Have you been a saver or spender most of your life? When you know you need to buy something do you shop around, do some research, look for deals, sales, or coupons?
One of the reasons Saved Cents went on line is because it is a great place to do research and find out what others are doing, and to get ideas. Obviously, you need to judge and weigh the advice and methods you read about, but good or bad, there are a lot of ideas flying around. And sometimes a single idea will spark a fire for your own thoughts to take shape about an issue. This is what we found and is one of the things we will share here on SavedCents.com.
Apologies for the digression, where were we? Yes, ideas gathered from the internet and how they could change your financial outlook.
Our guess is that the people reading our blog want ways to change their financial future, or maybe new ideas for how to build wealth as a way to leave a legacy or help out a cause dear to them in a BIG WAY. Then again, maybe you are another online marketer looking for ideas. Welcome!
All of these ideas are some of the reasons WHY Saved Cents was created. The founder has worked in Banking and Financial Services for a while, yet found that even with good intentions and solid careers and plans people made poor choices when it came to finances. She included herself in this assessment.
After analyzing her own money issues, and saving habits, she decided to return to the basics so she could live the life she imagined and serve others in a big way. She realized you can’t always do this to your fullest capability when you are confined to the idea of “not enough money”. Plus that story gets old.
The new story of Back to the Basics is much better. And you can create it anyway you want. Would you agree?
Here is how Saved Cents does a few things right now, 12/13/13. And, the group is creating a program which we think will help others follow a path and be a bit more accountable to their BIG Goals and Dreams. More on that program next week.
Now for the Basics…
Basics Rule #1: Create and Stick to your budget at all costs!
Even if you begin repeating the mantra “I can’t afford that right now”, do it! Your budget will thank you. Do not get stuck by the numbers, and what goes into a budget. Paper and pencil are your best friends when it comes to creating YOUR BUDGET.
Basics Rule #2: Decrease your “splurges” for one month!
Starbucks® Pete’s®, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, or even the Mom&Pop Café you’ve been frequenting for weeks need to end. It could also be your once-a-week stop at your favorite fast food restaurant. You get the idea – it is the little unbudgeted expenses that can throw your whole plan off. (Don’t worry, we show you how you can account for these little treats later.)
Basics Rule #3: Pull your Credit Reports and watch them like a Hawk!
Call the credit bureaus for any discrepancies and work with them to clear those items up or off your report. This is one area where you may need to get outside reinforcement. Talk with your personal banker, financial advisor, a Credit Union, or a non-profit debt consolidation help outfit. Research your options here and move with quick precision to get this report in top shape. (Disclaimer – you need to prioritize your expenses and be proactive. If you are dealing with a job loss or shortage in your income stream, then work with your creditors. Keeping a roof over your head, food on the table, and your car may take priority over other debt.)
Basics Rule #4: Get rid of ALL DEBT!
Pay off debt quickly and with extreme purpose. We like Dave Ramsey’s idea “Get rid of debt with gazelle intensity”. And, Man vs. Debt’s plan of “Pay off all debt with tsunami like force”. Which ever term and method you use, or create your own system, needs to be severe and impactful. (Later on we’ll talk about how you may be able to have one form of debt – but this is much later when you have your current financial foundation solidified in granite.)
Basics Rule #5: Remember WHY you want to create an abundant financial future!
This could also be the first rule – and probably is. Maybe you want to be financially set because you have kids, want to buy a home that you can easily afford, want to start a business, or want to send your parents on a spectacular wedding anniversary trip. Get creative. That is the beauty of what you can do when you are financially abundant. The world and your dreams are a bit more open and available to you.
What do you think? We would love to hear your comments about our 5 Basic Rules, plus your own that have helped you on your financial path.
If you need them, there are a few budgeting forms on the resource page at SavedCents.com. Plus, more specifics about Dave Ramsey’s method and the Man vs. Debt process on their websites.
And as always, if you need more assistance or direction, you can reach out here to SavedCents.com. Your question is probably one that others have as well.
Good luck making your plan and setting your financial course, 2014 will be different for you because of it.