A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.– Colin Powell
Take a quick snapshot of your current financial self. What do you see?
- Are you debt free?
- Are you saving for retirement?
- Do you have thousands of dollars in the bank?
- Are you checking the mail without worrying about bills?
- Are you buying groceries without checking your account balance first?
If the answer to any (or all) of these questions is NO, you have come to the right place.
Unfortunately, most of us grow up without any training related to personal finance. We end up learning from our parents, friends, and even our neighbors, The Jones Family.
We pick up the same bad habits:
- Buying things because they are “on sale”
- Using credit rather than cash
- No emergency savings
- No long-term plan
Then one day we look up and realize there’s not enough money and too much month. The inevitable chase to “make ends meet” begins, and the treadmill of trying to stay afloat becomes reality. Over time, the endless pursuit of trying to survive the month becomes routine. The routine becomes habit. The habit becomes normal. Everyone else is doing it, so its probably fine.
Here’s the truth: It’s not fine, and you have the power to change it.
The deck is stacked against us from the start. We learn how to read and write from home and school. Same with driving a car.
What about personal finance?
Formal education about important financial matters is almost non-existent in our schools today. With the number of families struggling, the “learned by example” education received at home is often negative and counter to what it takes for success.
6 Steps to Financial Freedom
It starts with education and a plan, and that is exactly what we have built here at Proper Cents. We have developed a step-by-step system that will put your finances on the right track, and help you build wealth over the rest of your life.
This is not a get-rich-quick program, or some sort of magic shortcut. Its a real strategy to put you in control of your finances, once and for all.
Step 1 – Calculate Expenses and Find Your Living Cost
In the first step you will learn how much money you are spending, and what you are spending it on. You will also discover if you are coming out ahead or behind each month. With credit cards and other forms of debt available to many of us today, its easy to lose track of how much you are really spending until its too late.
It’s hard to know where to go unless you know where you’ve been.
Step 2 – Make a Budget and Track Your Money
The basis for every successful financial plan is a budget. Whether its a personal budget, family budget, or a Fortune 500 business budget. In this step you will see the power of telling your money where to go and what to do.
A budget isn’t about restraint, its about controlling your financial future.
Step 3 – Consolidate Debt and Streamline Payments
If have multiple credit card balances and/or additional car loans, personal loans, etc., it may make sense to consolidate these down into a single (or a couple) loans with predefined payoff dates and lower interest rates. In Step 3 we explore why you may want to do this and how to go about setting it up.
There’s no need to pay extra interest for nothing.
Step 4 – Save a Starter Emergency Fund of $5000
The difference between a financial disaster and a minor inconvenience is often an emergency fund. While $5,000 isn’t considered a full emergency fund in most situations, its a great starting point to help you roll with the punches while paying off debt later on.
More money, less problems.
Step 5 – Automate Retirement and College Savings
The key to long-term wealth building is investing, and investing often. The way to accomplish that is by setting up a plan that works for you and automating it. From your workplace 401k, to your brokerage IRA and 529, nearly everything can be set up to work in the background.
Set it, and forget it.
Step 6 – Pay Off Debt and Finish Emergency Fund
Consumer debt is how many people get incredibly rich, just not you. The banks and lenders are the beneficiaries. Most people spend much of their adult lives in a constant state of debt and interest payments. Its a vicious cycle that erodes your ability to save and invest to build actual wealth. In step 6 we show you how to pay it all off, and finish saving up a fully-funded emergency fund.
Say goodbye to debt forever. If you miss it, you can always take out another loan.