I am not sure what the latest statistic is, but I believe that it is that 65% of people in the United States are within 2 paychecks of losing their home. WOW! That is a scary thought. Regardless of the exact numbers, most people in the world do not have any “money pockets.” The purpose of this week’s Keys to Keeping Chaos at Bay is not to get into social commentary about people who do not even have jobs or what that situation involves. It is for people who are working and need to attend to whether they have pockets for emergencies and for making great spending decisions.
- Consult with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Most will offer a one-hour free consultation. It’s worth the time. You need to know the status of your finances. This person will help you set financial goals for the present and the future. Ask friends for recommendations of someone with whom they have worked who has been helpful. You don’t want to just choose someone out of the Yellow Pages.
- Study the “Laws of Attraction.” If you constantly say you don’t have any money, you will never earn any money, you are in a low-paying job that isn’t valued, or anything along this line,then you can just plan to stay there. If you see yourself with wealth, you will begin moving toward that prosperity.
- Keep some cash on hand. There are disasters and cash is what you need. You need to know you have several hundred (or more) dollars that are ready to be grabbed if something horrible happens and you need cash.
- Have money for your savings account automatically removed from your paycheck.You are less likely to spend money that you don’t “see” on payday.
- Spend less than you make. Duh! But apparently this needs to be mentioned because of the number of Americans, in particular, who spend more than they make.
- Avoid thinking of shopping as “entertainment.” Going to a mall, even if you’re going to a restaurant there, is an invitation for you to spend money that you don’t have.
- Pay off your credit cards. If you need help with how to make this happen, consult with one of the free services or talk to your CFP. Most credit cards charge 12% – 24% interest. There is not an investment you can make that would pay you that much. Get your credit cards paid off.
- Start a home-based business. The opportunities for doing something that is income-producing and the legal ways to save on your taxes in the U.S. mean you are crazy not to take advantage of this possibility.
- “Try out” a large purchase, like a new car, for at least six months (and save toward this purchase, which you can then use as your down payment). Then, if you find it difficult to put $_/month in a savings account for six months, think how tough it will be to pay your $_/month payment for five years. You may decide to buy something less expensive or not to buy anything at all.
- Have the goal to be financially independent. When you are financially independent, you can stop working and live off what you have accumulated. Most people who are financially independent keep working, but it’s with a completely different mindset. And here’s another amazing idea: We all need a lot less than we think to live. Once you make that shift, your financial independence comes much sooner. And then you can keep working and build up huge pockets.
All of these ideas need to be adjusted to fit your circumstances. If you like to read and learn, check out (or purchase) any of Suze Orman’s books. The one that I recently sent to members of one of my mentoring groups was Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. Choose one of the 10 keys above to work on and start Keeping Chaos at Bay by putting in financial pockets.