Being financially free, especially when you don’t have a financial plan is extremely difficult. Public employees often assume that their job security gives them a gate pass to sufficient money that’s enough to cover their future expenses. They couldn’t be any more wrong. 

Below are seven easy to implement financial rules that you should always abide by to achieve financial freedom…

Rules That You Should Always Abide by to Achieve Financial Freedom

1 – Zero-Based Budgeting

As you budget monthly, start with a blank slate and justify each expense before allocating funds to it. Be sure to cancel subscriptions and other recurring expenditures on months they aren’t justifiable.

2 – Save before Spending

Budget the monthly amount you intend to save and put that money aside before you start spending. If possible, automate all savings to eliminate the temptation to spend and to enable you to live within your means.

3 – Avoid Using Credit Cards

Credit cards cultivate a habit of spending money that you don’t have. They also carry high-interest rates and could result in bad credit scores due to non-payment. Use them only when you have to and set up an automated monthly payment to your checking account to settle your credit card balance in full. 

4 – Keep an Emergency Fund

Life has its ways of throwing curveballs when they are least expected. Keeping a little money on the side in case of these emergencies could prove to be useful especially in situations that require large amounts of cash. 

Have about three to six months of your living expenses for use in case of emergencies (1). Only dip into these savings when the expense is unforeseen, necessary, and urgent.

5 – Live within your means

Make a budget and stick to it. In case you get unexpected inflows of cash, adjust your spending budget by a small percentage, and save the rest. Prioritize necessities and budget stringently for luxuries.

Always have a financial goal and remind yourself of it when faced with a situation that may result in unnecessary spending.  

6 – Negotiate!

For large expenses, try to get the best deals you can. Most people in public employment do not negotiate their first salaries. However, Increasing your monthly incomes and reducing your large expenses can have a huge impact on your personal finance.

7 – Be cautious about lending

Loans, especially to family and friends, may seem like a good idea at first. You are not in need of your savings at that particular moment, so why not help a person you love?

Treat any loans to family or to friends as a gift from the on start. That way, if you get your money back, that’s awesome. If you don’t, then it is still okay. It is advisable to lend cautiously and only lend that which you are willing to lose. 

Work on your personal finance management skills

The journey to financial freedom is a long one but with a set of rules to guide you and the discipline required, you will be there in no time! You could also talk to one of our advisors about the CalPATH Home Loan Program and how it can help you increase your savings and plan for your retirement. 


About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program

Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.

You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.

We look forward to working with you soon!


Joe Moore – Branch Manager


Links to sources used

  1. 3 to 6 months of savings might be ‘tried and true wisdom’ but this expert has advice if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck –