This is not only the beginning of a new year, it is also the beginning of a new decade and what better time than now to commit to becoming fiscally fit! Whatever you did or did not accomplish personally or financially no longer matters. Now we have a new decade to work on fulfilling our hopes and dreams. Certainly, we stand to benefit from the lessons of the past but now more than ever, we need to focus on what we can do today to make a better tomorrow for ourselves, our families, and yes, even the world around us.
So how do you become “Fiscally Fit?” Here’s a list of things you can do to get started:
1. Begin with the end in mind. Where do you want your life to be on January 1, 2011? What personal and financial goals would you like to achieve in the next 10 years? Write this down and be as specific as possible.
2. Make a list of all of your debt and make a debt relief pay-off plan. Pay one credit card or loan off at a time, always pay the highest interest rates off first. Each time you pay a credit card off, put it away in a safe deposit box and keep it there for emergencies only.
3. Sign up with Mint.com and track your Monthly Budget and manage your money easily in one place! See where you can cut back on unnecessary spending and either use the savings to reduce debt or save and invest it!
4. Start an IRA. If you save and invest just $100 per month at 5% over the next 10 years, you would have over $15,000 by Jan 1, 2020! And $200 per month will become almost $32,000 saved in retirement over that period of time! Think about it…do you really need those lattes?
5. If you have children over the age of 8, begin to educate them about money and help them learn to become savers and investors so they can create the life they want and learn to manage money responsibly.
6. Clean out your closets and your garage — sell whatever you no longer want or need and use the proceeds to either pay down debt or add to your savings. As you clear out the old, you make way for a new, less cluttered and simplified life. It can be an enormous relief, too!
7. If you need help moving beyond your financial past, or feel uncertain about how to plan for the future, hire a financial planner or ask a family member or friend to mentor you.
These are some simple and easy steps to take to begin becoming more fiscally fit. So start building a stronger financial foundation today!
You can do it!
Peace and Blessings!