April is more than a month where we get to play practical jokes on unsuspected victims, it is also designated as Financial Literacy Month! During Financial Literacy Month there are events taking place daily that attempt to educate the public about money management. The goal is to help both young and old realize that Financial Literacy is nothing to be afraid of, but instead embraced and conquered. I know that your own financial life can be overwhelming at times, but hopefully I can give you a few starting points that you can implement during the last thirteen days of April. April is just the beginning, the idea is to keep going until you master your own financial life!
1. List your short (3-6 months), intermediate (3-5 yrs), and long term (10-15 yrs) goals for your life on a sheet of paper and put it on your refrigerator.
2. Open a savings account and start saving a certain amount each paycheck. Even if it is $10 just save something!
3. Write down all your debts both small and large. (Face the fear of knowing the total)
4. Determine how much money you have coming in (paycheck) versus how much money is going out (bills). Write it all down on a piece of paper.
5. From that piece of paper (budget) determine which are needs and which are wants. Determine what can be cut back or cut out.
6. Once you figure out in your budget where you can save money start adding that extra money to your smallest debt and pay it off fast! Then repeat with the next smallest debt until all debts are eliminated.
7. Find an accountability partner. Someone who will encourage you to keep going when times get tough and remind you of those goals you have on your refrigerator.
I know that personal money management can be overwhelming. It can feel like you are trying to eat an entire elephant all at once. Just remember to take one piece at a time and eventually that elephant will be completely gone. That is why I put seven steps instead of thirteen for these last thirteen days so you can take your time and get it done by or before April 30th. The steps are simple all you have to do is say to yourself “I am ready to make a change for the better in my financial life” and the rest will take care of itself. Don’t give up; complete the journey because in the end all of the financial strife that use to be a part of your life will just look like a bad dream and all that will be left is financial success!
Will you take the first step TODAY?