July 1st is National Financial Freedom Day. How do you celebrate this unique holiday? Read on to find out!
Did you know that July 1st is National Financial Freedom Day? This play on the United States’ Independence Day is specifically about celebrating financial freedom–or at least celebrating ways that we can work towards the goal of financial freedom. So how can you celebrate? Check out this list of 10 ways to celebrate financial freedom this year.
1. Check out community events
National Financial Freedom Day still isn’t a big holiday, but some community banks and community centers do have events on this day. Check out community calendars in your area to see if any events are coming up. They might include things like financial counseling sessions, free credit report pulls, and more that could help you on your journey towards financial freedom.
2. Check your credit report
You should check your credit report at least once or twice a year, so this is a good reminder to do that. You can look at your free credit report from each individual reporting bureau once per year. But if you’re getting ready to make a big financial decision or major purchase, you might use this holiday as a good excuse to spring for a paid credit report and score, which can be more accurate and informative. MyFico is a great choice as you’ll receive your credit report and score in an easy-to-understand format. MyFico also goes the extra mile to explain the reason your score may be at a certain level along with tips to improve it. There are also a few places to get your credit score for free. We recommend Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. You should aim for an excellent or very good credit score. For anything less, visit Experian Boost to find out how you can increase your credit score for free.
3. Calculate your net worth
More than just about any other number, your net worth is a great indicator of where you are on your journey to financial freedom. If you have a high positive net worth, you could be financially free fairly quickly, even if you don’t make a ton of money. Calculating your net worth can take a bit of time, but you can also use tools like Personal Capital to walk you through the process. Even if you don’t track your net worth on a monthly basis, checking in quarterly or annually gives you a good idea of your financial progress.
4. Get creative with what “financial freedom” means for you
You may have an idea of what “financial freedom” means, and there’s a sort of working definition most people have. That working definition often includes the ability to stop working, often at a very young age. But that may not be what freedom really looks like for you, and that vision really isn’t within reach for absolutely everyone. But you can still work towards being completely debt-free, having a career that you love that gives your life balance and flexibility, or just living well within your expenses and having a major amount of savings. Take some time this month to define what financial freedom looks like for you. Check out this article for some ideas.
5. Create a financial freedom vision board
Want to put some legs on that vision of financial freedom? Do a fun craft project by yourself or, if you want, with your family. Grab some magazines or online images and create a vision board of what your life could look like when you’re financially independent or free. The road towards financial freedom can be long and tough. Having a vision board, whether physical or virtual, can help you focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing to become free.
6. Make a plan for becoming free financially
Once you’ve taken some preliminary steps, it’s time to make a plan for becoming free financially. Maybe you already have this plan. If so, now is the time to revisit it to ensure you’re doing things in line with your stated goals and purposes. If you’ve never made a plan, now is the time to start. Your plan will likely include a few large milestones, such as getting out of debt, saving up a specific amount of money in an emergency fund, etc. But you can also add smaller steps to get to those milestones, some of which we’ll talk about shortly.
7. Start a no-spend month
A no-spend month can sound really intimidating. But it’s actually a great way to kick off moving towards your goal of financial freedom. Spending no money during an entire month isn’t really possible for most of us, since the bills will still come due. But if you can strip your spending back to the absolute bare minimum for a month, you can get a feel for where you’re over-spending and where you could really stand to trim down your budget permanently. Here are some other spending challenges you could consider for this July, as well.
8. Create a get-out-of-debt plan
If you aren’t already debt free, that’s probably one of the first steps on your road to financial freedom. Make a plan to get out of debt by writing down every last one of your debts (except, maybe, your mortgage). Then check out this article on the debt snowball to learn more about how to follow that plan to debt freedom.
9. Open a new high-yield savings account
Even before you get started on getting out of debt, it can be a good idea to have a small emergency fund set aside. Even $500 or $1,000 can dig you out of many smaller emergencies without having to go back into more debt. The best place to stash that money is often in a high-yield savings account that’s not connected to your main checking account. That way you’ll have to really think if the situation is an emergency before you take money out of the account. Check out our list of the best high-yield savings accounts around right now to pick one that will work for you.
Deal of the Day: CIT Bank is offering a fantastic 2.20% APY on their Savings Builder Account. There are no monthly maintenance fees and the minimum deposit to open is $100. FDIC Insured.
10. Kick off a new side gig
Whether your financial freedom means paying off debt or stashing away more savings, a side gig can help you do it. Plus, the right side gig for you can mean another interesting way to stimulate your mind or build relationships. Need an idea? Try Fiverr–where you can get paid to do what you’re good at. Just post any and all skills you are willing to offer to someone, like writing, graphic design or another task someone may find valuable. For more side gig inspiration, check out our huge list of side hustle ideas to get started this month.
Whether financial freedom is decades or days away for you, having a plan to get there means you can make it happen. So this National Financial Freedom Day, take the time to make some progress towards this important goal.Topics: Budget • financial planning • Money Management • Tools & Resources