1. White Boarding
Everyone knows writing down goals is essential to achieving them. What you might not know is the importance of “white boarding”. This method should be done every year at the beginning of the year. Draw a line down the middle of the board. One side should have the heading “Personal” and the other “Business”. Write down 7-10 SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relative, timely). You are basically putting your order into the universe, note though when it arrives, you should be prepared to accept it. At the end of the year, review your goals, and make any adjustments for the following year. Take a picture of your white board before erasing it. It is the most amazing thing to look back later and see how different your life and your goals were.
2. Create A Budget That Coincides With Your Pay Schedule
Yes, this is tedious. Yes, this is boring. But, how can you expect to have financial freedom if you aren’t keeping track of money in and money out? Create a budget based on 1 years income and expenses. How do you do this? Look at your bank statements/credit card statements etc for 1 year. Total what you spend on rent/mortgage payments, utilities, food, going out etc. then divide that number by your pay period. For example, if you spend $4000 a year on gas and you get paid bi-weekly then your budget should show an entry of $155 bi-weekly for gas. ($4000/26 pay periods in a year). Doing your budget this way will always ensure you are 1 step ahead of your due dates.
3. Always Consolidate Debt
Many might disagree, however, in the initial stages of preparation it’s best to consolidate all your consumer debt. Think about refinancing or applying for a consolidation loan. Ultimately you want to reach a point in your finances where you have almost no consumer debt and are paying off credit cards according to the statement balance not just the minimum payment.
4. Create Automatic Savings
It is always a good idea to have liquid emergency funds. It’s always a good idea to set up an automatic savings plan with a bank different to where your pay is deposited. It will make it more difficult for you to move the money back and spend it.
5. Monitor Your Credit
Everyone should know what their credit score is and more importantly what their credit history looks like. When you are applying for secured loans, the lender puts the most weight on repayment history and the least on the score.
6. Educate Yourself
Feed your mind. Learn about different strategies, network with like minded people, join a real estate club in your area. Education doesn’t only have to be in the classroom or online, you can also listen to podcasts, and attend webinars and seminars. They key is to expand your mind and redirect your mindset.
7. Nourish & Be Healthy
Many times our health is the last thing we think about on a daily basis. Getting enough exercise, eating properly and getting enough sleep is essential. Ignoring this in our active years will have its toll later, when you have the freedom and to enjoy the proceeds of your hard work.