Getting Rid of Needless Costs and Fees

If you want to build wealth, getting as much income or "inflow" is pretty dang important. But, that doesn't mean much if your "outflows" match or are close to your amount of inflow. When building wealth, I figure it's pretty important to focus on the money that comes out of your bank account as well as the money that comes in.

Stupid Fees

The first thing I'm trying to cut out of my finances are dumb bank fees. Right now, my checking account has a monthly fee of $14.95. That's just so I can have unlimited transactions. Before I switched to unlimited transactions, I had a plan where I had 5 free transactions and then a dollar per transaction after. It's a little ridiculous that I have to pay anything to use my own money! That's why I plan to switch from my current brick and mortar bank to an online.

The bank that I plan to switch is amazing that I'm wondering why I didn't move to them sooner. Not only do they have no fees for their checking account, they actually pay interest on any balance that you may have! Just to clarify, I'm not talking about a savings account, I'm talking about a checking account that pays you interest! That's insanely awesome!

The only down side to it being an online bank is that they don't have a physical branch for me to go to. Luckily though, they use another banks ABMs so that I can't withdraw money plus they have photo check depositing through their app on smart phones. If you're paying a ton in bank fees, and you're like me who barely if ever goes physically to their bank, then you should check to see what online banks you have access to.

If you're Canadian like I am, the online bank I'm switching to is Tangerine! Give it a look and see if it's for you. 

Reducing Costs

Right now, there aren't too many costs that I can reduce. The only one that I'm currently looking to reduce is my cell phone bill. 

With my current plan, and the fact that the phone is being financed, I feel like I pay waaaaay too much monthly. Also I hear that plans suck in Canada compared to other places in the world? That I'm not so sure about. It's not anything I can really do about anyways.

Unfortunately, I'm on a family plan with family but pay for the bill myself. I'm stuck with it for a while at the very least. If I wanted to pay off the phone, I would have to pay off the rest of the amount that's left to be financed and then a fee on top of that to cancel the phone. I plan to do it once the total lump sum is a lot smaller and more doable. Once I do that, I'm going to switch over to a much cheaper plan with a different provider. 

Make sure to look at your own plan and think if you're paying too much yourself! Do you have more data than you actually need? I certainly do. I plan to switch from 1GB data plan to 500MB since I don't even come close at the end of the month to 500MB of data used.

Do you really use your phone to talk? I don't know about you, but for me, I barely use my phone to talk anymore. I either just text of use some sort of messaging app. So there's another way to reduce the bill! I play to get 200 minute talk time to reduce the monthly cost of the plan further.

Try taking the time to sort out your own finances. Are you paying needless fees too like I am? Are there any potential costs that you can cut down on? Remember, the bigger your cash inflows the better, but that doesn't mean much when your outflow is nearly as much as your inflows.

My "How"

There are usually many different paths to get to any one place. It's the same for reaching financial independence. There are many different ways to achieve financial independence and how you choose to achieve that is up to you.

My Path to Financial Independence

When you first get into investing, the first this you'll here is how you have to diversify. Diversification here means to have different asset classes in your investment portfolio such as stocks, bonds, or even real estate.

But, did you know what you can diversify more than just your investment portfolio?

What I'm talking about is diversifying your streams of income! In other words, having multiple different sources of where you income can come from! The primary source that most people are familiar with are jobs where you get a paycheck that you can reasonable expect to come every two weeks or sometimes every month. But like I mentioned, there are other ways to get an income. A quick google search will show you several ways that you can gain multiple income streams. You can start something like a side hustle! Here's a list of Side Hustles from Nick Loper's site, Side Hustle Nation. 

My Chosen Income Streams

These are the avenues in which I hope to achieve financial independence:

1. Dividend Producing Stocks

Did you know that you can get a return on stocks besides just buying them and hoping they increasing in value? That's right, you can get actual cash flow from stocks! There are many stocks where the company will cut you a check for a certain amount of money just for owning the their stock. That's amazingly passive and why it will be my main focus when producing extra income streams. I'm also planning to dabble in REITs (Real Estate Income Trusts) which are more risky than regular stocks but have higher dividends (which for REITs are called distributions). I also plan to go into bond ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) which will give me interest income and to also balance out my overall portfolio with something not so risky as stocks and REITs. 

2. Real Estate

This if something that I'm hoping to get into some day. Maybe not on a giant scale such as 50 houses but hopefully a few houses to get some rental income as another income stream. While I'm still debating on whether or not I truly want to get into the business of being a land lord, the thought of adding rental income as another stream of income is really an interesting one. I know there are ways to make real estate more passive such as hiring a property manager, which I'm of course considering, but it's just that I'm not sure I want to give up that kind of control over any future properties. For now though, I want to focus on other streams of income before I really get knee deep in real estate investing.

3. My Job

Can't for get about the most common of income! This will be my spring board into other streams of income and my primary income in the short term. Hopefully I can focus a while on this income source and get to a decent point where it can fund my other streams. Although, in the end, I do plan to hopefully phase this source out using the other income streams.

4. My Blog

I'm going to put this out there: I do hope to be able to monetize my blog properly one day! Maybe through advertising, or through affiliate market. I do hope that I'll be able to turn this blog into a decent stream of income. Maybe not enough to replace my job income, but enough to bolster my income altogether.

Of course, life happens. Maybe a few years later on, I'll become an entrepreneur and start a busy thus gaining more income through those means. For all I know, my above mentioned list might not even include everything I've mentioned! It might include all of them, or it might include none of them. After a few years this list might look completely different. Needless to say, I look extremely forward to how things actually unfold in the coming years!

My "Why"

Whenever you do something, there's always a reason behind it. Have you ever just stopped and asked yourself why you've decided to do the things you do? Why it seems worth it to you?

Your "why" is going to be your motivator, the reason that is most important to you. Personally, the reason that I'm starting this blog is to chronicle my journey to freedom, financial freedom. I want to be able to keep track of all the things that I've done to be able to reach my financial independence. I want to see all my growth, all my mistakes, and I want to be able to learn from it all.

But the reason I'm putting it online on a blog isn't solely just for me. I want this blog to be like a beacon to attract those who are also on a journey to attain their own freedom. I want to hear their stories. I want to hear their successes, their failures, and their struggles. More importantly, I want to hear your successes, failures, and struggles.

I hope that all of you reading get something out of this blog. Whatever it is that you get of this blog, I hope that it's something that can somehow help you. Maybe my story can be something that inspires you to try and go out and attain your freedom. Maybe my story can spark something in you that gives you the motivation to go out and do the things that you want to do.

So, to put it succinctly, my "why" for this blog is to chronicle my journey to financial freedom, to find others who are also on their own journey, and to hopeful, in time, attain that financial freedom with all of you.