I’ve created this site for those of us who have attempted, explored, strived, ventured, and moved heaven and earth to begin savings, stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, and being heavily indebted. Financial freedom starts with small incremental steps that anyone can take, but they have to set themselves up with realistic milestones and find a community of like-minded individuals that are passionate about saving, investing, and spending the right way.
My hope is that we can build a community together and can share ideas on how we can improve our lives through spending, protecting, investing, life events and savings.
- Life Events
In a particular order these form the acronym SPILS, these five categories are the fundamental elements to anyone wanting to improve their financial well-being by diving into these core elements further we can really begin to formulate a plan to better ourselves. There is a particular order we are going to follow to maximize the value we create from saving, investing, or protecting our hard earned money.
It’s America’s favorite past time. We enjoy spending more than any other activity and its silently ruining our lives one monthly bill at a time. It’s not your fault, it’s my belief that you were born into a consumption-driven society where you need the latest phone, newest model car, and everything that someone else has. We enjoy spending on things we derive very little value from and that has been creating a big hole in your pocket one interest payment at a time.
Over the years working in various financial institutions, I’ve seen thousands of people who willingly make the minimum payments on their credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and home equity lines of credit that complain that they seem to get deeper and deeper into debt without contemplating the true cost of their borrowing and spending habits. Moving forward I will show you some incremental steps you can take right now to take control of your finances and truly have that feeling of financial security.
Step 1: Tackle your spending habits and demolishing our debt!
There is no point in opening a savings account if you are bombarded with a bunch of debt that you are paying interest on or haven’t formed the discipline of maintaining a budget. If you were to put $50 a month into your savings account, but regularly pull that money right back out to purchase something we just have defeated the purposing of saving. Even worse, if you have mountains of credit card debt and fail to pay your credit cards off in full and pay on items that you bought months ago are you truly saving or are we just trying to kid ourselves that we are actually trying to save.
In case you were wondering there are a plethora of savings methods we can utilize and maximize you can begin to take advantage of based on your current habits. It’s not just about having money stuffed under your mattress, savings account, or your 401(k) at work. We need to understand that our lifestyle choices are deterring us from saving comfortably.
Step 2: Understand how much we can realistically save and the maximizing our efficiency rate of saving!
When we think of investments our minds drift to the financial markets and a hectic roller coaster ride pertaining to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, but I think we should consider the word investments as the creation of value over time through meaningful changes to habits and resources that create passive income or value.
There are a lot of different ways one can invest to create value that is tangible or intangible. Purchasing a home would be a tangible instrument that you can physically hold and grow through the equity created over time or taking the time to learn new skills to increase your ability to diversify your income.
Step 3: Live your life with the idea of creating value from what you do!
Naturally, once we control our spending patterns, create a disciplined savings strategy, and live for the value we need to consider some of the possibilities of how we protect our new found wealth and riches. It can be challenging and expensive, but there are some ways we can really reduce the probability of losing our financial freedoms through careless and reckless behaviors.
Protecting your money begins by asking yourself what your priorities such as succession, tax consequences, creating a trust, insurance, and shielding your current assets from others looking to take what you have taken so long to earn.
Step 4: Safeguard your assets now and when its time to pass them on to our loved ones!
This topic could go on for ages but our most important events would be changing jobs, marriage, having a baby, and transitioning into retirement. Each event if planned incorrectly could lead right back into you dependence on maintaining a life you were custom too, but couldn’t afford. With that being said, these events are some of the best times in your life and as our community grows I hopefully have others share some of their experiences in how the dealt with these transitions.
These disruptors in your crafted savings and spending strategies can entice you to go back to your old comfortable habits. Now with you are armed with knowledge that you can get out of debt and into financial freedom there maybe some of us that begin to slack as we begin to grow our emergency funds and balances and begin down that cycle of indebtedness
Step 5: Don’t lose focus on your spending and savings strategies. Life events are special, but they also can be a huge expense.
All in all, I am hoping to show that a life lived for value is a much more rewarding method living on borrowed money. Being frugal doesn’t need to be associated with being cheap, but rather finding the highest amount of value from the things that you do each and every day. The reward for having a frugalist mindset is an appreciation for life and the financial freedom to do whatever you want at any time responsibly.