DISCLAIMER! None of this information is new. I did not discover a NEW WAY of building financial muscle. What is shown here is simply organized information collected from other people who are smarter than me. (I don’t imply that I’m dumb, I just didn’t know what they knew!) When I was broke I became humble to enough to start looking for help. I listened to what was suggested and did what I was taught.
This is the blueprint to build a better financial future. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, no shortcuts. The steps outlined below are time proven.
If you have questions or want further information just E-mail me and I will be in touch!
Here is what I was taught by others (I will forever be grateful to them all!):
1) Make A Decision/ Commit to Action! (Stop Spending More Than You Earn!)
2) Create a Spending Plan / BUDGET
3) Set Aside an EMERGENCY STASH
4) Attack Debt Like You Hate It! Until It’s Gone!
5) Create a FINANCIAL WAR ROOM
6) SEEK WISE COUNSEL
Let’s break it down:
1) Make A Decision / Commit to Action!
You need to recognize and decide if there is room for improvement with how you handle your money and deal with your finances. If you know that you can do better, you need to decide to make it happen. STOP EXTRA-SPENDING NOW and STOP USING CREDIT IMMEDIATELY! “Wanting to” is not enough. Make a decision to create change in your financial life, take action, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
2) Spending Plan / BUDGET
Knowing how much money you have coming in and where it is all going out each month is the basis of a budget. List your income and add up your monthly total, then list your expenses, both Fixed and Variable. Income should be much greater than Expenses. If you spend more than you make, you need to change that! Once you identify what your monthly numbers are, you will start to identify excess spending. You must assign your monthly income to cover your needs – with the goal being to have money left over at the end of the month to pay off debt and build wealth. A budget is what makes this possible. Access the FireFighterMoney.com budget worksheet on the sidebar to get started!
3) Set Aside an Emergency Stash
Unexpected $hit happens in life. To be able to hit the curve-balls life throws you financially without using credit, you need to have a reserve. I suggest you create a stash of $1500 to handle these issues. This money is not for investing, Christmas or vacations. This money is for emergencies and will prevent you from borrowing money when things come up.
4) Attack Debt Like You Hate It!
If you have debt other than a home mortgage, you are already building wealth… FOR OTHER PEOPLE! Monthly minimum payments, interest and continued credit purchases creates a wall between you and a strong financial future. DEBT has got to go! You have created a budget and now know how much extra money you have on a monthly basis. This money will kill your debt! Every spare penny you make every month will be used to pay off debt. Every bit of extra money you earn or receive will kill debt. If you sell something, it pays debt! I think you get it. Debt is in your way to a brighter future. Kick it’s a$$.
5) Financial War Room
The debt wall is now destroyed, you have $1500 set aside for emergencies, and you now have extra money left over at the end of each month… NOW WHAT? Now it’s time to set yourself up for success and create a strong feeling of financial security and peace. It’s time to build a Financial War Room! You know from creating your budget what it costs to live each month, now multiply that number by 6 and start saving. You will set aside 6 months of available savings to be able to pay all of your bills, eat, and keep the air and water on in your home for 6 months without having to work (Worst case scenario). You already have $1500 of it set aside, just add to it until you reach that number. Life happens, and you will be ready when it does!
6) Seek Wise Counsel
You now have money in savings for rainy days. You understand living on a budget. You have developed the discipline to live off less than you make, and you now refuse to buy on credit. At the end of every month, you now have a pile of money that needs a job. What do you do with it? You accumulate assets (things that create income) and allow your money to make money for you!
I’m going to interrupt the dialogue for one second to make a point: If your car is running rough, do you take it to a dentist? If you need legal advice, do you ask around at McDonalds? If you want to learn algebra, do you get tutoring from a 3rd grader?
DON’T GET YOUR INVESTMENT ADVICE AT THE FIREHOUSE! I love you guys and gals out there in the fire service, but DAMN! have I heard some bad advice given about personal finance by people who have no clue what they are talking about!
I’m not the guy to suggest what investments you make either! I just know how to get out of debt and how to live well on less than I make. I also know that my biggest money problem now is figuring out how to invest it so that it grows! The way I invest my money is not for everyone and I’ll keep my investment ideas to myself for now.
That’s the process. No bells, no whistles.
You need to take these steps in order. Start with #1 Make a decision and commit to action. It all starts there. IMMEDIATELY START YOUR BUGET! This will create the foundation to build financial strength.
Take these steps one by one, keep at it knowing that it works and congratulate yourself with each small victory.
A great definition of success is this:
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming” – John Wooden
Financial success is a game changer for you, your family, your future and your peace of mind. Building financial fitness opens doors of opportunity, and allows you to live life to the fullest. Money is not everything, but if you are going to work for a living, you should become a good steward of what you trade your time for. After all, working for a living is trading your time and effort for money!
This process works! It is what I did to get out of debt and kick-start the process of building financial strength. This is how the wealthy do it. Spend less than you make, live on a budget, avoid debt, plan for the unexpected and invest wisely.
You have it in you! It starts with making a decision and taking action! DO IT!
Please contact me directly for additional information, comments, complaints or suggestions. You can also E-mail me directly: Chris@FireFighterMoney.com