By Emsie Martin
To try and keep your head above water with sky-high living costs, increasing debt situations, excessive spending opportunities and those attractions for immediate gratification, are only a few of the problems that prevent you from experiencing financial freedom.
“When and as soon as you have paid off your debt, established an emergency fund for yourself and your household and have the income to achieve your life goals as well as to cover your living costs, you can claim and achieve financial freedom,” emphasises Carla Oberholzer, debt advisor at DebtSafe.
Following are some of the everyday obstacles that can prevent you from gaining financial freedom and some tips on how to overcome them:
If you earn less than what you owe and every month have more ‘month than money’ left over, your income is insufficient.
- Increase your income amount by justifying a raise. Or look out for a job that pays more or a better job opportunity (to find a job opportunity requires time and persistence, but it is possible).
- You could also do something you enjoy in the spare time you have at your disposal and use it to earn an additional income.
- Do you have access to a computer and are you a revered author or editor? Why not try your hand at freelancing?
- Do you enjoy cooking and do you have a stove at your disposal? Why not prepare healthy, home-made meals? (You can limit the cost of your gas or electricity consumption).
The possibilities are endless; the key is to start somewhere.
Unspecified financial goals
When you know where you are heading and what you have to achieve within a specific time framework, you will have the necessary direction and motivation to reach your goals. If you don’t have any monetary aspirations, it will have the opposite effect. Set clear aims. Revise your list regularly and remember to also add your ‘goal reaching dates’ via your calendar.
Lack of financial knowledge/education
Although previously you didn’t have the opportunity to learn how money works, this could be precisely the motivation you need to make the effort and brush up your basic understanding of personal finances.
- Utilise resources at your disposal and broaden your knowledge. You will be amazed at how many educational channels there are.
- Listen to reliable experts’ conversations, make use of books and online reading material, or
- Consult a reliable expert to help you make health financial decisions.
Financial freedom isn’t child’s play, but it is feasible by adding purposeful behavioural adjustments to your lifestyle and daily routine. You could remind yourself constantly of your responsibilities: You stick to your budget, say ‘no’ to impulsive purchases, avoid incurring extra debt (regardless of how attractive the marketing message may be) and rather focus on your ‘needs’ instead of your ‘wants’.
Can you really save effectively for that holiday if you first have to settle various debts?
It’s advantageous to have a financial plan in place – draw up a budget, add your goals accordingly and indicate your priorities. For example, to first pay off your debts one by one or to save for your short-term goal.
External factors (beyond your control, for example fuel price hikes, food price increases and inflation).
There are various things over which you have no control, but you can try to manage your own finances by establishing a few changes.
Apply basic principles – if you need more money for groceries or other living costs, review your previous three months’ bank statements for any ‘spending or saving leakages’ that you can start cutting immediately. And revise your insurance contracts and service agreements (such as that gym contract that you seldom use or your cell phone contract that is excessively high).
If you have already tried everything and still cannot see a way through the dark tunnel to gain financial freedom, it’s time to call in expert help. Consider the advice of reliable financial planners, your banker or recommended professionals. When you need help and currently earn an income and have serious debt problems, you can also contact a registered debt counsellor/debt counselling company that is regulated by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and functions under the National Credit Act.
Do the issues listed above sound familiar? Under no circumstances give up hope. You can claim back your financial freedom: all you have to do is to remove the obstacles in your path.
Perhaps you would like to change your career and help people to become more independent.
Solidarity Occupational Guilds is a community that not only empowers you in your career, but also a community where you feel at home, work and learn together. It is a community that concentrates on protecting the profession, creating career opportunities for young people, as watchdog supervises professions and proposes feasible solutions to challenges. Visit https://guilds.solidarity.co.za/ for more information regarding your occupational guild.
DebtSafe Carla Oberholzer email: email@example.com or SMS your name and surname to 30898 (free SMS).