How Not To Be Poor: Find Your Freedom
Have you ever asked yourself the question, why am I always broke?
Maybe you make the bare minimum that is barely enough to cover your expenses. Maybe, you make a decent amount, enough to be considered middle class, but somehow you never have any money left over at the end of the month.
Either way, you know there needs to be a change. You’re tired of always struggling and exhausted of trying to make ends meet month after month.
It’s hard living paycheck to paycheck. The good news is that you can take control of your situation and turn things around.
These 5 steps will help you figure out how not to be poor and find a life of financial freedom.
1. Change Your Mindset
You can’t make a change in your life without changing your mindset. How can you expect different results while still doing the same thing?
If you think it’s impossible to break out of the cycle of always being broke – you’re right. Until you start believing that you can accomplish something, most likely you won’t.
You have to make the decision that starting today you will make a change in your life, whatever it takes.
The journey to financial freedom is hard and requires sacrifices. But I’m here to tell you it is possible.
Start with a small step. Pick up one book. Start listening to one podcast.
One small step every day adds up to one medium step in a month and becomes one huge step in a year.
The reality and environment that you grew up in plays a big role in your thinking. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Change your thinking and you can change your reality. By reading the book The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaire and Middle Class, you will realize that there are key differences in the thought process of people who manage their money well and are able to grow it and people who don’t.
One of the biggest differences is that the middle class live above their means while rich live below their means. Learning to live below your means is crucial for your finances especially in the beginning.
Educate yourself by reading the top finance books and you will notice your mindset starting to change.
2. Start Budgeting
This is where it starts. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know everything about it. Budgeting means you write down all of your income and expenses, and make a financial plan.
You need to know where every dollar is going and you need to make the best of every dollar you have.
Budgeting can be tedious but without a plan it will be hard to succeed.
You will be able to allocate the right amount of money to each expense to make sure you have enough to pay for expenses like food, rent and other bills.
More importantly you will figure out how much money you can put away into savings and where it is possible for you to save even more.
Essentially, a budget is a way to keep control over your money and keep you focused on your financial goals.
This budgeting guide will take you through every step of the budgeting process so you can start taking control of your finances.
3. Start a Side Hustle
Best way to have more money? Make more money!
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans today have a side hustle. Side hustles are on the rise and it’s no surprise as many people are trying to gain control of their financial situation.
With the digital age, it has never been easier to start a side hustle. However, it does take a lot of work and well, hustle, to start making a good amount of money on the side.
To make your side hustle work, these are some things to remember:
Choose something at the crossroads of interest and money-making.
Not every side hustle will be something you’re passionate about. You may decide the best thing for you right now is to side hustle taking surveys – and that’s okay.
But keep in mind, many side hustles are scalable and can grow into full-time income streams and flourishing businesses. For such a side hustle make sure you choose something that you are good at and are interested in.
It may take time
Many side hustles need some time and elbow grease to get the ball rolling. While you’re working on getting your side hustle off the ground, don’t get discouraged.
Things take time and as long as you keep going, you will succeed.
Define goals and set milestones
Goals keep you moving forward. Plan out where you want to be a year from now and what you want to be doing. Some side hustles may require learning. Others need time to start making money.
Aim to accomplish one small goal and then repeat it over and over again, until you will soon find yourself where you only dreamed to be a year ago.
Side Hustles You Can Start Today:
You can complete surveys to get extra money. The payout isn’t huge, but when you are tight on money every little bit helps.
Swagbucks is a popular survey site where you can earn for playing games, watching videos, and searching the web.
Another good one is Survey Junkie which allows you to take surveys and get paid cash via PayPal or Gift Cards after you reach 500 points.
Start a Blog
A blog is a great side hustle for anyone looking to increase their income.
It is a lot of work upfront, but after setting up your site and publishing some content, you can start monetizing with ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsorships.
First things you will need to do is purchase hosting for your site.
You can start your own blog today with Bluehost for just $2.95 per month.
Once your site starts growing, you can make a substantial amount of money.
Become a Virtual Asssistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is possible without any experience.
You can choose who you work for, what tasks you do, and have flexibility in your schedule. You can even work from anywhere in the world.
All you need are good skills and a go getter mindset. Once you find your first client and start making money, you will be able to find more clients if you do a good job.
Interested in being a virtual assistant? Our virtual assistant guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Especially if you live in a bigger city, this side hustle can be easy, fun and lucrative.
With the app Rover, you can create a profile and set your rates for walking dogs, house sitting, or home drop in visits.
The more jobs you can take on, the more you can make, and it can add up pretty quickly.
Check out these side hustles to get even more ideas.
4. Save Everything You’ve Got
Now that you have figured out your budget, how much money is coming in and where your money goes, you can start figuring out how to save more money.
You might not be used to trying to save money on things, but there are many expenses that can be substituted for cheaper alternatives or taken out altogether.
Starting to live frugally, and under your means, is the biggest way to start becoming financially free. Because even if you make thousands a month and you spend it all on things, then you will still be broke.
Start a challenge with yourself, or include others for more motivation, to start saving as much money as you possibly can.
Got a few spare dollars? Don’t go to Starbucks and get a coffee. Instead put it towards your savings goal.
Learn the value of delayed gratification. It might be hard to say no to something today, but your bank account will thank you in the future.
There are many ways to live frugally. If you’re not using cashback apps, you’re leaving a lot of money behind. Ibotta and Rakuten are the best cashback apps to use to save money. With Ibotta you will have to upload your receipts and Rakuten requires an extension on your webpage to give you cashback.
The biggest difference between millionaires and other people is that millionaires invest while other people just spend money on something that is not going to give them any return.
Invest In Yourself
Investing in yourself is the biggest investment you can make.
Along with reading more books, you can take a class online that will teach you more skills. Udemy and Skillshare are great places to start where you can take a class that isn’t too expensive and yet learn a valuable skill.
You can also enroll in college to further your career and get a higher paying job. There are jobs that pay well and require only several months worth of studies.
Invest Your Money
You don’t need a lot of money to start investing.
Today with the help of micro-investing apps, you can start investing with even as little as $5. Acorns is an app that will help you save and invest your money by rounding up your purchases on linked accounts and investing the change into your investment portfolio.
Some other options to invest your money are apps like Robinhood, Stash and M1 Finance.
After increasing your income and having a good chuck in your savings account, you might even be able to start investing in real estate. Real estate is one of the best ways to invest your money and grow it exponentially.
Start Making Good Financial Decisions
To make a change you have to start. You have already started, by reading this article on how not to be poor.
Now that you have gotten your money under control, you are on your way to creating a life of financial freedom.
After you’ve started to educate yourself, created a budget, started a side hustle, are saving as much money as you can, and investing your money wisely, you will be able to see the difference that it makes in your finances.
Starting is hard, but the key is to keep going until you get to a point where you don’t have to worry about money anymore.