Can we be real about the struggle for a second?
I very rarely quote Kanye, but he wasn’t wrong when he said, “Having money’s not everything, but not having it is…”
…Or at least it can feel that way.
And, as hard as it is for me to admit – the reason I’m not further along financially is 100% my fault.
I played around with my potential for far too long. Taking some risks, but not enough. Making some strides, but never fully committing to my goals. Making some progress, but nothing close to what I knew I was capable of.
Can you relate?
Somewhere along the line, fear of failure, rejection, judgement, pure laziness etc… kept me tied to my comfort zone.
All the while I got to see friends, associates, and family soaring in their lives. I was mostly happy for them, but if I’m being honest, I was also jealous of them. (P.S. I’m cringing as I write this, the truth can be ugly sometimes)
Related: How to deal with Jealousy
Anyway, part of the reason I wasn’t making progress was because I kept getting caught in this cycle of overwhelm and unproductivity.
But thank God that for every problem there IS a solution and it’s never too late for us to make better choices.
Breaking the Cycle…
I’m willing to bet that if you’ve been struggling to make real progress with your financial freedom plan for a while, you’ve gotten caught up in a similar cycle. Here’s what the cycle looks like:
1. Something triggers you (a Facebook post, a bill, having to pass on a vacation you really want, but can’t afford, etc…) ?
2. You’re reminded that your current financial situation is NOT the business.
3. Now you’re frustrated… ?
4. So you make up your mind: today you’re going to CHANGE things foreal…
5. BOOM…you’re excited now. You’re ready to level up. ?
6. You’re ready to find a side hustle, make some extra money, pay down some debt, and get your savings in order.
7. So you start researching… ?
8. Your excitement soon fades, and you feel overwhelm setting in… There’s. So. Much. Advice out there. There are 10 Million side hustles to choose from, countless ways to “make money fast” and tons of articles/blog posts to sift through.
9. Pretty soon, your hours deep in the Google vortex, no closer to your goals and unsure of what to do next. Information overload has officially taken over. ?
10. Unsure of where to start, you tell yourself you’ll come back to it, and you forget about it until you’re triggered… Again
I’ve been through this cycle about 15,000 times… okay, I’m exaggerating. But truthfully I’ve been through that cycle more times than I’d care to admit.
So, the question remains… how do we break the cycle so we can finally create a financial freedom plan that works?
Well, here’s what’s working for me (Disclaimer: I’m not a financial expert, just a girl sharing her experiences with the hopes of helping you.)
A KISS You Can’t Resist
The secret to this process is to KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart).
A financial freedom plan generally has 2 basic buckets:
- Make more money
- Save more money / Payoff Debt (Paying off debt can be it’s own bucket, but I prefer to combine it here)
So, that’s where we’ll start.
??Every strategy you choose will fall into the 1st bucket (make money) or the 2nd bucket (save money).
??Come up with a game plan for each strategy. Here’s a sketch of what this looks like…
Easy enough, right?
Before we go deeper, let’s cover the ground rules.
The 3 rules of creating your Financial Freedom Plan:
??Choose 3 or Less strategies for each bucket. Remember, the goal is NOT to overwhelm yourself. Don’t try a million things at once. Instead, choose no more than 3 strategies to help you make more money. Then choose 3 or less strategies to help you save money. Now, I know you’re wondering how to choose those strategies… More on that to come.
??Choose a time frame to test your strategies. I recommend giving yourself 3 months (90 days) to test. Depending on the strategies you start with, you may find that a few of them aren’t working for you. Basically, you want to give yourself enough time to get into a groove with each strategy. After doing it for 3 months, you can judge whether or not it’s helping you. If it is, rock on. If not, reevaluate.
??Be realistic about your resources and limitations. Your biggest resource is time. You may have more or less of it depending on what you’re juggling. If you’re working full time, going to school, and raising a family – then more passive strategies will be your friend. Also, consider your limitations. I do not enjoy sales, so choosing a side hustle like Mary Kay, that requires me to constantly sell, would not work out well for me. The point here is to be honest with yourself so you can choose realistic strategies.
Choosing Your Financial Freedom Strategies
This is where it gets interesting…
You have a TON of options to choose from.
I’m not going to cover specific strategies in this post, but don’t worry, I’ll share links to great options below.
First though, let’s talk about how to evaluate your strategies. When you’re considering your strategies ask the following questions:
- What would the learning curve be? (If you’re artistic, choosing a creative side hustle like doing freelance design work would probably have a smaller learning curve, and be easy to start.)
- How much time would I need to invest in this? (Again, your time is one of your biggest assets. If you’re strapped for time, doing time sensitive and time consuming work would be more stressful.)
- What do I need to get started? (Depending on the side hustle, you may need to make a financial investment. For example, if you want to start a freelancing business you’ll have to invest in a logo, website, maybe business cards, etc.)
- Is this something my spouse can get behind? (If you’re married, chances are financial decisions have to be made by both of you. Consider how your spouse can contribute to and support each strategy)
Answering these questions will help you narrow down those options to find the strategies that’ll work best for you.
Check out the following resources for “Money Making” Strategies:
- 13 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money While You Sleep
- 16 Fun Hobbies That Can Make You Money
- 22 Best Money Making Apps for Your Smartphone
- 25 Foolproof Ways to Get Free Money
- 19 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online
Check out the following resources for “Money Saving” Strategies:
Tying Your Financial Freedom Plan Together
Now that you’ve chosen your strategies, break it down even further. What are the steps you need to follow to get started with each strategy?
For example, if one of your strategies is the Debt Snowball Method you’ll start by figuring out exactly what you owe, prioritizing that list, and choosing the order in which you’ll pay off your debt (that’s a loose summary of the strategy).
Whatever the steps are for the strategy you chose, write them out so you know exactly what to do.
Then, as they say, “there’s nothing to it, but to do it…”
By the end of this you should have your Financial Freedom Plan complete with strategies to reach each goal, and an action plan to carry you through the next 90 days.
That’s it! What strategies are on your financial freedom plan? Let me know in the comments!
Rooting for your Financial Freedom!
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w/ light and love,
Matthew 5:14 – You are the light of the world. And like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.