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So, you’re interested in becoming financially independent?
Financial independence can mean a lot of things for many different people, from not having to check their bank account every time they shop at the store to planning stress-free vacations for their entire family or retiring decades early!
In this article, we’re going to shed some light on what it truly means to become financially independent.
If this is a goal of yours, you will definitely want to keep reading and don’t forget to bookmark this post so you can come back to it later!
What It Means to Become Financially Independent
First, what is financial independence?
This means you are financially free.
Money doesn’t hold you back and you feel little to no stress and no overwhelm when it comes to finances.
Why do people want this?
Well, money is stressful.
In today’s world, money fuels everything.
You need money to live in a home, get around town, work, eat, play, etc.
There’s no getting around it, you need money to survive and if you don’t have that money, stress and overwhelm sets in.
You worry about providing for your family, having a safe place to live, how to get reliable transportation to work and school, and more.
Have you ever daydreamed about a life without having to work?
Or, a life without thinking about money?
If you have, you are not alone.
Many people do and we’re going to share some tips to help you get there.
Wealth, Not Income
Lets get something straight from the beginning, before we dive in.
Wealth is not the same as income.
And, when we’re talking about becoming financially independent, the focus is on wealth.
You need to have wealth, not necessarily income or high income.
So, how do you acquire wealth.
It boils down to two things:
1.) Making money
2.) Cutting costs/saving money
Making Money to Acquire Wealth
Making money is needed to build wealth to the point where you are financially independent.
That can start right now.
You don’t want to wait until you’re retired.
Have you ever seen those stories where that couple retired in their 30s?
Or, this person retired in his 40s?
How can they possibly do that?
They have achieved financial independence.
Now that you know making more money is needed, how can you get there?
You just need more money and you can take many paths to get there, including:
- Starting a side business
- Starting a side hustle
- Working a second job
- Working overtime
- Subletting your home
- And, more!
Before getting started, it’s helpful to have a goal in mind.
You want to know what you’re working toward and this retirement calculator can help you with that.
Find out how much you need to retire and from there, you can calculate how much you need to save every year to reach your goal of being financially independent.
Once you get there, you don’t necessarily have to retire but it will be an option and sometimes having that option is enough to help someone feel financially free.
Cutting Costs and Saving to Build Wealth
Next, you will probably need to cut costs and save to grow your wealth and become financially independent.
Because just making more money usually isn’t enough to cut it.
Cutting costs in all areas of your life for the long-term will be a reality but after a few months or a few years of doing it, you’ll see that you will get used to that way of life and it won’t feel so different.
How can you cut costs?
It starts with lifestyle.
Now, you can cut costs and still live in a “high lifestyle” kind of life.
If it’s important to go to fancy restaurants, take luxe vacations annually, buy a designer item every now and then, you can definitely still do that but, it will take you longer to get to your goal of being financially independent.
Alternatively, you live in a way where you cut back more, saving more moderately and get to your goal a lot faster.
Both ways work. Which way to take?
Money-Making Strategies to Start Today
We will briefly highlight some different ways you can make more money and break them into these categories:
- Small business
- On-demand job
- Side hustle
- Second job
A small business is a business enterprise you will start on your own.
This can be anything you’d like.
Think about your hobbies and passions.
Consider how you can help your community solve a problem, then start a business around that.
Isn’t starting a business expensive?
While startup costs can soar for some types of businesses, there are businesses you can start for cheap, or even for free.
You do not want to put yourself in debt for the purposes of making more money, not knowing if your business will be successful or not and gambling on if you will successfully recoup those costs or not.
So, stick with a low startup business:
- Service businesses
- Online businesses
A service business is one that offers a service, like plumbing, housecleaning, picture framing, blinds installation, HVAC repair, etc.
These businesses are cheap and/or free to start because there is very little overhead.
You don’t even need a commercial office space where customers walk in. It can be run entirely out of your home or online.
Do you have skills that can translate into a service-based business?
Here are some additional examples:
- Web design
- Web development
- Computer programming
- Graphic design
- Digital marketing
Once you decide on the type of business you’ll be starting, you’ll need a few basic things to get you started:
- A website
- A business account
You can actually create your business website yourself, using our free 7-step guide.
A business bank account is helpful for taking customer payment and paying yourself a salary.
It’s recommended that you keep business expenses/income separate from your personal income and expenses.
Then, start getting clients.
- Online service banks
- Local groups
Networking will really get you far.
The saying is true, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Mingle with people, get friendly with neighbors and if you have the budget, get professional business cards made that you can hand out when you meet prospects.
Lastly, local groups like neighborhood groups on Facebook, Nextdoor, and others are great places to find clients.
The next category is that of on-demand jobs.
These are gig work jobs where you will have a lot of freedom and flexibility.
They are called on-demand because you get to pick your work schedule.
A lot of jobs in this category are driver jobs, where you taxi people around in your car, deliver food or deliver stuff.
Here are some great resources to check out to read more about them:
- Drive for Uber Review: Things You Should Know Before Becoming an Uber Partner
- Drive for Lyft: Everything You Need to Know
- UberEATS Driver Review: Earn Around $11 Per Hour Delivering Food
- Postmates Driver Review: Pay Structure, Requirements, & More
- Grubhub Delivery Driver Job Review: Earn$10+ Hour
These jobs have some things in common.
You’ll enjoy the flexible schedule.
There is relaxed work attire (no uniform), you pick your hours, get paid weekly or on-demand, and work from the comfort of your car.
The main drawback is that you’ll be using your car for work, which means more wear and tear as well as added mileage to your vehicle.
But, you will be getting paid for it, so there’s that.
On-demand jobs are growing tremendously because customers are busy and they are looking for their food, alcohol, dry cleaning, groceries, and other goods to be delivered to them.
Workers enjoy this job because they have a lot of freedom and flexibility with the ability to work independently. It’s the perfect gig for introverts.
A side hustle is a job you do on the side.
So typically you’ll have your primary job and then you’ll do a side hustle apart from that, for extra money.
Here are some examples of side hustle jobs you can do for extra money:
- Digital marketing
- Virtual assistance
- Get paid for your opinion
As a blogger you will have a website centered around a specific topic, like food, homeschooling, budgeting, travel, fashion, etc.
The website serves as a place to help people who are interested in that topic.
For example, a food blog will help people who are interested in discovering that type of food, learn how to cook, make recipes, etc.
So, how do bloggers get paid?
It’s a common misconception that bloggers work for free.
In fact when I used to run my online store, I worked closely with many bloggers and I never knew that they actually made money.
Not only do they make money, but they can make a lot of money, like this blogger who made over $43,000 last month.
Yes, last month!
You can make money blogging with:
- Affiliate marketing
- Your own products and services
Making Money Blogging with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing means you will refer products to your readers and when they click on your affiliate link and buy, you earn a small commission, at no additional cost to them.
For example, for your food blog, if you referred a $50 cookbook with 20% commission and you sold 5 cookbooks last month, your commission would be $50.
Bloggers, like this one, do very well with affiliate marketing, making over $50,000 per month.
Even newer bloggers, like this one, make $5,000 to $7,000 per month, from affiliate marketing alone.
Making Money Blogging with Sponsorships
Sponsorships or brand deals are where a company collaborate with a blogger on a paid campaign.
For example, as a food blogger, the cookbook company might pay you to feature their cookbook on your blog.
There are many different kinds of sponsorships including features, video demonstrations, giveaway hosting, social media blast, email blast, and more.
In effect, the company is paying you to blog.
This same blogger (mentioned above) makes $30,000+ per month from blog sponsorships alone!
This is a lucrative way to monetize a blog and there are an endless number of brands that you, as a blogger, can work with.
Advertisements can be placed on your blog and when readers click, you get paid.
The reader does not have to sign up, share their email address, or buy, they only need to click, in order for you to get paid.
Here is an example of a blogger that earns over $52,000 per month from ads alone.
To make this kind of money, you will have to have a very popular blog, receiving millions of views every month but a blog receiving 100,000 monthly views can easily make a few thousand dollars extra monthly from ads alone.
Making Money Blogging with Products and Services
Lastly, the most lucrative income category: your own products and services.
This blogger has made up to $400,000 from a single product launch!
You create your own products and offer services that serve your audience.
- Digital guides
- And, more!
So you can see from the examples above that blogging can be quite lucrative.
Check out our free 7-step detailed guide for starting your own blog.
Freelancing is an opportunity for you to monetize your skills.
It aligns well with a skill-based job that you may already be doing for your primary employment.
For example, if you are a web designer, you can do freelance web design on the side.
For a list of skills and freelance positions available, head to Upwork and look at their categories to give you an idea.
This is a gig you can start for free.
Head to these freelance job banks, build your profile and then start bidding for projects and you’ll get your first clients to get you started:
Digital marketing encompasses a huge scope of marketing jobs like email marketing, social media marketing, bot development, VR development and more.
This is a great field to break into even if you have no marketing skills or marketing background.
But, if you are serious about succeeding and earning a lot of money in this field, I suggest you check out this resource and get certified (it’s free) for digital marketing.
You will be helping companies reach their customers through the Internet.
This may involve creating and implementing marketing campaigns, testing different marketing methods, reviewing the data and analytics, setting benchmarks and more.
A virtual assistant is a personal assistant that works virtually.
This person will do a wide range of tasks, depending the needs of their clients.
This may include:
- Social media marketing
- Answering phone calls
- Answering emails
- Setting meetings
- Calendar management
- Budgeting and bookkeeping
- And, more!
Here are some resources where you can learn more about virtual assistance and get a VA job:
To be a successful VA, you should be well-organized, detail-oriented, diligent, a strong communicator, and possess basic computer skills.
Virtual assistants can earn $12 to $100/hour depending on skillset.
Get Paid for Your Opinion
Getting paid for your opinion with paid surveys is a great way to make extra money, up to $600/month or more.
How it works?
Sign up for free.
Each survey company is different and may pay you money, points, rewards, or in gift cards.
Tips to Make the Most Money with Paid Surveys
- Join multiple survey sites
- Track your time and income
- Use a separate email address just for surveys, to stay organized
A second job is an additional job outside of your primary work.
This can be any of the types of work described above, or you can work a traditional job in industries like:
- Food service
Most people that work a second job do so on a part-time basis, on weekends or after hours during the week.
This is a good way to increase your income but you find less flexibility and freedom typically, compared to the money-making ideas shared above.
Asking your workplace for overtime is a nice way to make double or triple your regular wage.
You simply work more hours in a job that you are already doing.
This is usually the first route people go who need extra money but, the only challenge is that overtime is not guaranteed.
There could be a time when your job is seasonally busy and then you experience a period of slowness.
This is a reason why overtime is not a stable form of extra income.
But, some workplaces also have guaranteed overtime which will give you more opportunities to make more money.
Money-Saving and Cost-Cutting Strategies to Implement
The second part of becoming financially independent is cutting your costs and saving more money.
To get started, think about all aspects of your life, make a list of your expenses and then craft a strategy to lower and/or eliminate those costs.
Cutting Costs at Home
Lowering your costs at home will include expense categories like rent/mortgage, utilities, cable, and extras like subscription boxes/deliveries, etc.
How to lower costs?
It starts with less consumption.
For example, if you consume less electricity, your electricity bill will be lower.
Ideas to lower consumption:
- Unplug appliances and equipment that are not in use (like TV’s, toasters, small appliances, audio/visual equipment, etc.)
- Turn off lights and fans when leaving a room
- Get a smart thermostat
- Turn the thermostat warmer during the day and cooler at night
- Time water use, like showers and teeth brushing
Next, it’s time to negotiate.
Call your creditors and negotiate a lower rate/lower cost.
You can do this with your electric bill, gas, water, cable, and more bills.
Turn off your cable, stop your monthly subscription boxes and recurring deliveries, etc. to trim expenses in this budget category.
Cutting Costs For Work-Related Expenses
Work-related expenses can vary but typically include transportation costs as the most costly work expense.
How do you get to work?
Do you drive your car or take public transit?
And, how can you lower those costs?
Ideas to lower car costs
If you drive to work with your own car, there are ways to lower your car expense:
- Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle
- Drive using cruise control on highways
- Using apps to find cheap gas like Gas Buddy
- Carpooling to work
- Walking to work
- Taking public transportation
- Bicycling to work
Work-related costs can also include the cost of fast food for morning Starbucks coffees and lunch on the go with coworkers.
You can cut these costs by eliminating them all together.
Take snacks and lunch to work.
Make coffee at home and bring to work in a coffee tumbler.
Limit work lunches to once per week or cut them out completely.
Those lunches away from work contribute to your gas cost as well.
These are simple changes that can help you free up money to contribute to savings, helping you move closer to becoming financially free.
Cutting Costs on Entertainment
You don’t have to eliminate entertainment from your life totally.
It’s all about balance.
You work and you play.
There are ways to lower entertainment costs, like:
- Embracing a no-spend weekend once a month
- Trying cheap entertainment options like eating at restaurants on Kids Eat Free nights
- Trying free entertainment options like movie marathons at home or visiting the public library
- Switch to cable alternatives
- Share Amazon Prime (you can add another adult with Amazon Household)
- Buy used (consignment stores are great, especially for growing kids that outgrow clothes quickly)
- Take advantage of credit card perks
More on cutting entertainment costs.
So, you create multiple income streams for yourself, build your wealth, while at the same time cutting costs and saving money and you have the recipe for becoming financially independent.
The time to start is now!
If you’re serious about achieving financial freedom, visualize it and then create a plan to put it into action.
In as little as a few short months or years, you can be on your way to living a financially free lifestyle, not worrying about money, and not living life around work.
What do you think?
Share some reasons why you want to become financially independent, down below in comments!