Today is the day we honor our nation’s independence and our founder’s efforts to make this “one nation…with liberty and justice for all.” Since we’re celebrating our freedom with cookouts, fireworks and maybe the occasional flag salute, why not also take the time celebrate your financial independence? Whether you’ve already achieved your financial goals or just starting out, here’s some fun ways to celebrate your personal Financial 4th of July:
- Plan mini-rewards for achieving small goals throughout the journey such as ice cream, movies, clothes/accessories or electronic items. But keep the mini-reward under $50 so you’re not breaking your budget all over again with excessive spending. Sure, your ultimate goal is to pay off all of your credit card debt but if you owe $6,000 to Visa that may take some time. Instead set a mini-goal to pay off $500 in debt in order to receive your mini-reward. This will keep you motivated towards the bigger goal without feeling deprived.
- Host a debt-burning or financial goal party. You’ve probably heard of mortgage-burning ceremonies and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same when you pay off your student loans or save enough to buy your first car in cash. Be sure to create a reasonable budget and make it potluck so you’re not stuck with covering all the food costs. Definitely party ’til the sun comes up if you want, but first share with your guests how you achieved your financial goals. Get as transparent as you want by sharing your struggles and wins and using the opportunity to educate your friends and family about your financial testimony. You never know who you’ll inspire to change their spending habits by seeing your success.
- Always wanted to visit Australia, go horseback riding in Costa Rica or cruise the Mediterranean but can never seem to afford it? Maybe debt is keeping you from these destinations now, but setting a goal to celebrate your financial accomplishments may be your ticket to a debt-free life. First, create a vision board just for your dream vacation and place it where you’ll see it everyday (your bedroom or the refrigerator is always a good place). Also include on the vision board all the things you’ll have to accomplish in order to “gift” yourself this vacation like paying off car notes, completing your emergency fund, obtaining adequate amounts of life insurance, etc. While you’re achieving those financial goals, also open a high-yield savings account for funding your dream vacation. Initially after meeting your other financial responsibilities and goals you may only have an extra $5 or $25 to deposit each month, but don’t let that discourage you. Just keep contributing and you’ll find that the more debt you eliminate, the more extra income you’ll have for the vacation fund and the quicker you’ll reach your goal. Trust us, the sacrifice will be well worth it when you’re soaking up the sun in Costa Rica knowing that your trip is paid in full and you didn’t have to go in debt to do it!
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