Millennials are in a debt crisis and are among the 78% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. That feeling of never being able to get ahead plagues the lives of so many families. We cover up the fact that we’re broke, and by keeping up with the Jones’, we will remain broke.
We buy expensive cars and take vacations with no emergency funds to come home to. We live in a society where everybody wants to look rich and live above their means. I know women who have spent thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgery, and still rent from their landlord. It’s crazy the measures we will go through to get the approval of others!
Stop right now and ask yourself two questions:
- What is my net worth?
- Are my investments assets or liabilities?
At the end of the day your net worth is what matters (what you own – what you owe) and how you invest your money is key. Assets generate income, and liabilities create expenses. Don’t let your financial vulnerabilities get you caught up in the vicious debt cycle. If you can discipline yourself, learn to manage your money, and scale back your lifestyle, you WILL WIN. Keep reading and I will tell you HOW.
Big Fact: The more you borrow the more you are taking away from your net worth; and it’s harder to build wealth while consumed in debt.
If you’re anything like me, you left college with over $50,000 in debt because of student loans. A piece of fancy paper to hang on my wall is what I had to show for 4.5 years of furthering my education. My education didn’t guarantee me a job, and I still had to apply myself to utilize my degree. Don’t get it twisted; I have no regrets about graduating college. I’m actually very proud of myself and the example I set for my kids. Two years later, I reached another milestone and bought my first home with money I borrowed from a lender. Everyone saw me as accomplished, but the reality is all my debt left me feeling shackled like a slave.
“A borrower is a slave to the lender” (Dave Ramsey)
I wish I knew as much about personal finances then as I do now. I always believed financial freedom was possible for me; I just needed a blueprint.
Believe that Financial freedom is possible for you then create a plan! No matter how deep you are in the hole, if you take this journey with me, you will take back control of your life.
Don’t be financially illiterate!
It’s unfortunate that the average American student isn’t taught financial literacy in school. The consequence is young adults who enter the real world with no clue how to handle money responsibly! Finance 101 should be a required course in high school and in college because it applies to EVERYONE. We’re being asked to sign up for credit cards before we even make it out of high school and get real jobs to pay the money back! We aren’t being taught to avoid these kinds of financial risks, instead its encouraged and we are told credit cards help establish credit. The problem is we aren’t taught how to be financially responsible enough to use credit cards strategically.
If you want to become a millionaire, you should surround yourself or learn as much about millionaires, right? I started putting my millionaire goals on paper, reading books, taking notes, and listening to podcasts. I came across Dave Ramsey, a financial expert, and started listening to his interviews on how average people became self-made millionaires! I became inspired to get into financial shape, and started documenting my journey to financial peace. This gave life to The Presley Post, my lifestyle blog.
Have I told you I’m so glad you stopped by today?! Now that you know a little about me, let’s get to the good stuff: the blueprint. 5 Ways to Secure Your Money Bag:
1)Create a budget every month
- You cannot control your money without a budget
- You should give every dollar of your income an assignment before the month begins
- With a written budget I was able to quickly analyze my spending habits which resulted in changed behavior. Instead of buying lunch at work everyday I started taking my lunch more, and opted for a coffee maker instead of Starbucks everyday. I read once that if you take your lunch to work everyday, you will save over $100,000 in your lifetime! Wow! Finding these small holes in your money allows you to SAVE big!
2) Start SAVING now!
- You need an ER fund of no less than $1000, but ideally you should have 3-6 months of expenses saved
- Put your coins in a piggy bank, it adds up!
- Start using coupons.. I grocery shop at Kroger’s and downloaded the app so I could take advantage of digital coupons.
- Set it up on your banking app to automatically transfer funds to your savings account on pay day. I use this hack, and it feels good to pay myself BEFORE I pay my bills.
- Do NOT blow through your tax refund spending frivolously on materials! SAVE a huge portion of it. The rolexes and Louboutins CAN WAIT!
3) Avoid debt and strive to be debt free!
- Avoid auto loans and pay cash for cars! You will find that cash gives you negotiating power.
- Start thinking about setting up a college fund for your kids so they can start their adult lives debt free
- If you already have debt, like me, set up a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible!
4) Learn about investing!
- Contribute to your 401k as much as you can NOW and start reading about Roth IRAs
- It’s so important to plan for the future and your retirement savings is a major key according to everyday millionaires
- Invest now and let compounding interest work its magic!
- Consider investing in real estate an properties
- Invest in educating yourself! Read daily, listen to podcasts, take courses, and surround yourself with growth oriented people who you can learn from and trust
5) Increase your income
- Get a side hustle
- Start a blog, flip items, use your talents as a means of profit, or provide a service
- Use your experience or acquire new skills and apply for a better job
- Get a license (i.e. CDL, life insurance, real estate)
- Have multiple streams of income!
So is your bag secure?