1. Have Goals
Here’s why you should have goals:
- It is well documented that people who have clear written goals and implement them not only more successful but are also more self-confident – people with goals get what they want.
- People who have goals and
- Having clear SMART goals is one of the first steps in taking control of your finances.
- Goals will give you focus and help to keep you motivated when times are difficult.
- That focus helps you to make decisions. The goals will clarify priorities.
Review the goals daily and really know the benefits that you will get from achieving. Chek out our full article on setting goals.
2. Have a plan & Take Action
Goals are useless without a plan to achieve them. Here’s an overview of what you need to do. Be sure to read the full detailed article on how to develop you plan. Use a planner to help you. This is the one that I use.
- First, break the goal down into chunks or sections. Outline the actions the need to be done in each section, and which activities need to be done first or
- Secondly, your plan must include a list of the challenges & obstacles that you need overcome. Following that, list some the ways and actions that you can do to overcome them.
- Ask yourself, “What are the skills that you need to learn and develop”? Who are the people who can help you? Do you know them or how can you learn from them?
- Finally, begin to map a high-level timeline when you need to do some task. Break it down on a monthly and weekly and daily basis.
Note: reading books, taking courses, watching appropriate YouTube videos are all fantastic ways to get the knowledge and to develop some of the background skills that you may need. However, too many people mistake these activities as action. Don’t fall into this trap. In order to be successful, most of the time must be spent on completing a task will definitively move the goal closer to completion.
3. Get Rid of Dirty Disgusting Debit
Get rid of Dirty Disgusting Debit can be difficult. But, I promise you that it is worth it. Getting rid of debt will lift a huge weight from your sholders and will put more money in your pocket. And let’s be honest, having extra cash is what we want.
There are dozens of debt management solutions, some are quicker or more cost effective than others. We recommend the debt snowball method.
1: Assess you monthly spending and identity what you must pay for and where you can save.
2: List your debts. Order them with the smallest outstanding balance at the top and the largest amount repaid at the bottom of the list. The interest rate is not considered.
3: Continue to pay all of debts at the minimum amount possible – except the smallest.
4: Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt until it is paid in full.
5: Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
Read our full article on getting rid of debt.
4. Have a Budget (and stick to it)
A budget will help you manage your finances, get rid of debt, save, and invest. It’s simply a plan of what you will do with your money. Without a plan, it is amazingly easy to just spend it away. Use your money with clear intention. Check out our full article on budgeting.
There is a lot of free and paid tools available online to help you to make a budget. I use a spreadsheet. I like spreadsheets because I can change it to exactly how I want it to be. A spreadsheet can be modifed to inclide all my expenses.
To create a budget:
- Write down your total income for the month. Include all sources, jobs, welfare, dividends etc. Be sure to use the amount after tax has been deducted.
- List all planned expenses for the month (rent/mortgage, food, electricity, fuel, insurance…) and add up the total.
- Subtract the expenses from the income. The result should be close to zero. That way you know you have planned to use every cent.
- If you have a surplus can go to savings or investing or toward a larger bill that may come next month.
- If you have negative number, you need to tighten your belt and cut spending somewhere. Start with the luxury items.
- Keep a record of your spending. There are many apps that you can use. Some banks provide this for free. You can also just excel.
5. Grow Your Income with a Side Hustle (or two)
Another key point to becoming financially free is that your income is greater than your expenses. Once you have achieved a surplus in your income you can start to save and invest.
Additionally, 2020 has shown us that things can change in a heartbeat. A second income stream will help to soften the blow of losing your primary income and will slow the rate that you go through your saving.
If you’re not sure what idea to follow, read our post 7 Fundamentals for a Successful Side Hustle, get some ides from 9 Simple Side Jobs That Anyone Can Do, or have a look at all our articles related to side hustles and second jobs.
6. Invest, invest, invest
Warren Buffet once said that “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” Investing is probably the most passive form of wealth generation there is. Successful investing grows your wealth. Consequently, you have more to invest.
While it can take some time to see the effect of this compounding, over time the results are phenomenal.
Getting started in investing can be easy. You can you a passive strategy and buy ETF from Vanguard. I prefer to take a more active approach to my investing and have used interactive brokers for well over a decade now. I also like to trade options and haves used TastyWorks for several years. You can trade options with interactive brokers. I simply prefer the TastyWorks software – it’s easier to use for options. Generally, the fees are lower too.
Be sure to do some basic research before you start investing. Read guidance from reputable sources. Take some the free training courses. For example, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange have free options trading courses.
Be sure to understand the risk associated with investing both stock and options before you begin.
7. Track and Review Your Progress
The first two actions in this article are to (i) create goals, and (ii) have a plan and take action. These two steps are fundamental to achieving substantial success. But if you want to catapult your success, then you must regularly review the effectiveness of your actions. If you find something that is not working, then tweak it or change it.
To give you an example, I track (and share) my net worth reports monthly. I want to see the total value increase each month. If an area is lagging, then I think what changes can be mage to improve overall performance.
You should also consider your relationships, the skills you have and what you need to develop.
I have diary that use to track other goals and personal aspects of my life.
8. Never Stop Learning and Improving
Personal development, self-education, self-help or whatever you want to call it, is something that you do to improve your quality of life or to develop new or existing skills and knowledge. If you have a broad and continuously developing skill set, you become more valuable.
Reading is a very cheap way to learn from the experience of others. Bill Gates is not just one of the world’s richest men, he is a prolific reader. In fact, Gates considers reading to be essential to success. It can help you to broaden your own skill set, but to also challenge the way you think.
If you are interested in what bill gates reads, you can view is recommendation here
9. Surround Yourself with Ambitious People
Jim Rhon once said that we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. You must surround yourself with positive focused people. Befriend people with talent and ambition. You will gain a lot from being with them.
To that end, you can use your YouTube or audio books to help flood your mind with positivity. I am a fan of Tony Robbins and often listen to him often. I also listen to Jim Rohan and read the books of John C. Maxwell.
If you manage to complete all of the above and you are still financially out of control, then it’s time to marry royalty or lottery winner!
Do you practice any or all of the steps described in this article? Which ones have worked for you? What new action are you going to take to move even closer to financial independence? What actions have we left out? Let us know in the comments below if