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3 Steps to Financial Freedom


Even though there is a ton of advice floating around about how to be financially successful, many people still struggle with managing their money. The truth is, financial success doesn’t need to be complicated, time consuming, or overly restrictive.

Below I have compiled three simple steps that will set you on the path to financial freedom.  

First, be intentional. Start by adding up your regular, necessary expenses (bills, gas, food, etc.), then, subtract this number from your take-home income. This is what you have left for paying extra toward debts, saving, and discretionary spending. The trick is to allocate properly and intentionally among these categories, and to reassess on a regular basis. Many people begin spending without first creating any intention behind where their money should be going. Be realistic about your current financial situation and live within your means. Just keep in mind that if you are too restrictive, you likely won’t stick with it. 

Second, automate. Beyond automatic bill pay, automate your debt payoff and be sure to stretch—don’t just pay the minimum. Next, if you aren’t automatically saving for shorter term needs (emergencies, large purchases, semi-regular expenses), you need to start now. Do what works for you: set up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings each month; have a portion of your paycheck go to a savings account; if your income is variable, determine a base living expense and pay yourself each month with the remainder retained in a separate account. Finally, save for the future via a company sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or in an IRA or Roth IRA.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to start small or make small changes—it all adds up. Take a step and move forward. You will thank yourself later.

Megan Nichols, CFP®

Following the 50/30/20 budget is a simple way to spend your money responsibly. Check out this calculator to see how your spending compares.


This memorandum expresses the views of the author as of the date indicated and such views are subject to change without notice. Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors have no duty or obligation to update the information contained herein. Further, Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors make no representation, and it should not be assumed that past investment performance is an indication of future results. Moreover, wherever there is potential profit there is possibility of loss. This memorandum is being made available for educational purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. The information contained herein does not constitute and should not be construed as an offering of advisory services, banking services, or an offer to sell or solicit and securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. Certain information contained herein concerning economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by independent third-party sources. Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors believes that the sources from which such information has been obtained are reliable; however, it cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information and has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based. This memorandum, included the information contained herein, may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or posted in any form without the prior written consent of Community First Bank and/or HFG Trust and/or HFG Advisors. HFG Advisors, Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HFG Trust, LLC. HFG Trust, LLC is a Washington state-registered Trust company and wholly owned subsidiary of Community First Bank.