Beyond Financial Independence

Improve Your Financies In Two Easy Steps

May 13, 2012 · Jay Bugg · Comments

 If you are interested in achieving financial independence you need to start cutting expenses right away. This is a simple truth, the less you spend the more you have left over for saving, investing and creating a future that includes you working because you want to, not because you have to.

The spending that remains needs to be closely tracked and you need to start gathering rewards for your spending.

 

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” -Lord Kelvin

 

Tracking spending these days is easier than ever. Most major credit card transactions are now accessible through Mint.com. I have setup all of my accounts with Mint.com and view it each day before going to work. This gives me a quick overview of my spending, assets, and serves an excellent reminder that I am not made of money, at least not yet.

 

Being able to see your spending as it hits your various accounts is an excellent way to curb spending. It is easy know that spending 9 bucks a day eating out is costly but it can be a shock when you see that you are spending almost $200 a month on food, restaurants and dining out. Tracking your spending is the only way to get an honest assessment of how you are managing your CACHE.

 

“The rich get richer.” -Every Socialist Ever

 

The reward for properly managing you money is not its own reward. Though moving toward financial independence each day is an amazing reward! As your credit score improves credit card issuers are willing yo make you there field agents in spending. To understand what I mean you have to understand that credit card issuers make MASSIVE profits on interest but that they also make money when you use their cards. This is called an interchange fee and in 2005 Visa and Mastercard racked up just over 30 billion in such fees.

 

So banks compete for two types of customers. One who carries a balance and pay just over the minimum payment. Racking up interest fees over the long term.

 

In some ways and for some banks the financially savvy are even a better business opportunity. Even though banks make zero interest from the consumer they still make a those interchange fee. All with lower repayment risk.

 

The banks are going to get their fees and you should ensure that you get a cut. Banks compete when you sign up for a card and they compete again each time you go to your wallet to make a purchase. Do you use the Visa with the 2% cash back or the debit card? Being aware of the market in your wallet puts you in the driver seat.

 

Here are a couple of places to track down reward cards. Google Advisor and CreditCards.com

 

Of course if you cannot control your spending, or if you cannot pay off your card each month, then put them all on ice and don't use them. Use you debit card exclusively. Otherwise congratulations on taking another step (albeit a small one) toward financial independence.

 

Those who are smart with their money get richer...


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