5 Ways to Gain the Freedom to Follow Your Inner Voice

Filed in Finding & Following Your Voice by on April 27, 2011 • views: 385

There’s a lot of talk in today’s culture about how if you follow your inner voice—or think positive thoughts—the money will follow. This has led a lot of people to believe that all you need to succeed is a positive attitude and faith in yourself, but that can be a dangerous point of view.

Let’s say you’re a nurse with a full-time job that comes with a good salary and benefits, but what you really want to do is open your own dog-grooming salon. Quitting your job, renting a space and “thinking positive” won’t be enough—and could land you in a situation where you’re struggling to pay bills and feeling like a failure.

One thing that’s guaranteed to improve your odds of succeeding at your new life is this: financial freedom. You absolutely have to have some freedom in your life to be able to follow your inner voice, and that freedom comes, more often than not, from how careful you are with your finances. It’s not as romantic as the idea that all you need is a smile and good cheer in your heart to make your dreams come true, but it is most often what will get you that ticket to a real change in your life.

If your inner voice is screaming at you to try a different path, here are five ways you can start to prepare—and give yourself the freedom you need to pursue that new goal.

1. Build up your savings. Nothing gives you more peace of mind than having money in the bank. That way, if you need to leave your current job or go without employment for awhile to work at your dream, you can do it without panicking over being able to pay your bills. The more you can save, the more time you give yourself to try something new.

2. Rethink your spending habits. Many people today think that success means a bigger house, newer car, and stylish clothes, but it’s amazing how many of these things you can do without when you seriously think about living a happier life. Next time you want to make a purchase, ask yourself—is this worth the sacrifice I’ll have to make to pay for it? Or would I be happier saving that money so I can leave my regular job in a year?

3. Consider new ways to make money. Do you have extra space in your house you could rent out? Could you run a summer lawn-mowing business? Could you teach private music, painting, dance, or other lessons? Finding new ways to make money on the side could help you buy yourself some time away from your current full-time position.

4. Unload the things that weigh you down. If you’ve got a house with a mortgage that’s strapping you into a job, you’re trapped. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people are today—stuck with houses that have lost their value yet still cost way too much each month. If you’re in this situation, it can seem impossible that you’ll ever be able to get out of it, but don’t give up. Check with a financial advisor, and reconsider #3. If you can take in a renter, make some extra money on the side, or refinance, that may help. If you’ve got an expensive car adding to the mix, consider downsizing. If you’ve collected a lot of toys over the years, like snowmobiles, watercraft, RVs, and the like, ask yourself if these are really worth what you’re paying for them—even if all you’re doing is upkeep. Then keep revisiting the issue. Markets are rebounding, if slowly, and eventually you will be able to sell and reduce your monthly mortgage if that is your goal.

5. Look for new providers. Insurance, cell phones, television, internet providers—revisit everything that you pay out every month. Competition can be a wonderful thing. If you’ve been loyal to a certain company for awhile, consider getting some quotes from its rivals. If you rarely use your land line, consider changing your plan to the most basic possible or get rid of it entirely. If you pay for cable TV, ask yourself if you really need all those channels. You could significantly lower your monthly expenses, giving you more money to put in the bank.

Because of our current consumer-driven culture, many of us have grown up believing that we can buy our way to happiness. On top of that, when we land in jobs we don’t like, we may turn to spending to soothe our downtrodden souls. Remember this: you can always change things. This is your life! You are the captain of your ship. If you want a new life, you can have it, but most likely you will need to strongly consider your finances. Set up a budget and start saving today. In a year or so, you could be a lot closer to realizing your dream.

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