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"Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence: Your Roadmap To Exiting The Rat Race And Living Your Dreams" by Usiere Uko is a good book on basics of managing your money, making the most of your life, and living your dreams with a little motivation thrown in.

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If you have not read any books on this topic, this is a good place to start and you'll most likely enjoy the book and gain from it. If, on the other hand, you have read a number of books in this field, you will most likely recognize many if not all of the lessons this book contains. I was in this latter category. Right from the start, I felt the book was influenced by Robert Kiyosaki, and not long into the book the author states that reading Rich Dad Poor Dad helped him on his way. There are twenty books listed in the Recommended Reading section, and I've read all twenty, so I guess that is why much of the book felt familiar. Topics included your mindset, spending below your income, good debt and bad debt, setting financial goals, making your talent pay, taking baby steps, planning your estate and more.

With that said, Uko does a very good job of presenting the information he presents, and even if it is similar to those books that influenced him, he put his own spin on evoestate it. So, again, if you have not read a lot of books in this genre by the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracy, George Clason, Richard Templar, and others, you'll enjoy and learn from this book. If you have read a lot of others, you'll find reinforcement, but nothing new.

And like many of those other books in this genre, this book does a good job of motivating you to do things differently, but many people will need additional help to figure out just how to do what the author recommends. For example, it is easy to understand that you want assets that put money into your bank account each month, but how to you actually acquire those assets from where you are right now?

If you want a motivating, easy to read, inspiring book to change your mindset about money and point you in the right direction, give this book a chance. It will do just that. If you are looking for something new or technical and step-by-step, this is probably not what you are looking for. I recommend it to that former group.

Everyone at some point in their lives dreams of being financially independent. Regardless of their employment situation or lack thereof, thoughts of being able to call their own shots are something that is desired.

But first, let's examine the term "financial independence". What does it mean to be financially independent? Financial independence is, through your own endeavors, you possess the capability to support yourself. Once financial independence is realized, you are able to stand on your own and have a more stable and secured life for yourself and your family.

To reach the point where you have that stable and secured life, you have to have the right mindset. This is not something that will just fall in your lap. Your due diligence is required along with positive actions that have proven to work over time.

Following are the top five power traits that you can start utilizing today to help you get on track to the road to financial freedom.

Power Trait 1- Health is Wealth (Take care of yourself)

This may not sound to you like something that will help you financially but actually it ties itself to your financial well-being more than you think. If you do not take care of yourself today it will be more difficult for you down the road to be able to achieve your dreams. Good health will be an asset to you to obtaining financial independence. By having regular check ups with your physician, having a healthy diet and exercising regularly you will be giving yourself an advantage. Being of good health psychologically and physically will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your efforts today.

Power Trait 2 - Focus Your Vision

Having a vision to where you want to go in life or what you want to achieve is paramount to your eventual success. You want financial independence? You want to be your own boss? You want a more stable and secure life for yourself and family? You want to establish a sound financial base that you can pass on to your children to carry on the legacy?

Ultimately, you must keep that vision in mind. As you progress toward your goal of financial independence, it will beneficial to you to enlist your five senses thus enhancing your vision.. Try to feel that vision, hear that vision, smell that vision, see that vision and even taste that vision. Also remember, if the road gets a little rough along the way, return to your vision for reinforcement and don't let go.

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Power Trait 3 - Wisely Invest Your Money

The basic income to help you toward your goal of financial freedom will come from your current job(s). It is important to generate income, but don't settle for this source of income.

Your target is to increase your income from what you are presently making. Look to invest your money into a beneficial enterprise. For example, you can invest your money into or start a business that you are absolutely passionate about. Learn everything there is about this business. Be prepared to go the extra mile in doing so. You must also develop a mindset to shoot for excellence and integrity. Do not just settle for mediocrity. This mental attitude will propel you toward your goal of financial independence.

Power Trait 4 - Save Your Money

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A great way to start establishing a firm financial foundation for your future is to develop a strong "money miser" mentality. Put some money aside each month. Of your present income, allot a certain percentage to your savings on a regular basis. Establish a healthy financial habit by doing this for each time you get paid. A good way to remember this is to pay yourself first. This will help you avoid the trap of impulse buying as well as teach you how to budget your money for necessary expenses.

Consider keeping your money in a bank savings account. The interest earned on the money in the savings account is not as generous as other types of investments but a little interest is better than no interest. Avoid the urge of withdrawing that money unless it is absolutely necessary.

Power Trait 5 - Spend Your Money Wisely

Don't spend your money on every little thing that you think you need. Purchase things that you really need. In order to do that, just before you make that purchase you must step back, take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Do I really need that?". Only you can answer this question but you must stay true to yourself and your vision of financial independence. The end justifies the means in this case.

In this world today, we are tempted to keep up with everyone else in accumulating material things. Forget the need to show off to others what you can afford. Remember, your goal is to gain financial independence, not to compete with others. The best way to achieve your goal is to hold on to your money as much as possible.

If you incur debts by overuse of credit cards, you will surely find yourself in a cycle of debt that will be hard to climb out of. Try to make ends meet for now because later on in your financially independent life, you will be in a better position to be more leisurely with your money.