5 steps to financial freedom 

Do you want to get better with your money? It’s safe to say that most of us are nodding our heads with a definite “Yes!” Between student loans and the other (expensive) costs of living, we find ourselves drowning in debt. And even if you’re working hard and making money, you can’t seem to save any of it. If that sounds familiar, here are five steps to financial freedom.

Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner who wasn’t always so great with money. In fact, he struggled with debt and saving, too. But today, he helps his clients get smart with money, and here are five of Rose’s tips to help you do the same.

Tally up your debts and make a plan to pay them

In order to pay off debt, you need to know exactly how much you owe. Once you‘ve figured that out, you can decide to either consolidate or pay off debt more slowly. A financial adviser can help you decide what’s best.

Set a monthly budget

Setting a monthly budget helps you track exactly how much money is coming in and how much money is going out. You can do this by tracking your spending and compare it to your earnings. Doing so gives you a better idea of what your budget should be.

Create an emergency fund

No one wants to pay an unexpected bill or deal with an unfortunate event, but if you have an emergency fund in place, it can help you deal with problems (should any arise). What’s more, your emergency fund can help you from going into debt or tapping into your savings.

Create saving goals

To keep you from spending all your hard-earned money, and to help you achieve your big plans, it’s time to start saving. First, figure out what you’re saving for: a house, a vacation, a car, etc. Then, decide how much you can reasonably save each week or month to make that dream a reality.

Find a financial advisor

These four goals can help you take big steps toward financial freedom. But if you want to create an even more personalized plan, Rose advises finding a “fee-only financial advisor who is also a fiduciary.” This means your financial advisor is legally required to make decisions that best support you even if they don’t gain from it