crucial savings goals.