No matter what goes on in the news, Washington or the world, to build a stable tomorrow, we must take control of our own lives. Even with all the current upheaval, here are five things you can do today to empower yourself and to gain financial independence.
Track Spending Down to the Penny
This is the number-one most useful technique to implement today if you want to truly gain financial independence. Imagine if businesses did not track every one of their expenses—how would they know the financial health of their enterprise? It is no different for you and me. It is paramount to know where your money is going and what percentage of your net worth you are spending.
Know Your Net Worth
Assets minus liabilities equals net worth. Place a value on everything you own and subtract what you owe. This figure is your net worth.
Now divide how much you spent last year by your net worth number, and you will have your percentage of spending to net worth. If you are spending 4% or lower, congratulations! You are in great shape financially. If your percentage is higher, then adjustments need to be made to your balance sheet. Increase your net worth, lower spending or employ some combination of the two to gain financial independence.
Check out Different Healthcare Options
The delivery of medical care in the US is in a huge state of flux and has been for a very long time. Even having health insurance does not guarantee that you will receive quality care. If you have a high deductible plan or are self-insured, you owe it to yourself to look at domestic medical tourism opportunities. Some hospitals and clinics offer substantially lower prices for services rendered because they take cash, not payment from insurance providers. There are also American owned and operated medical tourism companies that can help you with successful overseas medical travel.
Rattle the Home Cage
Housing costs are one of the highest expenses of any household. Between paying the mortgage, repairs, maintenance, insurance and taxes, this adds up to a considerable chunk of change annually. Contemplate making money being a host to a traveler by renting out a room in your home or perhaps take on a permanent renter to help pay your mortgage. When you vacation, try a home exchange or do a house sit to cut this category of expense down to size.
Consider Moving Overseas
Did you know that you can earn $102,100 tax-free by working abroad? English teachers in Asia and South America have known about this opportunity for years. If you are an engineer, a career executive or are in the hospitality trade, ride out financially turbulent times by working overseas. If you are planning your retirement – at any age – you can discover a fuller lifestyle, less demanding weather and more accessible, affordable healthcare in many not-so-far-away locations.
What are you waiting for? Yesterday is past and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Take control of your financial life today.
How are you setting yourself up for success? Have you achieved financial independence? Share your stories and advice with the Frayed Passport community!