Mapping your steps to financial independence

Sketchnote showing a mapping of inter-related steps along the journey to financial independence. Themes include taking control of your money, paying down debts, saving and investing. Full text description below the image.

The journey to financial independence is made up of lots of different steps. There’s no single pathway or specific order to follow and the steps that people take depend on their own circumstances and aspirations in life.

However, there are some consistent and inter-related themes around taking control of your money, paying down debts, saving and investing that are likely to touch on most people’s journey.

The idea of mapping your steps to financial independence is to help you decide the approach that works for you and your situation. This doesn’t stop you changing your mind as you go along or coming back to steps that you’ve tried initially but were just not ready for. It just gives you some pointers on things to think about next.

If you are just starting out, it can be helpful to begin with smaller steps like tracking your spending, swotting up on your financial lingo or taking time out to think about what your life goals and aspirations might be (often they are not what you think they are once you begin digging below the surface – mentally speaking).

For the more seasoned amongst us (which is how I often find myself describing myself nowadays), a map like this can help validate we’re on the right track and question whether there are other things we should be doing to achieve financial freedom.

The steps from the sketchnote are captured in (some sort) of logical order in the table below – just in case you want to have a go at mapping your own steps to financial independence.

Tracking spendingBuilding money knowledgeDeveloping your careerLearning about your motives and priorities
Creating a budgetWorking out your net worthLearning new skillsSaving for a deposit
Creating a plan to go debt-freeIncreasing your savings rateGrowing your incomeBuilding your credit score
Paying down debtsInvestingStarting a businessBuying a home
Becoming debt freeBuilding your pensionBecoming mortgage free
Staying debt freeCreating passive income

As you go through the exercise of mapping your steps, always keep at the back of your mind the fact that everyone has their own unique journey, so follow the path that works best for you.

Thanks for reading 🙂