Retiring comfortably. Is this what financial freedom means to you? Or no longer worrying about a roof over your head. How about the ability to share great experiences with your kids or being able to further your studies?

Everyone has unique financial dreams and goals, which is why the term holds different meanings for different people. Whatever it means to you, Monty Stephenson: Financial Executive and COO of bsmart, shares these five steps to help you on your journey to financial freedom.

1. It’s not about luck

Let’s be honest, there’s a slim bit of hope in many people of one day winning a huge lottery to solve every money woe. Reaching your financial goals isn’t about sheer luck, it’s about determination and making a commitment to saving regularly.

2. Save more than you spend

Do you know why you’re saving? Have an honest look at your financial situation and then create a realistic budget based on your savings goals. Cut out those unnecessary costs and start implementing good habits, like automatic saving as soon as you get paid. Use every opportunity you can to save and start as early as possible.

3. Put fun into it

If you create a savings game, it makes the process more fun. Challenge a partner to see who can save the greatest amount in three months or who can cut the most costs. You can also pick a number like your ID and save R73, R120, R2 089 and R4 135. Set a savings goal, make it fun and reward yourself when you reach your goal.

4. Beware of convenience

Do you love the cappuccino you get every morning on your way to the office? How about that takeaway lunch from the deli down the road? The cost of convenience quickly adds up and with the recent VAT increase, you need to figure out what small treats you can keep and what you can live without.

5. Pay off debt

Debt is a huge source of stress and it makes it harder to save, so make it a priority to decrease debt as quickly as you can. When you have any extra money, like your annual bonus, don’t splurge but rather use it to pay off your debt. “We’re living in tough economic times and this this is why we never encourage our bsmart members to spend more than they can afford. Our focus is on educating our members to spend smart, save smart and live smart, to help them on their journey to financial freedom,” says Stephenson.

To help bsmart members save more, they can use their bsmart card to make purchases at more than 10 000 retail stores around the country and earn cashback. To learn more about earning cashback, contact us for more information or click here to sign up directly through our website.

Disclaimer: bsmart does not provide financial advice. The above article is for information purposes only, to share current economic and financial topics and trends. Please consult a suitable and qualified financial services provider if you require financial advice.