86,400, the number of seconds that make up one day. We are just over half way through Financial Awareness Month! This is a good time to stop and take stock on what you are doing to honor your finances…
We talk abut building wealth and baby steps, about taking responsibility for where you are financially and about being ready with a plan & strong goal to propel you forward.
Of course all of these things take time and your starting point may be different from your next door neighbor. When we start on our financial journey to freedom doesn't matter as much as just getting started (which is the hardest part).
Everyday is a new opportunity to take a baby step to financial independence. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few suggestions.
- Self Educate: Read
- Talk to people who have achieved what you want to manifest in your life
- Organize yourself
- Face Reality: Calculate Net Worth (Assets – Liabilities). Remember its just a point in time.
- Pull you Credit History and Credit Score
- Record and Control Your Spending
Intermediate Goals: Make a Plan
There are 4 ways to pay off debt. Determine which is the best for you, make a plan and execute.
Snowball Method (Pay off Lowest to Highest Amounts)
Avalanche Method (Pay off Highest to Lowest Interest Rates)
FIFO Method (Pay off Newest to Oldest Debt)
Customize Method (Mix and Match to your personal life)
Got Emergency Fund?
How much to save is a personal question based on many factors. Are married with children or single and living with your parents? Are you the breadwinner or secondary income? Do you own your own home? What is your risk tolerance? Can you find employment easily?
All of these questions go into determining how much you should have in an emergency fund.
Research Passive Income Streams
The worst thing you want to do is rely on just one income source – your paycheck. There are lots of great resources to check out what passive income streams would work best for you. My favorite is Nick Loper's, SideHustleNation.com.
[bctt tweet=”40% of Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness, according to Fortune Magazine, January 29, 2019.” username=”PieLadyFI”]
Expert Goals: Focus. Execute. Drive.
By now you have a fully funded emergency fund and all debt is paid off. Your expenses are under control. You pay yourself first every month in several ways: 1) Your 401k is at least collecting the company match and its all invested in an index fund type account. 2) You fully fund a ROTH IRA. 3) You contribute to an Index fund.
So now what?
At this point, you have a rock solid foundation. What if you lose your job? Do you have other sources of income that you can lean on? This is where we focus part of our 86,400 seconds.
Maybe you have aspirations of being a landlord or maybe you just want the income but none of the responsibility – REIT.
At the “expert” level, you have options to build on.
Once you know your monthly expenses, building out a plan to cover that in the event of job loss (or you just want to get to early retirement) is fairly straightforward.
If you are looking to make cash investments then a good rule of thumb is for every $240,000 in cash investments can generate $1,000 a month in income.
However you decide to supplement your income outside of a paycheck is completely up to you. That is the beauty of standing on a solid foundation of financial independence – it provides options.
As for being afraid of making a mistake or failing – don't be. The truth is we all make mistakes and fail. What sets apart those that do vs don't lies in how we handle those mistakes and failures.
86,400 seconds … what are you going to do with them?