A man was on his way to a far-flung town when he felt an urgent need to go to the toilet. While traversing the highway, he saw a lighted funeral parlor indicating that there was an ongoing wake. A bit embarrassed, he asked the funeral director if he could use the toilet. The director said yes but asked him to sign first on the guestbook. The man obliged and went straight to the toilet. Before leaving, he paid his last respects to the man in the coffin. After a couple of days, he received a call from the deceased man’s lawyer telling him that he had inherited a fortune. Confused, the man inquired how in the world was that even possible. The lawyer explained that the man who died amassed such great wealth but being mean and stingy, he did not have any friends or family to leave it with. The man’s last will and testament gave one clear instruction: Anyone who will attend his wake will inherit his entire fortune.
True story or not, don’t we just love stories like this? Unfortunately, the chances of a huge windfall landing on our laps is nil to none. For most of us on planet earth, it’s about working hard and saving up to secure our financially stable future.
Set your Financial Goals
Ever heard the adage “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” Well, the same goes with our finances. There’s nothing really wrong with aiming too high. If by any chance, you fail to reach your financial goal this year, at least, you’ll find yourself better off than you did last year.
Crafting a Financial Compass
While you’re setting goals, take it a step further by crafting your own financial compass that will serve as a guide throughout your year-long journey. This includes an action plan on how you will make your financial goals viable.
Keep Track of Your Income Flow
Keeping a tab of the money that comes in and goes out of your pocket will make you feel more in control of your own finances. This is actually me talking to myself! Kidding aside, taking time to list down your earnings vs. your expenses may sound like an added chore, but it will do you wonders. Once you gain that sense of control over your finances, you’ll have more confidence in making better financial decisions.
Avoid Money Traps
Coffee shops, the latest shoes, trending gadgets, online shops -- the list of things to entice us to our financial doom is endless. Spur of the moment purchases, however big or small, are like drips in the faucets and can do harm in our finances overtime. Next time you find yourself being lured to any kind of unplanned shopping spree, remember: See No Evil, Hear No Evil. Easier said than done, I knooow. Boy, I definitely know the feeling! If we really want to make this marked improvement in our finances, taking these baby steps in avoiding these traps will do us good.
Create Multiple Streams of Income
Remember the saying, “Do not put your eggs in one basket?” I say, “Get more hens to produce you more eggs.” While the former saying can’t be truer when it comes to investing and making our money grow, we can do it the other way around by producing waves of earnings. The internet has certainly leveled the playing field. Opportunities to make money is left and right. It’s about acquiring skills that appeals to your interests and tapping into the right portals.
Pay down your Debt
Debts are like a ball and chain tied around one’s leg. Debts make prisoners of us. It chains us and keeps us from chasing our dreams. The road to financial freedom starts with paying off your debts bit by bit. Remember that any progress you make no matter how small is still progress.
There’s a proverb that says, “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
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By: Rita Doctor