10 Powerful Tips for Financial Freedom

by Tess

Tea Party PosterBaby.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Jen_Maloney_Photo

If you are in debt and want to be free it’s necessary to commit to doing what it takes to climb out. Once you make the commitment focus on what you can do. Keep your focus on what you can pay off and not the debt itself.  And refuse to waver. 

Spend less. Absolutely no spending on anything that isn’t a necessity. What excess can you eliminate?  Eating in restaurants will take a chunk out of your budget. Don’t do it.   

Perform Plastic Surgery. Dave Ramsey has his students cut up their credit cards. Don’t fool yourself into believing you need them for emergencies. This is one! Don’t cancel them if effects your credit score.

Keep your receipts. Save all receipts and transfer the totals to a spread sheet. You’ll  see exactly where you spend your money. It keeps you out of denial.

Reduce temptation. Stop looking at fashion magazines. Stay out of the mall and keep your credit card away from your computer. Trade resources with your blogging buddies.

Live with less. Change the way you spend. There is more to life than a collecting obsession. Use things until they are worn out. Clean out and clear out your home and garage. Keep it simple.

What can you do to earn more money?What are your gifts and talents? Pick up odd jobs. Can you clean, free lance, or repair things? Have a garage sale or get a part time job. Brainstorm what you have to offer others and then figure out a way to get paid for it. Sell your valuables on EBay. All money goes towards your debt.

Take a stay-cation. A vacation without traveling will save you money. Find places to swim, hike and bike. Picnic in your own backyard. Make it exciting. Invite friends and neighbors for a pot luck. When you return to work you will feel unburdened and care free.

Recognize your success. Celebrate your progress. Do something special as you reach your goals. Living with less doesn’t mean deprivation. It means being in control and smart choices. There are numerous rewards that don’t cost money.

Support groups. Join Debtors Anonymous. Find like minded people who are doing something about their problems. You’ll feel less alone.

Change your thoughts. Shift your perception on the meaning of wealth. Give up the need for popularity, status and prestige. Focus on personal growth, family, friends and community.

Never give up. Again refuse to focus on what you owe. Focus on what you can payoff and what you have paid off.  Give yourself credit and continue taking baby steps.

Getting out of debt means you’ll be rich in time. You won’t spend your free time having to clean, care for and dispose of unnecessary things.

Remember how blessed you are.We forget people are willing to climb walls and swim rivers to sneak into our country. (I read that line on another blog but don’t remember where.) I found this powerful because years ago I saw people swim the Rio Grande. It had a profound effect on me.

Never, never, never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

Do you have any methods to share on how to get out of debt?
In what ways have you been frugal in the past?

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    { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    Positively Present June 16, 2009 at 11:39 am

    This post is filled with TONS of great advice… advice that is very needed over here. I’m not the best with money and I think that I need to do most of these things. One of the most important tips here is staying away from temptation. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything when I’m not at the mall, but I always find myself going there. I need to stay away from places where I can buy things and I’m sure I will save a LOT of money. Thanks for these great tips. They are so useful for me.

    Positively Present’s last blog post..breaking the spell of someday


    janice June 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Superb tips, Tess. Here are some others your readers might like:

    ~Think of clearing out as earning space, time and money. Recycling helps heal the planet and donating to charity and homeless people helps people who are actually worse off than you are.
    ~One that works for those who can’t give up on credit cards yet is to use cash everywhere. It involves budgeting ahead for what you plan to spend that day.
    ~It also helps to keep a diary of every single thing you spend. If you don’t have time to write it down, straight away, you’re spending too much.
    ~Ask yourself, with every purchase, “Would a starving AIDS orphan in Africa think this was necessary?”
    ~Swap utilities and shop around till you find the cheapest. You can save hundreds.
    ~Buy big purchases, like electrical goods if you need them, with cash and be sure to bargain.
    ~Carry bottles of water around with you. Swap water for other drinks and you’ll look younger, lose weight and feel healthier! Count how much you spend a month buying coffees. Invest in a thermos flask and get a reputation for having the most appetising, enticing looking packed lunches!
    ~Paint your furniture, move things around like you did when you were a teenager or a student and feel like a creative artist!
    ~Cancel subscriptions to magazines. Use the library or devour the glories of good blogs!
    ~Get together with friends in the same boat and hire a financial lifecoach between you all to do group coaching. It can work out at much less than you think. Maybe you could swap your skills for some coaching sessions.

    Love your blog, Tess – it always inspires me!

    janice’s last blog post..Birds, Bees and Blogging


    CJ June 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Tess again just what I needed to hear! You are so right on! It really helped me alot today to read this.
    love ya,


    Jan June 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Wonderful advice, Tess. I always did appreciate your straightforward and tell it like it is—and what works—approach! I especially like the last one: remember how blessed you are. Each morning I do a gratitude practice before I get out bed. I focus on all the immediate blessings—like a mattress to sleep on with blankets….as so many people do not have these basics. Food in the fridge…same reason, so many hungry people. My circle of gratitude widens from there, moving out into the rest of my house, neighborhood, town, etc. By the time I’m done, I’m floating in gratitude. This practice helps me keep my life in perspective. :-)

    Jan’s last blog post..Today’s Special Guest, Brandi Reynolds, The Joy Rebel


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord June 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Great post, especially given the state of the world. Less is more. We don’t need half of what we have, or even half of what we think we need.

    Our ancestors survived the Depression, and were better for it.

    I think what you said about changing thoughts can’t be overstated. Too many people have a scarcity mindset. Switching over to an abundance mindset changed my wealth situation three years ago. Now I give thanks for everything I have – even the bills I can pay with cash – since I know that whatever I focus on grows. So if I keep focusing on having more than enough, that always seems to be the way. (Thank you, Universe!)

    Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord’s last blog post..Those Who Remind Us


    Julie June 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    It’s funny how those of us “of a certain age” learned these lessons as a matter of course, that this is “just how it’s done.” Yet, even having learned, we tended to slide… Your refresher course, here, was wonderful! Interestingly, if we practiced these lessons from the get-go, we’d not have such a difficult time of it during wide-spread hardship. When we actually look at the points you emphasize, we can see that what you’re suggesting is that we place our attention on living rather than acquiring. That’s certainly where I’d rather be! :)

    Julie’s last blog post..On That Note


    Rowe June 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    ‘Change your thoughts. Shift your perception on the meaning of wealth. Give up the need for popularity, status and prestige. Focus on personal growth, family, friends and community’.

    This is a great statement, Tess – in a world where it seems like everyone wants to be a ‘celebrity’, and as we are seeing, are prepared to do almost anything be one. Why? Meanwhile, an untold number of great unknowns i.e. unsung heroes, have done exceptional deeds, including every volunteer to a worthwhile cause.

    Rowe’s last blog post..Change The World


    Jannie Funster June 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I just Stumbled this. Totally!

    I’ll be back in the morning. I have to go feed the chickens.


    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..“Blame Tara Who?” Meme


    Ashok June 16, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Well in my case, my earnings are very meagre. I have a sixty:forty ratio for saving and spending. I have a terrible fear of credit cards and take exceptional pleasure in working on cases against credit card companies. Wherever possible I invest. I eat out less and think twice before buying anything and prioratize my expenditures. Living with my family helps a great deal given my situation I admit. But here its abnormal not to live with your family at 20, so I guess I am okay.

    Ashok’s last blog post..The Optimist’s day out


    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com June 16, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    “Change your thoughts” is my favorite here. It is about values. Change your perception about what you value the most

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com’s last blog post..Powerful Consulting – #1


    Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK June 17, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Support groups can really help as we can be easily influenced by our peers. It’s good if our peers would be a positive influence on us, they would remind us of our need for discipline and encourage us whenever we feel tempted to get back to our old ways. :)

    Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK’s last blog post..Let the Negative Things Inspire You!


    Dr. Health June 17, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Another good option that many of my friends use is to swap\trade used things. Instead of buying something you need just try to find something that you don’t need and try to exchange this things with somebody. So, everyone gets what s\he needs and gets rid of what s\he doesn’t … and without money.

    Dr. Health’s last blog post..[HOT] UTS Diabetes software for iPhone is ready!


    Hilary June 17, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Hi Tess .. Jannie stumbled it and I picked it up via a stumble session – so it’s out there: as it should be. As you describe some very powerful tips for financial freedom.

    We have boot fairs over here .. and some towns have community projects for swapping items within the town ..

    Just eliminating all the unnecessary debt seems the best thing and just not spending .. we can eat more simply too – go back to the way we cooked before the 2nd world war, when food wasn’t so available – especially convenience foods – water as someone said, no fizzy drinks.

    Thanks Tess – good points -
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    Hilary’s last blog post..Polo – a mint, a game or a miniature battle?


    Giovanna Garcia June 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Tess

    The #2 “Perform Plastic Surgery” made me LOL :-)
    My favorites are: “Change your thoughts” and “Never give up”

    Thanks for sharing.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is Better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Imperfect Action is Better than No Action on Jobs and the Economy.


    Keith June 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Tess!

    Great advice in this article. Your first paragraph says so much; “Once you make the commitment focus on what you can do”. This is an important statement! We should always keep our focus on what we want, where we wish to go or be and never on what we don’t want, or wish to be.

    Naturally, I love the point about changing your thoughts also…. =)

    Keith’s last blog post..Change the Channel!


    Daphne @ Joyful Days June 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Tess,

    Like Giovanna, I laughed at the plastic surgery point. Your tips are all great and proven to work. I’ve done many of them, and now am working on changing my thoughts and generating more cashflow – this to me is harder than all the others combined.

    Daphne @ Joyful Days’s last blog post..Feng Shui Bonus: Enhance Your Love Life


    Davina June 17, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Tess. Super list here! I say, Fill Up on Free! Take a walk, play a card game, invite friends over for coffee instead of going out for coffee. Or if you do go out for coffee, avoid spending $5 on a specialty drink. One good old cup of coffee can be just as satisfying with some good conversation. We’ve forgotten how to entertain ourselves.

    Davina’s last blog post..Heads Up — Beware of Crows!


    Tess The Bold Life June 18, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I believe you aren’t alone when it comes to the cash flow. For me cash flow is good when my marketing methods are good. Thanks for your honesty and let me know how I can help.

    It’s so true about entertaining ourselves. I think younger people really struggle with this one.


    Vered - MomGrind June 18, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Spending less does not come easy to me, but I am getting better. It’s been a while since I’ve indulged in recreational online shopping. :)


    Evita June 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Excellent tips Tess! It is interesting ever since I was a teen I saved all my reciepts and wrote down in a pretty agenda book what I spend money on each month and had running totals. My mom thought both that I was nuts or that I would become an accountant.

    Well neither was true! It just felt so empowering to always know where my money went. While today I still hold onto to all my receipts for 1 year, I no longer write anything down, as I’d like to think I have developed really good money management skills. Nothing is every bought out of waste or haste :)

    Evita’s last blog post..The End Is Near – But The End Is Just A Beginning


    Janine Mulch June 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I’m off Thursday afternoons, so I like to surf around different blogs and read posts that catch my eye. Your post really hit home for me.  I was not sure how I felt about it at first but after reading your post I think I would have to agree.  Just wondering though? What exactly did you mean at the end in the last paragraph?


    Patricia June 18, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Good, solid reminders for all of us
    This will be the first month in years and years I can not pay off my credit card, but I will have it down in 3 months, we just felt it was too important for our youngest to graduate from college so we made a small loan to ourselves…even this is scary to me….I pay everything with my credit card ( which I pay off every month) to help me keep records with my dyscalcula – but it is scary business how so many people have run up credit debt – I feel as though it is on my shoulders – a burden

    Patricia’s last blog post..Healthy Reading: The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite ~Dr. David Kessler


    Lance June 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Tess,
    These are great.

    Reminds me of early on in our marriage, when we bought the house we’re in today. It took almost every penny we had for the downpayment. And the months that followed were lean ones (as were those leading up to it).

    We didn’t go out to eat. We packed our lunches (and still do). There weren’t a lot of extras.

    Today, that effort has paid off. And it continues to pay, because we haven’t wavered that far from what we did during those more difficult days. It takes discipline and being able to see that light at then end of the tunnel. And patience. This doesn’t happen overnight. And when we do this – and make even small changes to our bottom line, these changes really do add up.

    Lance’s last blog post..Old Hat, New Hat


    Cathy Hesselink June 20, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Everyone can benefit from reading this posting! I’ve shared it with my kids and others. Always good to look for the positive in a tough situation.


    Caroline June 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Tess, this is a wonderful post! We will be doing a “staycation” most of the summer. We are lucky to live in a place that people like to visit…so lot’s of family and friends will be coming to visit. I am also going to the library more and trying to find more ways to spend less.

    Caroline’s last blog post..Love yourself


    Tess The Bold Life June 21, 2009 at 5:04 am

    So glad you found value. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

    I love staycations! So many things we never notice can be discovered with or without friends.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..10 Powerful Tips for Financial Freedom


    Barbara Swafford June 21, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Tess,

    These are all fabulous ideas. My shopping is down to needs, not wants. I’m also getting ready for our annual neighborhood garage sale and am decluttering and taking a real hard look at what I have, what I need and what I keep. Paring down is not only going to help the pocket book, but will make me feel “lighter” as I get rid of more clutter.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Do “They” Have The Right To Know


    Omar June 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I have to work on my spending habits. I like to go out. I just need to increase my income. My other goal is to decrease my debt. I will achieve. Thanks for the article.


    George Serradinho June 26, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Very good points you, people now days have to watch their spending as they will be in trouble if they over spend. A lot of people I know, measure wealth by the assets they have, the expensive car, expensive house. Those people will eventually be in financial trouble as they live above their means, always on credit.

    George Serradinho’s last blog post..2009 Soccer Confederations Cup – I watched Brazil


    Badger September 13, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I find that keeping a spreadsheet of all household bills and payments helps me to budget for the month. It’s important to get all the expenditure out of the way as soon as possible, that way it makes it much more easier to manage what you have left.
    .-= Badger´s last post…Staycations are up by 10 =-.


    Alex August 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    This is a great article, and I recognize myself for 100%. Although I am a bit sorry I didn’t figure this out much earlier, it could have saved me some debt, and perhaps created additional income at a much earlier stage in my life; I know my parents didn’t have any grip on their finances, so how could I? But better late than never. I have adopted each point a few years ago, and it has brought me so many benefits… except for the plastic surgery bit. Since I don’t own a car and I don’t need it in daily life, a credit card is an absolute necessity for car rentals. But I use it only for that purpose, period.
    Alex´s last post…Should You Become Friends With Your Colleagues?


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