Financial freedom is about taking ownership of your finances. It is a journey that requires you to take stock of how you manage your funds. When you’re intentional about being free from debt and worrying less about paying for sudden expenses then you can say that you’re financially free.
It’s easy to want a lifestyle that suits your needs but how are you working towards it? It starts by knowing what to commit your funds to and what can wait or you don’t need. Now, financial freedom does not exactly equate to being debt-free but it means that you know what portion of your funds go into paying back little debts like credit cards, mortgage loans, or point-of-sale shopping without you failing on repayment or being broke.
We all know that feeling of panic that sets in when unexpected expenses such as car repair or health problems pop up. The thought is “How am I going to pay for that?” But imagine being able to confidently pay for such expenses without breaking a sweat? That’s where you want to have such a thing as a credit card. This is not to encourage acquiring debt but in a bid to save and invest your way into financial freedom, you could end up not having immediate access to liquid cash for unexpected expenses and a credit card can be the fix you need for such instances.
Credit cards are designed to help us maintain the state of financial freedom. The fact is you can have thousands of credit cards in the world but if you mismanage your income, you will end up running into debt because you are spending without planning so you end up broke all the time and unable to make your repayment. The reason is not that you do not have enough or you have too many needs, you might just be making some money mistakes that you need to fix to stay financially free.
We will highlight these mistakes and how you can fix them.
Mistake 1: No financial Goal
A financial goal is a target to aim at when managing your money. It can involve saving, spending, earning, or investing. We all set goals at certain points in our lives, it could be weekly, monthly, or even yearly. The point is that as you set goals personally and professionally, it’s very important to also set financial goals. This is going to help you manage how you spend and what you spend on.
You can start with monthly financial goals. Once you receive your salary for the month, you could split the money based on priorities of needs while considering that you need to put enough aside to get the ball rolling for your financial goal. For instance, if you earn 250,000 Naira monthly, you can split it using the 50–30–20 rule to make sure that enough money goes into savings, investments, emergency funds, and your upkeep for the month. This will help you curb unplanned expenses and know when to recognize a need and a want.
We know there are days where there are urgent needs that you have to attend to and you have insufficient funds to attend to them. In situations like that, you could just use your CredPal credit card and pay later when you receive your salary. This way, you don’t have to dip into your savings and you can keep your emergency funds for a higher spend if the need arises.
Action plan: Have a financial plan that suits your income.
Mistake 2: Spending more than you earn
When it comes to reaching your financial goals, the quote “fake it till you make it” doesn’t apply. Acting like a millionaire and having enough funds to spend like a millionaire are two different things. Acting like a millionaire means you dress, talk, think, and eat like a millionaire. Spending like a millionaire means buying things that a millionaire can afford and still have enough money to fall back on.
Basically, do not spend like a millionaire when you are earning thousands. You can manage how you spend and still look like a millionaire, you don’t have to explain to everyone where and how you spend your money.
Action Plan: Do not spend more than you earn, have some limits, and try not to exceed them.
Mistake 3: Excessive subscription plans
Subscriptions upon subscriptions are not healthy for your finances. Some subscriptions are necessary while some are not. It is safe to unsubscribe from all those apps and sites you have subscribed to but you no longer use their services or use them once in 3 months. One of the features of these subscriptions is that they automatically remove the money from your account when you forget to unsubscribe or cancel the plan.
Action Plan: Unsubscribe from accounts and apps you do not make use of or hardly use and seek free options.
Mistake 4: No plan for your emergency needs
Emergency needs will mostly arise and emergency funds should be available to meet those needs. This is one of the mistakes that people make that often leads them to borrow from friends and family and then dealing with disappointment when they cannot meet up with their needs. A hack to deal with this is to get a credit card to help you through situations like that. For example, your phone packing up in the middle of the month is not planned for but you have to fix it. This is where your emergency funds come to play and if what you have saved in your emergency fund isn’t enough, you can use your credit card.
Action plan: Get a credit card that can help you fix your emergency needs and small ticket purchases when they are still urgent.
However, a credit card should not encourage you not to fail on planning your expenses, because not having a plan will affect how you spend what is on your credit limit and might affect your repayment which is bad for your credit score. Planning your finances + saving + getting a CredPal credit card = financial freedom.
Read Also: 10 things to buy with your credit card