How to Get Fiscally Fit
We all know about getting physically fit: Participate in aerobic exercise, do some weight training and walk whenever you can. But how much do you know about getting fiscally fit? It’s not difficult but it does require a plan like this:
RECORD YOUR SPENDING. Sounds like a silly instruction, especially if you feel overwhelmed and under deposited. Nonetheless, if you will begin keeping a written record of every expenditure I can promise you a couple of things: 1. You’ll hesitate before making silly, impulsive purchases. 2. You’ll start taking back control once you see where all of your money goes.
GIVE BACK. I know. You’re broke. You have mountains of debt and some idiot is suggesting you give money away. That’s right (except for the idiot part). Giving is a mysterious, miraculous activity that when practiced regularly, will transform your life. Giving away part of what you have is the antidote for that wretched trend toward excess and self-indulgence.
PAY YOURSELF. Ideally, you should pay yourself ten percent of what you earn. If you can’t start with ten percent, start with something. Even if it’s a dollar a week, start saving. Even if you are heavily in debt, start saving. Saving money is a great attitude booster. If you’re discouraged and down-in-the-dumps, start saving money.
DON’T SPEND WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE. There are only two ways to do that: Steal or borrow. If too much of the latter has landed you in financial bondage, there is a way to get out:
STOP DEBTING. Just stop. Determine from this moment on you will not go one more dollar into debt. You may need to part with some credit cards and even shed a few tears, but you can stop. No one can force you one dollar further into debt.
REDUCE EXPENSES. If your income is less than your outgo, reduce the outgo. There’s no better way to make money than to cut expenses. The results are immediate and the proceeds are tax free.
RAPIDLY RE-PAY DEBT. If you continue paying your creditors according to their payment schedule, you may never get out of “perma-debt.” Incurring no more new debt and prepaying principal is the key to rapid debt reduction.
SELL ASSETS. The careful consideration of selling assets to raise funds to get out of debt may be a wise choice for you. If you own things of value that are not necessary in your life or could be replaced at a later date, selling them could ease your financial situation.
SEEK SOLVENCY. Solvency means being content with the money you have. Solvency is that confident feeling of being prepared for any circumstance, of living with joy and peace — of living beneath your means.
If you are approaching the future with determination to get-rich-quick so you can fix your current situation, I have bad news for you. Unless you are destitute and below the poverty line, more money is not going to fix anything. Until you learn how to control and care for the money you have already, more money will only exacerbate your current situation. Just as you have in the past you will see more money as the down payment on what you feel entitled to have.
There you go. A foolproof financial fitness formula that you can take to the bank!
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