Money Makeover

Want a life makeover and the freedom that comes with financial success? It isn't as hard as you think. By taking action in five areas, you can start living a more fulfilling life right now.

John Wesley, a self-improvement coach, offers these tips to gain financial freedom.

Live below your means

Don't forsake your future for instant gratification. You don't need another Coach bag, but you do need an emergency savings fund. Likewise, you don't need a $50,000 car, but you do need a retirement fund. Living below your means allow you to tuck the extra away for the future.

Put your money to work

Don't stash your cash in the freezer or under the mattress -- and don't even bother with a savings account (except, maybe, for that emergency fund). Solid investments can make the difference between an early retirement or almost no retirement. According to Wesley, "...if a person in their early 20s invests 20% of their income in an S&P index fund, the interest they earn will equal their current salary when they reach their early 40s."

Educate yourself

While a college degree can make a significant difference in your income, education goes beyond collecting pieces of paper. Continual, lifelong education not only makes you a more interesting person, the personal growth makes you a happier person.

Develop lasting personal relationships

The relationships we have with our friends and family make the largest singular difference in the quality of our lives. If you had all the money in the world, would you be happy if you were truly all alone? Long-term relationships are essential to long term happiness.

Work towards a dream you're passionate about

If you aren't working towards a goal, you are stagnating. Whether it be to become the CEO of a multi-million dollar company or simply to finish reading the Sunday New York Times, working towards something meaningful to you brings fulfillment to your life. So get out there!

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