Today I look at the issue of financial health and what you can to improve it without spending a lot.
To be frugal basically means that you find ways to save money. In many cases you have to find clever and unorthodox methods of getting what you need or want for less.
A prerequisite for a healthy financial life is an annual check-up. Have you had yours for this year as yet?
No, you don’t need to employ a financial planner at this point. There are many free, or low cost, programs available that can help you determine your financial condition.
The next stage is for you to decide what level of financial fitness you want to achieve. For instance, do you want to have all you debts paid off by the end of the year? Do you want to have $25,000.00 saved for a down payment on a home? Keep in mind that you have to be very specific with the dollar amounts and the timelines. Most of all this has to be a written down plan.
Okay, let’s look at this process in a simple point-by-point format.
1. First you find out what your financial state is. So you know where you are starting from and what areas of your financial health you need to pay particular attention to.
2. Next you decide the level of financial fitness you want to attain. Take a good look at your spending habits and try to be as “frugal” as possible.
3. Your written plan starts here. This is a very simple format where you state the financial needs that are most present on your mind
4. The next stage is what you can (and will) do to acquire this money. You have a wider range of resources and opportunities than you may be immediately aware of. Remember,” energy flows where attention goes”. Try to give this your undivided attention. Talk to family and friends about it. Ask for help. Not handouts or loans. But ideas and contacts that can help you earn the
money you need.
5. Take action. Chose one or two of the ideas that you found and act on them right away. It is very important that you do not procrastinate here. Something positively magical happens when you take action towards a (written down) goal. Great opportunities seem to materialize from nowhere.
6. Chart your progress. Always check on where you started from and where you are on your journey towards your financial goals. You may have to make some changes to the route you originally mapped out. The key is not to lose sight of your destination. Keep your focus on that spot at all times.
7. Try to have fun doing this. Sometimes you may just have to laugh at yourself for some really stupid decision you made. That’s life. We all do that at some time. Take a moment to reflect, and then devise a plan to correct the mistake and get back on track.
8. Be generous. Share your experiences with family, friends and on website forums with like-minded people. You will find many of these forums to be great sources of valuable information. You can learn a lot from other people’s mistakes and they can learn from yours.