Thursday 14 January 2016

How to Be Financially Independent Starting from Scratch

As an aspiring individual time is very important to me. For me time is more valuable than money, gold and any other item of value. Time is important because it buys freedom and then with that freedom I am free to do whatever I want to do. To be a truly independent you need to own 100% of your own time, this means that you can’t work for yourself or others. Once you have 100% ownership of your own time you can choose whether you want to work or not, you don’t have to force yourself to do anything. YOU ARE NO ONES MAN. 
An aspiring individual achieves financial independence when he can make the following DECLARATION: 
“I Don’t Have to Earn Money to Provide for My Basic Needs” 
When you can make this statement you will truly divorce yourself from the need to earn money and you can truly do whatever you want to do. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you freedom and then you can choose to be happy or miserable. 
In this 5 part guide I will show you what it takes to achieve financial freedom so you own 100% of your own time. By knowing how to become financially independent you can PROGRAM your mind, heart and balls into action to achieve it. 

Part 1 of 5: Your Expenses  

To become financially independent 100% of your expenses must be covered by 100% of the income generated from your investments. The yearly income you generate must keep up with inflation so your standard of living won’t fall. 
1.1: Work Out Your Expense  
You need to start by looking at your expenses. You can do this by creating a budget with all your monthly outgoings. When I did this exercise I used Quicken Intuit so I could link the software to my bank account. This gave me a real-time view of my expenses. If you don’t want to invest in any personal finance software all you need to do is list your monthly expenses and then total them up. You can use the following income and expenses sheet to guide you. 
Once you’ve worked out your monthly expenses you need to multiply this by 12 so you can get a figure for your yearly expense. Suppose this figure comes to $12,000, this means that your investments must generate $12,000 per year so you don’t have to work for others and take BS orders. 
1.2: Trim Your Expenses  
The higher your expenses the longer it will take to achieve financial independence. As an aspiring individual you want to own 100% of your time as soon as possible, you don’t want to work for others and you don’t want to belong in anyone else’s pocket. You want the freedom to do whatever you want to do and no man should stand in your way. How any man can take orders from another man is beyond me. 
Trimming your expenses will help you realize financial independence quicker. Now that you’ve created your budget you need to trim it in the following ways: 
+ Cut your grocery bills by 50% - Do this by shifting to generic brands and stop wasting food. Use your leftovers and stretch your groceries as far as you can. Buy items at sales and bulk up when they are on offer. 
+ If your rent is more than 20% of your income you need to move somewhere cheaper. If you’ve got a lot of space then consider moving somewhere with less space so you pay less mortgage or rent. Consider asking a lodger to move in so they pay the rent/mortgage for you. 
+ Hit comparison sites to find cheaper car insurance, home insurance, life insurance (if you’ve got dependents). Haggle and look for a 50% discount. 
+ Remove all useless subscriptions from your bank account. Netflix, Magazines, Cigarettes, Bank Account Fees and any other leak in your expense must be booted out. 
You ultimate aim should be to reduce your expenses by 50%, this can be achieved my being smart with money and practicing frugality and using 100% of your resources. Wasting money is not longer an option. Living frugally and not wasting money isn’t a sign of depreciating lifestyle, your lifestyle will remain the same and all that you’re doing is removing waste and inefficiencies. 
1.3: Inflation and Future Expenses  
Inflation is a nuisance but every aspiring individual must get use to it. Inflation means that if a basket of goods cost $100 in 2013 and the rate of inflation is 2.5% in 2014 then the same basket will cost $102.50. You must make provisions to deal with this nasty beast which reduces the buying power of your money. Once you workout what your yearly expense is after trimming your budget you must add the inflation factor every year and your investments must keep up with this factor to sustain your current standard of living. 
1.4: Remove Debt   
Debt is not an option for an aspiring person. Debt means that you belong in someone else’s pocket and they are forcing you to pay. Not only should you have 100% ownership of your time you should also have 100% ownership of your possessions. Don’t use other people’s money unless you profit from it. 
If you’ve got debt use all your disposable income to remove it. Before you can work on your financial independence project you must remove the debt which is weighing your down. 

Part 2 or 5: Your Income  

2.1: What is Your Income?  
The next part of the equation is income. You need to work out what your exact income is, this includes your salary, wages, money from side jobs, businesses, investments, savings and dividends from shares. 
Add all these entries up using the income and expenses sheet above and then total it up. If you want to stop wasting time then use personal finance software’s such as Quicken Intuit which will hook up to your bank accounts and investment accounts and work everything out for you. 
You’re income should be considerably higher than your expenses. If your expenses are higher and you’ve been living on debt then you’re heading for meltdown, be smart and live within your means! don’t use other people’s money as it’s shameful. 
Now suppose your income comes in at $2000 per month, what you now need to do is multiply this by 12 and you have your yearly income figure. Make sure you remove tax when your work this calculation out. 
2.2: Increasing Your Income?  
As an aspiring individual you should strive to earn more. There are so many ways to generate income, beta males waste their time on meaningless pursuits to fill their empty lives and temporarily escape from the 9 to 5 jive. As an Alpha you should use your time productively to practice betterment and find ways to increase your knowledge and income. Some of the ways increase your income includes 
+ Start a side business 
+ Start blogging about something you’re passionate about 
+ Create an eBay business 
+ Rent empty rooms out 
+ Rent your car out 
+ Constantly think about ways to increase income 
You should aim to have money coming from different sources as this will mitigate the risk of losing a particular income stream like your salary. Beta males just concentrate on their job, when they’re made redundant they have to rely on other people which is a shameful position to put yourself in. DO NOT RELY ON ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. 
2.3: Tax Breaks and Loopholes  
Understand the taxing system so the Government can’t take more that it has to. Find ways to legally avoid tax. You should understand that your money belongs to you and the Government has no moral right to take it a redistribute it to people who don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves. If you don’t look after number one nobody else will. 

Part 3 of 5: Your Savings Rate  

3.1: What is Your Savings Rate?  
Now that you’ve got your yearly income and expenses you need to find the difference. This difference is known as your disposable income. You should than take your disposable income and divide it by your yearly income. This calculation will give you a percentage savings rate. From the scenario about your yearly income is $20,000 after Tax, your yearly expenses are $12,000. Your yearly disposable income is $8,000. Your savings rate is $8,000/$20,000 which is 40%. 
As an aspiring individual you should look to save as much as you can so you can achieve financial freedom. Once your basic needs are covered you can work on whatever you want to increase your income further. 
3.2: Increase Your Savings Rate to 80%  
You should try to increase your savings rate to 80%, this means you should set aside 80% of your total income and buy assets that generate income. The greater your savings rate the quicker you’ll achieve financial freedom which means you can do whatever you want. You can increase your savings rate by trimming expenses or by increasing income. Use 20% of your energy trimming expenses and use 80% of your energy increasing income. 
Now, suppose you need $12,000 a year to cover your expenses, this means that you investments must generate $12,000 per year. Suppose you were able to find investments that offered 4% return you would need $300,000 to declare yourself financially independent. This figure was workout out as follows 
Target Figure = ($12,000/4) x 100. 
To lower the Target Figure you can do the following: 
+ Lower expenses – Look for more wastage and inefficiencies 
+ Find Investments offering better returns on your money 

Part 4 of 5: Investing Your Savings  

4.1: Where Should I Invest the Money  
Saving rates are at historical lows, this means that you must invest the money to get any real return. Investing in the stock market will give you long term annual returns of 7% per year which will grow your money faster than interest. The only problem is timing, if you get it wrong you could spend a lot of time catching up. 
You should familiarize yourself with the history of the stock market so you’re aware of bubbles and bull markets as they approach. You could use investment managers such as Betterment to create a portfolio which is split between bonds and stocks. 
There are so many asset classes to choose from, your aim should be to increase your return on capital without taking too much risk. Some of the investment vehicles include: 
+ Property 6% to 20% per year 
+ Bank Deposits 0% to (4% long term) 
+ Dividend Stocks 2% to 5%. If you’re interested in dividend stocks you should invest in dividend aristocrats which have a history of increasing dividends year on year. 
+ Peer to Peer Lending 5% to 12% - Companies like Lending Club, Trust Buddy and other P2P lending are becoming more popular 
4.2: How Should I Diversify My Portfolio  
You should not put all your eggs in one basket. As an aspiring person you should know that diversification is a key to financial investment. You need to take the money you have in savings and spread it across the asset classes. 
If the asset is safe like property you can allocate a higher percentage of your portfolio. If the asset is risky like P2P lending you can allocate a smaller percentage. If you invest in the stock market try to invest in index stocks or diversify by investing in 20 different stocks from a variety of sectors. 
Always keep your ears to the ground so you can anticipate the next meltdown or bubble. You can keep one step ahead of the stock market by: 
+ Understanding the history of the stock market 
+ Studying stock market crashes 
+ Understanding the economic cycle and how it affects the stock market 
4.3: How Much Will My Capital Grow By?  
You can work out how much your capital will grow by working out the rate of return on your portfolio. If you’ve diversified properly you should be able to achieve 5% return. You should also note that every month you’ll be adding to your portfolio which means it will be compounding from two different directions – the rate of return and the additional contribution. 
From the example above you will notice that you started with $50,000, every year you got a return of 5%, each year you added another $20,000 from your savings. You would need 12 years to achieve $300,000 which is the target figure. 
As an aspiring individual you should reach your target figure sooner than later. You can do this by: 
+ Generating more money from several sources mentioned above, this will let you add more money every year which will help to reach your target. 
+ You can find increase the rate of return by shifting to assets that pay a higher return. UNDERSTAND THE RISKS BEFORE YOU DO THIS. 
If you can double your contribution every year you’ll be able to reach financial freedom in a few years. 

Part 5 of 5: Crossover Points  

5.1: When Will I Achieve Financial Independence?  
Financial independence will be achieved when 100% of your expenses are paid for using the income from your investments. At this point you won’t have to work anymore as your basic needs are being provided for. You have 100% ownership of your own time. You can now choose if you want to work or not. As an aspiring person you should always strive to make more money. 
5.2: Will My Capital Last Forever?  
Your capital will last forever as long as the growth of the capital matches inflation + what you take out every year. If you don’t factor inflation the real value of your capital will fall. 
You should strive every day to achieve financial independence. You should use all your intelligence to find ways to save money, & make money as well as finding a reasonable rate of return. You should understand the different asset classes as well as diversification. 

Aspiring Individuals are superior when it comes to money, where Beta individuals are slaves to money aspiring people are masters of money. Forget the rat race, forget the 9 to 5 jive and know how to become financially independent so you become your own man.

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