It took me a few years and a lot of tough lessons, but at 33 I have become a fairly efficient money manager. Planning for the future and striving for financial independence is such an important part of being an adult, and while there are all kinds of ways to do that, they don’t all have to be difficult! So how do I work towards financial independence every day?
My first method is to find ways to save when shopping for essentials. For example, a surprisingly large amount of most people’s monthly budget is spent on fairly inexpensive consumable items such as personal care products and cleaning supplies. I quickly learned when tracking my purchases that by paying attention to the results I got with different products, I could whittle down the amount I spent. Often, that cheap $1 bottle of floor cleaner works just as well as a pricier brand name. And when that isn’t the case, buying a more expensive product actually lasts longer and saves me money over time!
I also make it a point to walk or bike everywhere in my small hometown, regardless of the weather or the nature of my errand. Gas is expensive and wasting it to go to places that are within walking distance just doesn’t make sense to me. By finding a handy grocery cart that attaches to the back of my bicycle, I can even pick up the weekly groceries without spending a penny on gas. And best of all, since I always bring my boys along, it lets us spend time together as a family and get a little exercise too!
One other way I strive for financial independence is by keeping track of the amounts I save and then actually adding that money to a savings account. Getting a great deal is a step in the right direction, but if I just use the money I saved to buy something else, the savings aren’t really beneficial. By actually taking that saved money out of the budget and banking it for the future, I motivate myself to keep saving and build up my account more and more!
This week the United States is celebrating Independence Day and Capital One 360, a company I love for its wide range of products and services geared at both individuals and businesses, is celebrating too by helping some lucky Americans to take one step closer to financial independence! Just visit http://bank360.com/my360 and share a photo or post about how you’re working towards your own #My360Independence. From now until July 14, 2014, Capital One 360 will be choosing one lucky participant per day to receive $1,776!
There are so many little things that can be done to help a family move towards financial independence, from cooking meals at home instead of eating at restaurants to exchanging that monthly trip to the movies for a night of Netflix and homemade snacks instead. And all of these little changes result in savings that can build up bank accounts, pay off debt and help you achieve your financial goals. Share your best tips for achieving financial independence in the Capital One 360 #My360Independance Sweepstakes today and start working towards a more financially secure future!