Can’t get started?
You’re thinking about achieving financial success and you may be wondering how to get started. It’s not as hard as you may think it is. You will need to take small steps, building on each step as you gradually gain traction. Here are 7 steps to get moving. The plan is easy and actually fun to follow:
1. Start with emergency savings
You need to set up an account to save for emergencies. It’s never touched unless it’s vitally necessary to repair the car or make large home repairs, or pay unexpected medical bills. Start with whatever you can afford and gradually watch it grow. This step will take a while, but once it is done you can set it on the back burner.
2. Pay off your debts from small to large.
It is the little bills that fester that gradually become more costly with fees and interest. Pay those ones off from smallest debt to largest debt. If you have two credit cards with the same amount of debt, pay the one with the higher interest rate first. Gradually as the smaller debts fall away, you will notice you have more funds to pay off the larger debts. Get them paid off too.
3. Set aside 3 to 6 months living expenses
The chance of losing your job in today’s economy is a scary reality. You should set aside savings equal to what you would earn over 3 to 6 months. This money will allow you the breathing room you need so you can look for another job without worry about how you will keep yourself and your family financially afloat. The living expense savings will allow you to keep your emergency savings socked away.
4. Invest in your future
Now that you have your emergency funds and living expenses set aside, and you have paid off your debts, you can start planning for your financial future. We suggest you take 15 percent of your current income and begin investing in your company’s 401K plan or another preferred retirement plan.
5. Save for your children’s educations
Research the expected costs for your children’s education based on projections for 10 or 20 years in the future and begin to save funds for their education. Contact the Local universities to learn about special savings plans available for parents to save toward tuition and then get on board as soon as you are able.
6. Pay off your home as early as you can
Tack on to your regular monthly payments as much as you can so that you can reduce the principle earlier. If you can add on as little as $200 a month to your house payment you can pay off your home years earlier than projected, thus reducing your interest payments and gaining more financial freedom.
7. Use your new found freedom to help others
Now that most of your debt is taken care of with careful savings and planning, you can use your wealth to help others. Of course, you will be helping yourself as well with tax write-offs for donations but you will also have the knowledge that you made other peoples’ lives a little bit better.