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The path to financial freedom is a route that is potentially open to many and yet few actually take it and liberate themselves. Achieving your financial goals and becoming financially free requires discipline and commitment, you will face many obstacles but with the right mindset and financial habits success will come. I have listed four of of the obstacles that you will face below. Consistency of action and your ability to adapt to changing circumstances will be key if you are to make it.
Obstacles on Your Financial Journey
Level of Income Changes
The days when employees could expect to work continuously for one employer for a period of forty years and then retire are long gone. In many cases, you are now more likely to be made redundant and suffer a period of unemployment during your career. The chances of this happening are higher if you are an ethnic minority or a woman. Self employed workers and freelancers are also more likely to experience fluctuations in their income levels. If this happens, you will experience a change in the level of your income which could jeopardise your financial objectives.
What to do:
You should immediately re-visit your monthly budget and assess the impact to your net worth. It is important that you adapt to your changing circumstances; should you look for a part time job while also looking for a new main job? Can you make cuts to your levels of expenditure? Surely, the entertainment budget can be reduced? These are questions that you will need to ask yourself. Hopefully you have an emergency fund that you can use until you secure another job.
Pressure from Creditors
If you are following the steps I outlined in this post, What’s the Best Strategy For Clearing Debts?, you will have a prioritised list of debts to clear. It should come as no surprise to you that your creditors will have no regard for your list. You may receive phone calls, text messages or letters from creditors who are a low priority on your list. They will want you to make payments to them and will not care what your overall plan is for reducing your debts. These communications from debtors are an obstacle to overcome and can put you under pressure. If you need to talk to someone consider contacting The National Debtline.
What to do:
Stay strong mentally and do not change your priorities in terms of debt reduction because you received a specific phone call. Stick to your plan that will result in you getting out of debt more quickly.
Pressure from Friends
True friends and family members will understand the financial journey that you are on and the steps that you are taking to put yourself in a better place financially. However, there will be many who do not understand or perhaps are not in your inner circle, they may continue to expect you to attend expensive social get togethers or go on holidays with them. This will put you under some social pressure.
What to do:
Do not give in to pressure to keep up with the Joneses at all. If an event or purchase does not fit with your financial plan avoid it. If you must attend a wedding or special occasion, plan and budget specifically for the occasion. Recycle an outfit for the occasion rather than buying a brand new one. If necessary, explain your decisions to your friends.
Changes in the Value of Investments
On your financial journey, you will experience many changes in the value of your investments. Depending on the nature of your investment portfolio, these changes could be quite significant. For example, those who have invested in cryptocurrencies during the last few years will have experienced a level of price volatility that can make even the most confident investor think twice.
What to do:
Keep tabs on your investments and prepare to takes steps to rebalance your portfolio if it is no longer consistent with the level of risk you are comfortable with. Avoid knee jerk reactions to market changes and consider the long term at all times.
Having a financial plan and goals is a wonderful position to be in, having the strength of character and determination to stick to it and adapt when necessary is even better. You will face obstacles but it is possible to overcome them. I write from experience, I have faced each of the obstacles I have described and more. I want you to come out the other side and be able to recognise your achievement and smile.
Have you faced any of the obstacles I have mentioned here? How have you handled them? Let me know in the comments section below.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.