Learn About 3 Steps That You Can Take Today That Can Help You Improve Your Personal Finances In A Better Way
Wow what a busy month, as things have really picked up lately in the real estate arena, however I had to take a moment out of my busy schedule to help consumers worldwide improve their personal finances as it has been over a month since my last post.
Hopefully this discussion will help you and your family move forward in a real way and play some part in helping you achieve the personal finance success that you desire.
It is important that you utilize your mind in a manner that is of high intensity and is focused on the success that you desire. Your daily focus must be so strong that the success that you desire is the only “possible" outcome!
You must imagine yourself being unstoppable in your pursuit toward the success that you desire and your imagination can be the "lightning rod" that is needed that can turn what you see and sincerely want in your and your family’s future—into reality!
In this discussion we will analyze what you can do now to work toward improving your personal finances in a responsible and rewarding manner where your success is at the forefront—not the success of others who could really care less about your future success.
It is important that you draw up in your mind (and on paper) a realistic blueprint of how you will get to where you want to go.
In the steps that follow—you will learn what you need to know.
1) Create a Realistic Plan for Success
Do you know what you earn on a monthly basis and do you know what you spend on a monthly basis?
Your monthly cash inflows and cash outflows are the starting point to getting you in position to achieve lasting success in your financial life. You cannot guess your numbers or just go through the motions on a daily basis by spending your income in a random manner and paying your monthly bills as you see fit.
Even those with high discretionary income on a monthly basis could achieve far more if only they had an effective system in place that allowed them to manage their monthly cash inflows and outflows in a smarter and more beneficial manner.
Creating a realistic plan for improving your personal finances means that you know your monthly income and your monthly expenses and you have an understanding within your mind of how to manage your income and expenses effectively.
You must have a mental system that allows you to create a personal budget, create a personal income statement and create a personal balance sheet—and you must know your personal net worth at this time—if you are to achieve at your highest levels.
Once you know your income and expenses—you can put a plan in place that will allow you to reach your future goals and improve your personal finances in a realistic way and not just pursue your goals based on wishful thinking or improper planning.
If you need $5,000 to pay off your credit card debt in the next twelve months and you know that your monthly income left over after all of your bills are paid is $1,000 per month—you know immediately that with a concerted effort and the right focus—you can pay that debt off within 6 months and position yourself to be on a path to reach your other goals whether immediate, intermediate—or long term.
You would know that you can fund your emergency fund at the level that you needed to be at in a certain time period and you could start enhancing your retirement numbers.
By knowing where you are at on a monthly basis with your cash flow after properly establishing an emergency fund and paying off your credit card debt—you can put yourself in control of your and your family's financial future.
2) Use Your Income to Reach Your Desired Goals
Even if you have additional personal finance goals—you would now be in position to pursue them in a more effective manner because you know your “financial numbers” and you are now in a better position to achieve those goals.
If the personal finance goals that you aspire to achieve are not within the time table that you have for achieving them—you may have to modify your goals or time frame, or reduce the number of goals to a level that is achievable in the time frame that you establish.
You must always know how to make compounding work for you and your family and you must not let others use compounding against you and your family for an excessive period of time—if at all.
You can avoid the latter by putting a plan in place to pay off or pay down your credit card and/or other high interest debt that you are now carrying.
3) Use Wisdom to Achieve What You Desire
Keep in mind that you must balance your goals and at the same time use wisdom in your approach!
If your employer offers matching contributions on your retirement account up to a certain level—it normally makes sense to contribute up to the match at a minimum even if you currently do not have a properly funded emergency fund, you have outstanding debt—and you are coming up short on reaching your other goals such as saving for a house.
By saving on your taxes, getting basically free money from your employer with the retirement contributions match—you would normally put yourself in better position for your future (and possibly the present as well) by doing so.
Whether establishing an emergency fund, establishing a health savings account, establishing a retirement portfolio or investing outside of retirement—you want to choose the appropriate vehicle for getting you to your destination and you want to do your due diligence on the front end!
With an emergency fund safety of principal is at the forefront so you would want to consider money market and short term Certificates of Deposit (CD’s) or other safe investments such as treasuries.
Government and corporate bonds would be more appropriate for longer term goals and stocks and mutual funds would be more appropriate for even longer term goals such as retirement and possibly investments outside of retirement once you were in position to do so.
It is wise to consider commodities, real estate, precious metals and other more riskier investments when you are in a strong cash position and you have addressed all areas of your finances in a comprehensive and effective manner.
Always keep “rate of return” and “inflation” in mind as you pursue your personal finance goals.
You may have to shift your assets as you get closer to your goals to more safer investments so you want to evaluate your returns annually if not more so (you may have to re-balance your portfolio).
Final Thoughts On Improving Your Personal Finances In An Uncertain Environment
You must realize that the more diverse your investment mix—the more the odds are that your plan will stand the test of time.
Consider index funds as well as actively managed funds, CD’s, and money market accounts—and be sure that you are comfortable and have a real understanding of how what you are investing in works.
By doing all of the above at a minimum—you put yourself in position to control your future and at the same time you minimize letting others control your future and enhancing their bottom line at your expense.
Always realize that you have what it takes
on the inside to improve your personal finances!
However you must have the attitude that you will bring it all out at this particular moment in time and achieve what you truly desire!
It is important that you focus on what you can do and achieve in your future, regardless of the problems or adversity that you may now face on a daily basis or on the actions that others are taking on a daily basis.
You must always realize that it takes more than just focus to be your best! You must always have the attitude that you will attain success—and you must always put an effective plan in place and give it your best!
It is our desire that this discussion has not only provided you a way to improve your financial and mental discipline but has also provided you the strength that you need to endure—so that the success that you desire that can really move you and your family foward—can occur!
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About This Article:
The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) Underwood. Thomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia.
He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411 The Smart Guide to Buying Your Home, Home Seller 411 The Smart Guide to Selling Your Home, and Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.
In addition he is also the writer who created The 3 Step Structured Approach to Managing Your Finances, and CREDIT & FINANCE IMPROVEMENT MADE EASY—NEW GUIDE that you can download right now "(at MIMIMAL cost $3.95)" to learn more about his writing style and how you can achieve "more" success in the current economy.
He is the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner.
He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. He was the first financial planner to coin the phrase "financially alert mind" and he consistently writes in a style that is designed to provide consumers the ability to take control of their lives and achieve great results.
You can contact him from a number of sources but the most direct way is to contact him through the contact us block that can be found at the bottom of this page. You can also get highly relevant tips on "living your life more abundantly" and link to TheWealthIncreaser.com and possibly earn revenue by logging on to TheWealthIncreaser.com.
He is also an IRS registered tax planning professional with over 30 years of tax experience and can be reached at:
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