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Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Minutes to Financial Freedom

Mary Hunt on

Recently, I got a message from Natalie, who explained that as part of a financial preparedness event, she will have 10 minutes to speak about financial freedom. Her question to me was, "What would you talk about if you only had 10 minutes?"

Only 10 minutes? I find it difficult to introduce myself in that little time, but I'm up to the challenge. So fasten your seatbelts. Ready ... set ... go!


Do not confuse saving money with spending less, as in, "I save money when I buy things on sale." You are not saving at all; you are spending less. Saving money means that you actually put money into a safe place for some future time. Do that. Starting right now and forevermore, make it a rule that you will put some amount of your paycheck into a savings account before you spend any of it. Make it automatic, and you won't miss what you don't see. Goal: 10% of all you receive straight into savings.


Give away the same amount as you save. Just give it away, no strings attached, as an act of gratitude for what you have. Goal: Give back 10%.



Rein in your lifestyle so that it fits into 80% of your net income. Reduce your spending in every area of your life by a small amount and you will be able to achieve this, probably sooner than you ever dreamed.


You need only one credit card. Put the others away so you cannot use them. If you have a balance on the one card you will keep, do not carry it with you. You've given up that privilege until you are able to pay it down to $0 every month.


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