Do you worry about money? I'd bet that at least 90% of people worry about money. It's a common occurrence. Today people squabble about money, mismanage money, families are divided, divorces occur, and trouble runs amok. Some people believe having money is bad and having it only leads you to trouble. I disagree with that. Failure to handle money properly may lead you to trouble, and money doesn't really make you happy, but it does give you the freedom and opportunity to find out what will make you happy.
Money plays a powerful role in our lives today. It influences our relationship with our spouse, children and others we associate with. It influences our involvement in various activities. And it has an affect on the level of stress we experience as well as how we communication with others. We need to get disciplined and learn how to handle this necessary commodity well in our lifetime. Controlling our finances is a simple matter--it's just hard to do! It takes a lot of discipline to sit down with all the paperwork and summarize it all in one place so you can see where you stand financially. However if you don't, years may go by and as you approach your golden years and start checking into your financial situation, you'll wonder where all your money went. Don't procrastinate on this.
So where does all the money go? A lot of people find themselves asking that question. It's not hard to answer it. We can find out simply by keeping track of our personal cash outlay for one full week. What was our lunch expenditure each day? What product or services are we committed to right now that we don't really need? Getting your finances organized may take the assistance of a financial advisor. That's okay, but make sure to remain in control and understand the advice that is given. Don't waste your time, money and effort on something that sounds too good to be true--because if it does, it probably is!
How does one define financial independence? My definition is: Living comfortably off the annual income generated by your net worth at a given date in time. With this definition, the amount of your financial security is up to you. It's the understanding of that amount of money that is consistent with all of us. To achieve your chosen level of financial security you must first determine what amount of money you would be comfortable with on a monthly basis and multiply that by 12 for the annual amount. Assume an average interest rate of 10% and multiply this by your annual amount. Once you have reached this figure, you need to have a plan for acquiring it.
Discipline number one may sound rather trite, but it is true. The first key to building financial independence is that you must spend less than you make. How many people really live within their means? With today's credit lines that are available, it is a small percentage. Available cash makes you financially prepared. Do this by setting up emergency savings accounts. Learning to live on less than you make prepares you for those rainy days that inevitably come along and relieves stress. Discipline number two I call, "Pay yourself first." To do this, I suggest you write a check to yourself every month first. Just like you write a check to the electric company and the phone company, I want you to write a check to yourself.
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