(PART II OF A THREE PART SERIES)
Are you someone focused on saving your money? Or are you someone with a burning desire to spend? These two personality types merge in today’s blog as we uncover some of the most fundamental strategies to gain financial freedom, which simply means having financial CHOICES every day of your life.
April is Financial Literacy Month. Check out this website to learn more www.mymoney.gov In the mean time, we in the PFP | The Family Security Plan® Community continue to bring informative content designed to inspire families throughout the country.
To revisit Part 1 of this 3 part series, please click here.
STEPS 5 – 6: Save
Pay yourself first! That is a mantra spoken by many and practiced by few. A slow methodical process will bring great dividends over a long period of time. Most important to each of us is the fact that saving today gives you the financial freedom and choices tomorrow.
5. Plan and Discipline
Can you see into the future and understand how much money you want or need? Regardless of that $$ number, it takes time and sacrifice to get there. Every paycheck should have some piece in it that goes towards your financial future. And that temptation you will face must be shunned. Avoid falling down by having a realistic expectation and sticking to your plan.
6. Participate in company 401k
If you are fortunate enough to have a company that has a 401k plan, contribute to it as much as possible. Most organizations “match” a portion of your contribution, which adds to your pile. The greatest feature of all 401k programs is that the money goes in before tax and before you get a chance to take it out. So it will build faster and will be tucked away before you have a chance to spend it. Start saving early since this is a giant step in the right direction.
STEPS 7 – 8: Spend
We make money and we spend money. That is the way it goes. However, not all spending is equal. Ten people can buy one item and spend a very wide range of dollars for it. Also, the companies and agreements we have that provide a wide array of service need review. That is why spending wisely is an integral part of financial literacy and freedom.
7. Find the deal
It is much better for your budget to become a “shopper”, not a “buyer”. When you shop, you do your research and look for the best deal when buying a particular item. It may be pants, brooms, cable or phones. You may even be looking to purchase a car. Whatever the item may be, you can save a ton of money when you purchase the one that is the quality you want at the best possible price.
8. Buy “needs”, prioritize “wants”
“I need that!” is very different from “I want that!” And the difference between the two can make your purchasing decisions easier and leave you with money in your wallet. The first things on your list to buy are the things you need. If there is any money left over in your budget, it makes perfect sense to buy some of the things you want. However, you need to know what you are looking to purchase first. You may need to save for a while in order to have enough extra money to buy the thing you want.
There is a tremendous time commitment needed to take the steps outlined here, in the prior post on financial freedom (focused on earning and borrowing) as well as the post to follow this one on the topics of protecting your finances and looking ahead. Is the argument presented compelling enough to make you want to change? If you want to learn more about the many ways to gain financial freedom and build your literacy on the topic is to visit your local credit union and speak to the many professionals there with whom you can develop a trusting relationship. If you are not currently a member of a credit union, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And join the millions who purchase insurance as an incredible tool to assist in securing, protecting and building the foundation for a secure future. Email PFP | The Family Security Plan® so we can learn about you and begin a long-lasting relationship.