When we think about our finances, what are the areas that we can control? Doesn't it as if there are few-if any-areas that we can control? We aren't able to control the stock market, and we certainly aren't able to control the global economy. However, when you start to think about the numerous ways in which and consistently work toward your goals, you might be able to rest more easily and derive greater pleasure out of life.
Here are eight ways for you-or someone you care about-to get started, and some suggestions on who to seek out if you need a little help:
- Control your mindset. You will need to be able to override the little voice in your head that says "Buy me. You really need this item. You will be so much better with this purchase." I call this "taming the inner gremlin." Whenever the little gremlin comes on the scene, simply rewrite your interal program with another message. You might want to try something like this, until you find a solution that works for you: "I do not need or want this item because I choose to invest in my future-and it's going to be amazing!"
- Set Goals. Once you start to tame your inner gremlin-and this will be a lifelong journey-you'll want to set goals so that your inner voice can be very specific about what you want to achieve. What does your future look like, smell like, sound like? The more detail, the better. Local financial planners like , or can help you with professional advice, if you need it.
- Organize your financial documents. If you don't know what you have and where you are headed, you probably won't reach your destination. Start a notebook with all of your financial information including Wills, insurance information, investment accounts, bank accounts, trust documents, real estate deeds and mortgages, and any other pertinent information specific to your needs. You can also hire some great local help in accounting your finances by seeking help from or .
- Save. Save. Save. If you want to have more opportunities in the future, save as much as possible-but not so much that you sacrifice your quality of life along the way. There are some great local and national banks here on Mercer Island, including , , and .
- Increase your value so that you have more control over your income. Learn more skills. Upgrade your skills. Accomplish more in less time. The ability to earn an income is a tremendous asset.
- Get out-and stay out-of debt. This is a very important step to gaining financial control, or losing it, if you're not careful!
- Insure against loss. You need insurance to cover: When you are ill, in case of job loss, disability, accidents, theft of your belongings, etc. Some great local insurance agents and companies can help you, including , , and of .
- Give something back. Pick a meaningful cause and make a contribution. Regardless of the amount, it will help you grow-both in skills and in income.
So, go ahead and take control of those areas that need attention. You'll reap the rewards of being able to spend more time enjoying your life, today, and the life of your dreams, tomorrow!