Finances and money have always been an interesting topic to me but one that I only really recently seemed to have taken seriously.
You’re the boss!
While I don’t blame my parents or the school system I grew up in I have to preface this post by saying I am stunning at the lack of free knowledgeable information about finances. For many people it’s a taboo topic, rude to be discussed that puts people on the defensive. I also feel that sometimes people just don’t get a grasp on their finances until much later in life though by learning some basic concepts earlier it can make everything easier.
It’s also important to note that your own financial freedom is most important to….YOU! and only you. While financial advisors are great resources given the right circumstances your own financial goals are not always aligned. Don’t forget how they get paid, by commissions on products to be sold to you! Under no circumstance (maybe forced savings…) is it a good idea to take out a loan at 18% to buy an investment at 5% interest…
Everyone might have a different method that works for them but Janelle and I have a monthly tracking sheet now that we put together and talk about for a few minutes every month. It really allows both of us to understand where our money goes each month and gives us the ability to adjust things as we go on.
One of the best financial metaphors along the lines that you were nuts if you thought the best way to fill a bathtub with holes was just to keep dumping water into it which is how so many of us approach finances. We keep working longer and harder to make more money and throw in more buckets of water but never stop to take a good look at this tub that has the holes in it were all our hardwork is just running out.
I remember having so many different debts I just didn’t know the entire amount I owed up and it actually took a considerable amount of work to gather all that information. How do you even begin to have a plan if you don’t know where you are starting from?
I’ve also realized that since I am not good at being too organize or paying bills on time (oh yeah, I’ll pay this tomorrow then I lose it then BAM $25 late charge next month) that one of the best things we did is have every single one of our bills hit our credit card…then once a month I just make a single payment to that…no more missed payments, overdraft or other charges.
Resources I would suggest:
There is a huge amount of resources out there including family members, friends, books and website were you can learn all about different financial methods that would have a direct impact on you. Most of it is just being willing to ask for help and guidance and taking off the blinders.
I really enjoy books by Chuck Yeager, the wealthy Barber, Smoke & Mirrors and anything by Bill Waterson as good resources.
You never really know where you are going to end up…so save and make smart decisions but be aware you never know what’s going to happen. A friend of mine just passed on at the age of 34…went to bed in his brand new 2300 sqft house with his stay at home wife and two kids…never woke up….totally shocking and going to be a huge difficulty for those he left behind.
Or maybe you after 40 years of marriage you’ll grow apart or start a successful business…or your successful business will fail…all kinds of things can and will happen. If anything is predictable it’s that life is unpredictable…