Almost everybody dreams of quitting their job and having enough money to only work when they want, but most people aren’t willing to take the risks they need to take to get there. Financial independence is the key to happiness for many because it takes them out of the senseless career climb and instead lets them focus on the things that truly make them happy. If that is a future that you want, then you need to stop dreaming about it and start working on it right now.
Here are 7 quick ideas or lifehacks that could speed you on your way to financial independence. Even if these life hacks don’t give you a shortcut to financial independence, they will at least put some extra money in your pocket.
1. Set up an automatic saving for an amount you won’t miss – and then take a risk with it.
If you are the kind of person who lets the finer details of your bank statement go unchecked, then this is a great way to trick yourself into saving money. Set up an automatic weekly or monthly payment into a savings account, ensuring the amount is a sum that you won’t miss or maybe even notice disappearing. Whether you are putting away $10 or $50 a week, eventually that sum will begin to add up and start gaining some interest in your savings account.
The next step is to invest it, any way you think is suitable. Whether that means putting your money on a stock or buying a lot of lottery tickets – either way, this is money that you technically haven’t missed. So take a risk with it and see if you can spin your leftover change into gold.
2. Write a blog, and monetize it
Everybody had a hobby or a topic that they love to talk about: whether you are an amateur chef or a Star Wars buff, there is probably a topic on which you are a self-certified ‘expert’. One of the most common ways to achieve financial independence nowadays is to use the internet, so why not write about your favorite hobby or film series (or whatever your expert topic is) online? If you get enough visitors, you can start monetizing the site with ads – which can certainly boost or even become your income.
3. Pay off (not down) your debt
It’s not glamorous and it is certainly not the quickest shortcut, but if you have no significant outgoings then you are already on your way to financial independence. Interest rates are at a historic low, so now is the time to start paying off your mortgage, credit card debt, and all those other premiums that are taking up so much of your monthly outgoings. Once you are secure in your house and home, it is much easier to get off the job conveyor belt and start doing what you love.
It is much easier to be financially independent in Prague than in New York City, so why not make a big jump and move? Being financially independent is all about minimizing or eliminating your outgoings, and the quickest way to do that is to live somewhere cheaper. Whether you move 10 miles or 1000, it is a quick solution for many who want to change their lives.
4. Learn that your income does not matter
This may sound crazy, but income does not equal wealth. Getting an incredibly high-paying job is difficult, and odds are you will be taxed heavily on your income. The true lifehack to financial independence is making money with minimal effort – the usual routes being investing, internet ventures, or some combination of the two. You need to make money in a way that doesn’t drag on your time or your tax bill – so climbing the career ladder doesn’t always help.
5. Get out of the rat race
Stop caring about what kind of car you own or where you live – comparing yourself to others won’t make you happy. What will make you happy is one day being able to only work when you want to and not because you need to, so always keep that goal in mind. Living modestly and getting out of the rat race will help you get to happy faster.
6. Get a partner who ‘gets’ your dream
There is no point in dreaming up shortcuts to financial independence if you don’t have a partner who is willing to take risks and jump with you. If financial independence is truly what you want, make sure your significant other is willing to do all it takes to get you both there.
7. Start now
Most people dream of a magical future when they will no longer need to work, but for most people that is all, it will ever be: a dream. It is the people who do not dream but DO, who make financial independence a reality. So start now: implement these lifehacks and start thinking about the ways in which you can escape your desk job and outpace the 9-to-5. Only by taking steps now can you give yourself a chance at achieving quick cash and your goals.