Money

3 Steps to Take if You Want Financial Independence This Year

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With age comes independence. We tend to take off the training wheels our parents kept on us for so long and yearn for the need to do things on our own. However, a quick lesson for many people is that doing things costs money! And we tend to fall into the habit of going back to our parents, whether we like to admit it or not. In fact, a recent survey about financial independence revealed that nearly half of the respondents ask their parents for help paying bills. And another survey found that nearly 60% of early adults between the ages 18 and 34 say they would not be able to afford their current lifestyles without parental support

So how do we help recognize how dependent we are when it comes to finances, and how can we make a change toward financial independence long term.

Be Honest With Yourself

The first step is being honest with yourself on where you stand with your finances. For example, how often are you asking your parents, partner, or other parties for help with bills? Are they still paying for shared plans that you were on with them while growing up like your cell phone bills, streaming services, and car insurance? Have you gotten used to relying on them for this help or do you want to pay for everything yourself eventually?

Being honest with yourself often means facing the fact that your budgeting needs improvement. If you find that you still don’t have enough money to cover your bills despite having adequate earnings, you are probably overspending. But don’t worry too much; you can become an expert budgeter with some self-discipline and awareness. Check out these six steps to making a personal budget

Look At The Factors  

Many key factors can play a huge role into why you feel you’re not as financially independent as you’d like to be. For example, is your income not sufficient enough? Unnecessary spending? Are you only able to afford certain bills and rely on outside sources for help with the others? 

There may be ways to cut down on spending by reevaluating areas of your life for improvement. For example, if you’re eating out most nights of the week, calculate last week’s worth of food spending. Then, determine the percentage of your paycheck spent on food. Many apps can help control spending by calculating those percentages for you, and they’re often free.

Wanting A Change

This can be looked at as one of the most important factors for learning where you are on the financial independence spectrum. While you may rely on help for bills, wanting to change your situation to become more independent is a huge step. Acknowledging that you want to increase your income, limit your spending, or take on responsibilities for shared services, like cell phone bills, is a way to recognize that you want to support yourself fully.

Overall, being financially independent is a huge accomplishment for anyone and you should never feel ashamed for needing to rely on your parents or a partner for help. But everyone has their own form of success and freedom.

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