You know the drill. Line up. Shuffle along like sheep. Have both pieces of photo I.D. ready.
Take off your shoes, throw your keys and wallet into the plastic bin, and deeply regret every break-room donut you ate this month as you step into the full-body scanner.
Like the 9 to 5 grind, traveling can have a lot of hard and fast rules that don’t bend easily when you want to do things like live life on your own terms.
But what if you could write your own ticket? What if you could call all the shots? Not just where to go, but when and how to get there?
Pack your bags because we’ve got The Top 5 Tips To Achieve Financial Independence In Canada.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
Before you take off, you’ll need to pull out a map – figuratively speaking. Decide where you want to go, how long it’ll take to get there and all the pit stops along the way. Financial independence starts with setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound – SMART.
What kind of lifestyle do you want? How much will it cost to maintain it? How much will you have to save every month? How long it will it take?
This journey is not for the faint of heart. You’ll have to make some big sacrifices now to reap the rewards later. Once you make that plan you need to stick to it. You can’t fold like your paper map and whip out your credit card every time Elon Musk tweets about Dogecoin.
Hold on to those goals with diamond hands, baby. Also known as living within your means.
2. Make A Budget
Every Sunday night you vow to cut back. And every Monday morning the Starbucks Siren logo pulls you into the drive through for that non-fat, double tall vanilla latte with extra whip. And a blueberry muffin. Oops! It’s Friday and you just spent over $50 on take out breakfasts alone.
Ditch the debit card and set a cash spending limit. When the money in your wallet is gone, do not replenish it. Keep your receipts and track your expenditures on an Excel spreadsheet. If you’re really tech savvy you can use a budgeting App.
You need to know exactly how much money you have and where it’s going. We suggest playing Eye Of The Tiger to get you into the number crunching zone.
We also suggest brewing your own coffee and baking your own muffins. Just a thought.
3. Pay Down Debt
Easier said than done, am I right? Debt is just a part of life but it shouldn’t dictate the terms of it either. Manage your debt by paying down loans with the highest interest rates first. These are usually credit cards but can apply to other types of loans too.
Contact each of your creditors to find out what type of interest you’re paying and at what rate. Start paying more than the minimum monthly payments. And as you knock off one balance, add that monthly payment to the next biggest balance owing. This is called the Snowball Effect and it really works.
Don’t stop there. If you’re carrying balances on your credit cards then shop around. Compare rates and introductory offers to find the best credit card for you. Sometimes you can score a sweet deal like 0% interest for 6 months just by transferring your balance.
Make you sure you read the fine print though so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
4. Pay Your Future Self
So you’ve been saving like a boss. But is your money really working for you? Financial independence means future you will be living off the smart money hacks you’re making right now. Throwing cash into a basic savings account isn’t going to bankroll the kind of financial freedom you deserve. You need to develop an aggressive investment strategy that will produce the kind of passive income you need to live the life you want.
Financial freedom and investment portfolios go together like tacos and Tuesdays. One without the other is just… we don’t even want to think about it. You definitely should be thinking about how to leverage investment resources to maximize your gains.
Never invested before? No worries! You can easily find the best online brokerage to help you crush your goals. Now is not the time to let a little thing like inexperience get in your way. Be all in or don’t be in at all.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yah, we quoted Yoda.
5. Start A Side Hustle
You can’t make your boss pay you more, but you can still increase your cash flow. And no, we don’t mean joining your cousin Becky’s pyramid scheme to sell overpriced organic cleaning products. We mean leveraging your skills and talents in the gig economy to chase that paper. It doesn’t even have to conflict with your current day job.
Everyone has something they’re good at. What’s your schtick?
Are you a wordsmith? Do some freelance writing. Know your way around a guitar? Teach some music lessons. Good with kids? Start babysitting. Nary a talent to speak of? That’s cool too. You can drive for Uber or deliver food for Skip The Dishes. The possibilities are endless.
Just make sure that hard-earned cheddar is headed straight for your investment portfolio and not into coffee and muffins on your way to work.
Living The Dream
Times are tough. It’s a different world now than it was for our parents. But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in a soul-sucking grind. Remember your goals. Honor the commitments you made to yourself. The end game isn’t necessarily to stop working but to have the freedom to do more of what you love.
Did you know most banks offer free financial advice to their clients? Yes, way! Book an appointment to speak to someone. Sound financial advice is like air traffic control. It helps you get to where you want to be quickly and safely. Review your plan regularly. Pivot when required. And one last thing…
Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels