tips-to-financial-freedom-for-2016-how-to-become-a-millionaireWho among us didn’t see the ball drop, hear wind-up toys and participate in the countdown to midnight without envisioning how this was going to be a better and more prosperous year? Mostly likely if you didn’t vow to cut back on your calories, you did to cut back on your spending.

After holiday gift giving, many are thinking about how they are going to pay off their credit cards and get out of debt. Ask anyone who has amassed a good nest egg what their secrets are, and likely they won’t tell you about the million dollar investment that put them on top.

The way to becoming financially free is through good judgment, proper banking, the ability to stop impulses, and to live only with those things you need, not want. Above all, it is having the capacity to know the difference between the two.

Follow these simple rules and you will be on the way to achieving not only your New Year’s Resolution but building a small fortune to secure your future.

Give yourself an allowance

With so many easy ways to pay, cash is all but obsolete. If you are someone who lives by credit card, but not someone who is good at setting budgets and following them, the best way to stay on track is to take out a set amount of cash at the beginning of the month.

You will be surprised how quickly you will make decisions about what is a need or want really quick. Swiping a card at the checkout counter makes you less accountable because you aren’t physically watching dollars spent. Going “cash-only” can have you abiding by your budget and saving money at the end of the month.

Use online store shopping

There are many grocery stores and Superstores like Walmart that will allow you to shop online, and when you get there, they will have everything you need ready to go. Many of us think of this as lazy, or don’t want someone picking our “things” out. When you have someone else do your shopping, however, you take the strong potential for impulse buys out of the equation.

Stores are set up to attract your eye and entice you to buy things you aren’t there for. If you don’t have time to peruse the shelves, you won’t be tempted, and you will only get what you need. Make sure, however, that there isn’t a convenience charge for the service, or that if there is one it is very minimal, otherwise you will end up spending more in the long run.

Pay everything through one credit card, but make sure to pay it off

If you are someone who can reasonably set a budget for yourself, then find just one credit card to make payments. Shop around to find which card has the highest and best rewards system. You don’t have to be concerned about the interest rate because you are going to pay it off at the end of every month, and not carry a revolving balance.

The key is to put everything on one card, including your gas bill, your insurance and all the expenditures for your household. At the end of the month, pay off the credit card, and you will likely get as much as one to two percent back. It may not sound like a lot, but over the course of ten years, that can add up to some serious cash. The key, however, is never to carry a revolving balance. That would ruin the whole idea and put you in the red.

Shop using gift cards no one else wants

All those gift cards that people got for the holidays are going to be cashed in on soon enough. Online gift card sites buy and sell used gift cards at a discount. Purchase used gift cards and often you will get an additional five, to as much as twenty-five, percent discount for some retail outlets.

They are delivered directly to your phone and can be used by scanning on your mobile device. For the biggest bang? Buy them with your one credit card to pay off, and you will increase the savings even more.

The key to wealth is not the get rich quick scheme; it is the build-wealth-slow one. This New Year, resolve to change your money habits to change your future.

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