If money weren’t an object, I’d go back to school full-time to complete my degree and continue on with my Masters in Business Administration.
Some of the items on my to-do list for the next 10 years are:
- Becoming debt free
- Taking a family vacation to Washington, DC and Birmingham, Alabama
- Becoming more organized
- Sending my parents on a vacation
- Travelling to Paris and Africa
- Taking a cruise to Alaska
Goal setting is the first step in attaining them. By specifying what you want to attain, it gives you clarity and something to work towards. It gives you motivation and inspiration. It provides accountability and helps you to formulate SMART goals. It’s hard to get anywhere when you don’t have a starting or ending point.
What would you do if money weren’t an object?
Take a moment and really think about it – what would you do if you could just get up and do it?
— Michelle (@Divatude) April 4, 2013
Now for the reality check – it would be great to do all those things and more if money were not an obstacle. But let’s be real with one another – for the vast majority of us it is.
Let me be clear on this – I try my hardest (and am pretty successful at) not stressing seriously about money and finances as long as my family’s basic necessities (shelter and food) are not seriously affected. We may not be comfortable (lack of cable or steak dinners every night) but we’re a whole lot better off than some without those things. When I began putting things into that perspective, it helped to ease a lot of my stress and stress-related issues that I was having.
Today we discuss and ponder the steps to financial freedom. You have to know where you’re going to get there, right? There are tons of financial planners, motivational speakers, guides, etc. Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are two of the more popular ones that come to mind immediately. It was Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that helped put lots of financial matters into perspective for me. That was my first introduction to budgeting and debt management in a way that I could relate to and that didn’t bore me to tears.
For me the biggest personal financial issues I need to tackle are:
- paying down/off debt
- creating and sticking with a budget
- having an emergency fund
- having a long-term savings account (3-6 months of living expenses)
My immediate plan of attack to become more financially savvy:
- Organize all outstanding debt/bills and get the true amount owed.
- Don’t keel over from a heart attack when I see that number.
- Set up a realistic budget on what can be paid based on income, due dates, and living expenses.
- Budget savings as a mandatory bill and don’t touch it unless absolutely an emergency
Do you know the true balance of all outstanding debt that you owe?
Do you have a household budget or do you spend as needed without pre-planning?