1. Spend less than you earn! This alone is the key to getting prosperity in life and out of debt. In other word, save part of all you make. The keys to spending less than you earn are to create and review a financial plan including establishing a spending plan. A excellent way is to use Quicken or Microsoft Money software or any other software as budgeting alternative.
2. Increase your income. And the best way here is to make the most of your career. It is your most important financial asset and managing it correctly can earn you millions of dollars in extra income throughout your lifetime.
3. Get an extra job or consider starting a side business at night or on the weekends. This could be temporary or permanent either for a particular need now or for more on-gong needs. One fun suggestion is turn a hobby into an income source.
4. Contribute to your 401k to get the full employer match. It’s a no-brainer investment where you earn 50 up to 100% return automatically, depending on your employer’s plan/match of course. By the way, not doing this is one of the nastiest money habits people can think of.
5. Get out of credit card debt. It’s a great way to earn a average 20% return on your money, and relatively easy to do if you’ve done steps 1-3 already and have a bit of discipline.
6. Buy a house. Generally, homeowners get rich and renters stay poor, and buying a house can make a big and positive difference in your net worth. The key to making the most of this step financially is to follow a proven, successful formula for buying a house. Doing it you will protect you financially from the real estate cool down and better yet, once you buy a home, take some simple steps to increase its value.
7. Invest your savings regularly in good, solid investments. Letting the power of time and compounding work for you! Simply doing this yearly can make you rich. According to Smart Money magazine, simply putting money away into savings and then investing that money will net you over $1 million in 10 years.
8. Pay off all debt. You won’t get as good a return on this debt as you will on your credit card debt, but you will get a guaranteed return (OBS. paying off a 9% loan is the same as earning a guaranteed 9% after taxes, on an investment). If you’re diligent and have done enough of the preceding steps, you can pay off much of your debt in a year or less.
9. Save for retirement, above and beyond the employer match to your 401k. Recommend saving steps should be: 1) save to get the full employer 401k match, 2) invest in a Roth IRA, then 3) max out your 401k. If you do this early and often, you can retire wealthy. If you not familiar with 401k and Roth IRA, take some time to educate yourself about it. Totally worth!
10. Protect what you have. This means obtaining adequate insurance and developing an estate plan, including writing a good will that works for you and names a guardian for your children.
11. Be prepared for the unexpected. Be ready for surprises. This means have an emergency fund. Even before you pay off debt, you should have something available in case something unexpected happens. No matter how detailed or well through out your plans are, some things aren’t going to happen as expected. You will need more time, more money, and yes, more courage than you thought you needed going in.
12. Give to the Universe. Believe! There’s a power in giving that unlocks financial blessing in your life. And it’s not that “wealthy people tend to give” but it’s often that “giving people become wealthy. “What goes around comes around” remember… by giving money away, you make room for more of it to come your way. Just like any other “expense”, add it in your budget!
* This article was compiled and edited by our editor and marketing consultant Lindenberg Junior. To our more about our cultural-eco-social printed magazine with circulation in Southern California and Las Vegas, visit www.soulbrasil.com