Financial autonomy refers to the ability to rule, control, and manage your finances in a way that allows you to live a successful and meaningful life. It’s making financial decisions without feeling imprisoned. You have the freedom to make your own decisions about how to manage your finances.
I didn’t practice financial autonomy for much of my life, and I didn’t have a plan or method for managing my cash. My money was in charge of me. I was not a money student, and as a result, I had no idea how to successfully use my money to better my life. I committed numerous careless errors, including:
- I didn’t use the 401(k) Matching Program – That’s free money, and I didn’t take use of it for six years. What a huge blunder! My employer offered a 50% match up to a 6% contribution, which meant that if I had placed 6% of my salary into my 401K, they would have added another 3%. Check to see if your company has a corporate-sponsored savings plan with matching contributions, and if it does, take advantage of it.
- I only saved what was left at the end of the month – don’t be surprised if there isn’t anything left to save if you do the same. Instead, decide how much of your salary you want to save and have that amount withdrawn from your paycheck and deposited into your savings account automatically.
- I Didn’t take advantage of my local bank resources – Many banks and credit unions provide information on saving and budgeting, debt management, property buying, and other topics. I only utilized their checking and savings accounts and didn’t use any of their other services. Financial literacy workshops are also offered by several banks.
What we don’t know is often what holds us back. The more I studied and researched financial success, the better I understood it. So, how about financial autonomy? Self-motivation, self-awareness, and self-improvement are the three most crucial components of financial success.
#1. Self-motivation – is the capacity to carry out one’s responsibilities without being influenced by others or circumstances. How far are you willing to go in order to achieve your goals? One day, in my mid-thirties, I found myself with a nice career, good perks, but insufficient savings. I didn’t have somebody to look up to. I didn’t know anyone who was trying to make money. But, because I had a positive mindset and a desire for more in life, I sought professional help and embarked on a path to financial success. Allow nothing to hold you back; instead, appreciate what you’ve already accomplished and realize your full potential. The correct attitude is more powerful than anything else when it comes to self-motivation.
#2. Self-awareness – Know yourself, your strengths and shortcomings, your thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions. Money management and life’s problems reveal a lot about our views and values. According to data, 76 percent of people believe they have a good level of financial understanding, while only 37 percent actually do. Make a list of your goals and keep reminding yourself why they are important. Schedule time in your calendar to focus on what’s working and what isn’t with your finances. Then make the necessary changes.
Listen to your inner voice since you may have a gut feeling about your current circumstance and know that something needs to be done.
#3. Self-improvement – You become more skillful or capable as a result of learning new things. Self-improvement is a never-ending process that begins with a desire to accomplish more in order to have more. I made financial mistakes early on, but I didn’t give up. Life follows a set of cycles and follows a set of rhythms. There will be ups and downs. Don’t give up if you encounter a snag or things don’t seem to be heading in the right direction. Every financial blunder can be turned into a learning opportunity. If you can confess you’ve made a mistake, you can only learn and develop from it. Learn from others who have succeeded in achieving their goals. Seek guidance from friends and family. Make certain they are a true success. Make an investment in yourself. Enroll in financial seminars, courses, and classes. Reading financial books and articles is a good idea.