The United States has become a health-obsessed country. If the doctor tells us to jump, we do not hesitate to ask “How high?” Imagine, though, if you paid as much attention to your financial portfolio as you did to your cholesterol level. What if you took as much care to improve your financial portfolio as you did to improve your time in the next 5K? Better yet, what if you invested as much time into your financial portfolio as you did when picking which vegetables, fruits, and vitamins to pack into the blender for your morning smoothie? Here are ten steps you can start taking to ensure your wealth gets built at the same pace as your biceps.
1. Rainy Day Fund: Would you believe that almost half of Americans would have to sell something on Craigslist or borrow money to pay off an out-of-the-blue $400 bill? The Federal Reserve reports that only 81% of American making more than $100,000 annually could pay the bill, while only 34% of Americans making less than $40,000 could pay the bill.
2. Budget Building: Consider making a plan for your budget a priority over planning for the weekend. Set limits. Start training yourself to look at the small expenses in your daily life, such as the morning stop at Starbucks or the extra items you place in your grocery cart.
3. Get Out of Debtors Prison: Are you one of the 77 million Americans (35% of adults who have a credit file) who have been sent to a debt collector? Start paying off your credit cards, now. The average borrower owes more than $5,000.
4. Retiring without Worry: Would you believe that only 40% of single seniors age 65 and over receive at least 90% of their income from Social Security? And you’ve heard all the rumors: What if Social Security does not even exist anymore by the time I retire?
5. Create More than One Income Stream: Don’t just fish in one pond, but cast your net wide. If you’re an adjunct English professor, consider writing blogs for various businesses. If you have a state or county day job, consider offering a service or selling something on the side. Turn that amazing banana bread that everyone raves about into a business. Yes, consider renting kitchen space for two hours a week, pumping out loaves, and selling them to local cafes. Where there is a will, there is a way. This is called passive income; it’s passive because it’s just that, a little bit of extra brown sugar in your oatmeal.
6. Revisit Your Insurance: Life happens. So do accidents. When you need a root canal, you don’t do it yourself. You visit a dentist. So why wouldn’t you sit down with an insurance agent and have him or her help you figured out how to pay for that root canal when it does happen? Don’t let an unexpected tragedy (fire, automobile accident, etc.) send you back to debtors prison.
7. If You Are a State Worker, Live Like One: In other words, don’t live beyond your means. Now might not be the time to buy your dream houseboat. Make sure you know how much money you make each month, and keep track of where that money goes. For now, consider renting the houseboat. If you are spending less than you make, in time, you might be able to afford the houseboat.
8. Get a Will: Don’t wait until you get bad news from the doctor to scurry in a panic looking for a lawyer to draw up a quick will. Do this now, while you are in great shape and of sound mind. We never know when nor where lightning will strike.
9. Follow Your Bliss: If you hate your life because you hate your job, and part of hating your life is because you hate what’s in your bank account (or not in it), change careers. Turn that thing you love, like making banana bread, into your profession. Success will follow if you are passionate about what you do.
10. Pay It Forward: One of the greatest features of being financially healthy is to help those whom poor finances have made spiritually bankrupt. Once you are financially sound, you can start helping others. And what a better feeling.
Contact us today so we can help you walk the ten-fold path to improving your financial health and get you at least ten steps closer to financial freedom.