Five Steps to Financial Freedom

Are you ready to celebrate your financial freedom?

Jul 1, 2016

This Independence Day, Americans will celebrate 240 years of freedom with parades, barbecues and fireworks. But an often overlooked contributor to how we enjoy our freedom is how we manage our money. A successful money manager can buy a home or a car, take vacations, go to college, and enjoy the finer things of life. But the opposite is also true: People who are poor money managers often struggle with housing, transportation, education — even putting food on the table. Knowing how to handle money can bring financial freedom and all that comes with it.

We asked the volunteer teachers who facilitate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes in their communities to share their advice for achieving financial freedom. Here’s what they suggest:

1. Communicate

Karina Penrod of Centerville, Utah, advises to have a “consistent flow of kind, flexible, forgiving communication with your accountability partner in planning, adjusting, and reconciling your budget every single month.”

John Morgan of West Bountiful, Utah, says: “Creating a team between us with a common financial goal was the basis for success and opened a new and better communications for us as a couple.”

2. Create an Emergency Fund

“Having an emergency fund gives the freedom to focus only on the emergencies that inevitably come,” says Kip Howell of Taylorsville, Utah. Work hard to complete your emergency fund so the monetary expense of the emergency doesn’t also become part of the emergency.

3. Budget Purposefully

“My experience has been that those who will take the time to purposely decide where they want their money to go — meaning they create a budget — are the ones that have the best chance of obtaining financial freedom,” says Michael Wallace of Logan, Utah.

Sarah Conder of Springville, Utah, agrees. “There is something very powerful in taking control of your money and telling it where to go via monthly budgeting, instead of looking back at the end of the month and wondering where it all went,” she says. “When my husband and I implemented this basic tactic, we were able to save hundreds of dollars each month simply by having better control over our spending and making and sticking to a budget we set together.”

Denver Green of Orem, Utah, stays on track by tracking his spending. “I now actively track our spending throughout the month and we make adjustments as we go along to ensure we hit our budget numbers,” Green says. “It takes just a few minutes each day to log into online banking and record our spending.”

4. Find the Balance

“Balance is what gives me freedom,” says Tony Mastroberardino of Lewiston, Idaho. “In the following areas when my life is balanced I find peace and freedom: Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Friends, and Fun.”

5. Learn Contentment

“One of the most important keys to my financial freedom has been learning contentment,” says Ricky Brandon of Spanish Fork, Utah. “When you think the grass is always greener on the other side, you waste a lot of time and money trying to get there. Being content allows you to slow down and enjoy what you have right now without needing or wanting more. It’s the wanting and impatience that tempts us to use credit to get there faster.”

Zions Bank has offered Financial Peace University classes since 2003, and since that time, more than 60,000 people in Idaho and Utah have attended this personal finance program at more than 2,200 locations.

Are you ready to celebrate your financial freedom? Financial Peace University coordinators will be back in action this September.

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