Close your eyes for a moment and try to imagine what it would feel like if you didn’t have to worry about money. Your next paycheck, bills, clothes, gas, none of these are things you need to be concerned with. Feels great, doesn’t it? That’s what it feels like to be financially independent.
You may already be at a point in your life where you’re not concerned about these things, and that’s GREAT! But I want to ask you… What would happen if you lost your job tomorrow? How about if the stock market collapses again? If something terrible were to happen and you couldn’t work again, would you be able to pay your bills? To be truly financially independent, you should be able to handle a significant life change. This means you should still be able to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly. This is even more important when you have a family to support.
There are many ways to achieve this goal. The journey to financial independence is different for everybody, and there is no “one size fits all.”. Follow along as we lay out various avenues you can take. Some of what you read below might be familiar. However, we also wanted to include a few things that may seem unconventional but still practical. We’ll dive into active and passive income, as well as concepts that don’t directly make money but will still help. These concepts will help you identify how to achieve the best results for you.
Just Do SOMETHING
It’s very easy to procrastinate, especially if you feel you’re not ready because you’re missing some critical piece of whatever you want to do. The truth is: You’ll never be prepared. Ever. Even when you think you are. And that’s totally fine! It’s normal to feel that way, and you shouldn’t let it stop you.
We all have to start somewhere, and until you actually begin, you’ll never be able to get where you’re going. Even the littlest thing is better than doing nothing. Have you had a story stuck in your head but haven’t started writing because you don’t know how to publish it? Why would you let that stop you? Just start writing! Do you want to carve foam pumpkins for Halloween, but it’s January? Why does it matter? They’re probably cheaper to buy now anyway, just get a few and start carving!
You can have excuses or results. YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH. We all get stuck in homeostasis from time to time. Also called our comfort zone, we reach a comfortable equilibrium in our lives that is often a big demotivator. Mark Russo has an excellent chapter dedicated to this concept in his Conscious Life Creation Program. One of the keys to success is to break out of your homeostasis by just doing something new. It doesn’t matter how small it is; sometimes, just getting out of bed and brushing your teeth is enough to get going. Just do something!
The Key To Being Financially Independent Is Diverse Revenue Streams
You may have heard the investing advice to keep a diverse portfolio. This advice extends into more than just investing in the stock market. To be truly independent, you’ll want to have a mix of active income, passive income, and investments. In addition to diversifying the type of revenue stream, it also helps to have diversity in the streams’ markets.
Having revenue and investments in stocks, cryptocurrency, real estate, and other markets helps protect against downturns in any particular one. Suppose the stock market were to crash tomorrow. In that case, you could still rest easy knowing that you still have income from another market while it recovers.
Having passive income gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom. If you have to take a mental health day or a family vacation, you’ll be able to rely on the passive income to continue working while you aren’t. Most people don’t realize that passive income doesn’t just happen; it takes work and planning.
Many forms of active income can be converted into passive income or investments. Flipping houses, creating training courses, trading, and many others all have ways that can be converted from active to passive income. Some examples are turning flipping houses into purchasing rental properties or going from classroom teaching into pre-recorded training videos that you sell online.
No matter what you do, a budget is necessary. It is essential when you’re financially independent because you only have yourself to rely on when it comes to your money.
Sticking to a budget gives you a firm handle on your finances, especially if you are in a field with money coming and going very quickly. There are many great resources on why a budget is essential and putting one together. We definitely recommend setting one up right away if you haven’t already.
Performing gigs on Fiverr is an excellent way to boost your journey to becoming financially independent. It allows you to utilize your existing skills and passions to make money after your day job or between classes. It is a perfect option for a side-hustle because it allows you to work on your own time, at your own pace, from wherever you want.
We recommend checking out our guide here to help you get started.
While your goal for financial independence may be freedom from a particular career, it is still one of the best ways to start your journey. A career brings the possibility of stability, health insurance, retirement (like a pension or 401k), in addition to the actual paycheck. It is important to note that we distinguish between having a job and having a career.
A job is simply a place you work. It can be part-time or full-time, part of a career, or just another place to work.
A career is more extensive than just a job; it is a long-term pursuit. This is what makes it an excellent foundation for the journey to being financially independent. It often involves learning a specialized set of skills and possibly higher learning. Taking the time to build a successful career can give you the skills and experience you need to break the chains. Consulting, teaching, and freelancing are all great ways that you can turn a career working for others into your own freedom.
Invest in the stock market
For decades, wealthy people have been using the stock market as a means to build wealth and become financially independent. Nowadays, companies like Robinhood have been able to bring the market to everyone. Investing can be a great way to grow your wealth over time.
Stocks that pay dividends are a great investment vehicle. Dividend stocks are essentially stocks in a company that also pay out a portion of their profits to investors. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is one dividend stock that currently pays (at the time this article was written) about 2.65% annually, which is paid out in portions every quarter. At that current rate, it works out to be about $4.24 per share each year, paid out in increments of $1.06 every quarter. While this may not seem like much at first glance, if you were to own multiple shares, you’d receive that for each share. This is in addition to any price movements of the stocks themselves!
It pays to do your due diligence before investing. Stocks such as the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) Index, which holds shares in the top 500 US companies, have had a whopping 20% yearly average return for the last five years! This seems like an excellent investment, much better than CDs or savings accounts, but it comes with some things to consider.
The stock market is highly cyclical, and that creates risk. Even though on average, the market cap increases year-over-year, there are also some years where the opposite is true. There have been a few recent years, such as the 2008 mortgage crisis and the 2020 Coronavirus crash, where the stock market plunged.
While this all may seem like reasons to stay away, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Investing is a long-term strategy. Historically, after every significant downturn, the market has corrected itself and continued its upward trend.
- Buying stocks when they hit a low is one of the best ways to invest. As the market recuperates, your investment will grow as well.
- Do thorough research on anything you plan on investing in. Take some courses and review their historical performance and any news on the horizon. It may be hard to pick when you’re just starting out, so it helps to hire a financial consultant to help you make the best decisions for yourself.
Create a Blog
One of the most important things we need to keep in mind here is that, in this case, we are talking about using a blog as a vehicle to become financially independent. A blog can be a great way to generate passive income, and there is a lot of great information on how to begin one. You will see a lot of advice that you should write about your hobbies and passions, which is good advice if you want to write a topic blog.
The question you need to ask is: Can that topic make money? You need to think like a businessperson, not a blogger. It would be great to turn your passion into a successful blog that makes a lot of money. Still, it’s also okay if it is about something you’re only marginally interested in.
For instance: Say you like to go hiking and you want to start a blog about all the cool places you’ve seen. That would be great to spread your experiences, but more than likely the people visiting wouldn’t be there to spend money. On the other hand, you could make an affiliate blog to write reviews of various parks, trails, and equipment. You can provide targeted advertising space and affiliate links to equipment your viewers would be willing to purchase, which would net you a small income. You can still write about your passion; you just do it from a different perspective.
Another way to use your blog is to promote another business of yours. Do you do gigs on Fiverr? Do you make Youtube videos? Or maybe you already have an established site to sell your custom space sprockets but want to generate more traffic. Starting a blog is a great way to promote your other ventures! You can write articles for your target audience to help educate and guide them to your other endeavors.
Invest in cryptocurrency
Many people have invested in cryptocurrency as a way to become financially independent for over a decade, starting in 2009 with Bitcoin. In 2010, a single Bitcoin was worth $0.08. In April 2011, the price had risen to $1, and it hit a high in early November 2021 of around $69,000. Like the stock market, cryptocurrencies, in general, have been increasing in value year-over-year. Also, like the stock market, there are a lot of ups and downs in the prices, which can be incredibly intimidating to new investors.
It is crucial to understand that you’re looking for long-term gains when you invest, not short-term ones. While the price of bitcoin increased by 69,000% over 10 years, there was a lot of fluctuation, sometimes losing 50% or more during crashes. Because of the extra volatility, you must do your research, only invest what you can afford to lose, and not let fear or greed motivate your decisions. However, most importantly of all is to remember that you’re investing in your future. If the price drops today, it should be back up tomorrow.
In addition to buying cryptocurrency to hold like you would with a stock, you also have a lot of other options to earn as well, such as staking, lending, and interest. Many exchanges, such as KuCoin, have opportunities to “stake” (essentially lock in the coins for a certain amount of time), which will gain you interest over time. You can also lend your coins for others to borrow and earn interest.
There has been a lot of buzz in the news lately about mining cryptocurrency. If you’ve watched any of the coverage, you’ve probably seen pictures and videos of giant server farms with thousands of computers. While those massive operations cost a lot of money, there are also many ways that the average person can leverage mining as a path to being financially independent.
Companies like Goldshell make affordable mining rigs that can be run off your standard home electrical systems. It’s also possible to put together a GPU or CPU mining rig for under $500 that can be expanded later. In our Mining Cryptocurrency series, we detail the different ways that you can get into crypto mining without needing to take out a second mortgage or build a dedicated facility.
We recommend reading through the entire series to see if it’s something you’d like to. Mining crypto can be an extremely lucrative passive income stream. Once you have it set up, you can just let it run and make you money without needing any further intervention.
What would you say if I told you that you could make an Android application and have it running on your phone in less time than it would take to watch The Fellowship of the Ring? I mean the theatrical cut, not even the extended edition! In less time than it would take you to watch from Gandalf riding a cart with a giant pipe to Frodo entering Mount Doom, you could have it published on the Google Play Store!
It has never been easier to get into software development than it is today. Innovations such as Ruby on Rails, .NET, Visual Studio Code, and Xamarin have made the barrier for entry almost nonexistent. Whatever your preferred method to learn, like books, Youtube videos, classrooms, or even virtual courses, there is something for everyone. Pluralsight, Skillshare, and Udemy are great places to learn from others. The best part is that it doesn’t require any special schooling or certifications to get started.
As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to start a career in software development is to just start! GitHub is a site used by many developers and organizations around the world. There are a lot of projects on there that look forward to improvements from the community (even Microsoft!). Find an exciting project on there to contribute to, even if it’s as simple as cleaning up spelling or grammatical errors. This is a perfect way to gain valuable experience and build a portfolio.
Now, you may not think that software development is for you but bear with us for just a moment longer. There are many different disciplines within software development, and not all of them require programming. Project Management, Technical Writing, Graphic and Video Design, and Quality Assurance are all excellent avenues that don’t need programming skills.
There are many ways to become financially independent. There is no single way that works for everybody. Whether you do gigs on Fiverr or run your own local shop, anybody can take charge and forge their own destiny. It is up to you to pick a path and start on it. Just do something!
Do you have any thoughts on anything we discussed? Is there anything you’d like to see added?
Let us know in the comments below!