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debt free Archives -

Posts Tagged ‘debt free’

Six Steps You Can Take Now To Get Out Of Debt

In today's economy the buzzword is austerity. Gone are the days of living beyond our means using easy credit to do so. In order to simplify and decrease the stress in our lives, we need to reduce and eventually get out of debt.

If you have started a debt reduction plan - good for you. But, if you are having a difficult time getting started or developing a plan, this post will provide some much-needed guidance. And if you have had a drastic change in circumstance, such as the loss of a job or unexpected medical condition, you definitely need to follow this roadmap!

Here are the six steps:

1. Sit down, breathe, and take inventory of where you are and where you want to be. Since you probably know where you are, you need to define where you want to be in life. Money will only be a part of this picture. Write down a very detailed description of your "perfect" life, your deepest dreams and aspirations, financially and otherwise. Include as many details as possible.

2. Understand your cash flow as it is now. Make a list of all your income and all your expenses. Is the difference negative, or positive? Also, gain an understanding of your assets and liabilities, and the difference between the two (your net worth). Is that positive or negative?

3. Review your current cash flow CLOSELY. Look at areas that you can decrease expenses. Be non-judgmental, act as if you are an advisor consulting with a client. Find your "inner accountant" to assist with this process. Remember, your goal is to gain control of your finances and get out of debt!

4. Look at your true hourly wage. Figure out all the income you make from your job (including employer-paid benefits) and deduct all related expenses (commuting, daycare, etc.). Then, figure out the number of hours you devote to your job for the same period of time, including commuting, overtime, afterhours meetings, etc. Then divide your net earnings by your total hours, to get your true hourly wage. What does this tell you? Are you surprised? Using the information learned in Step 1, about your deepest dreams and aspirations, reassess your work situation. Would something else make more sense? For instance, maybe you will earn less hourly by working at home, but after considering commuting and other related expenses you will actually earn more, doing something you love? Turn a passion into income!

5. Look at your total expenses, reduced to the lowest possible monthly amount and including what you need to get out of debt as quickly as possible, to determine how much you need to make each month. If you are already making that much and more, then great - you know what you need to do. However, if you don't have a job, or are making less than you need to each month, time to get creative. Again, review your deepest dreams and desires to brainstorm ways to increase your income. Get creative and turn passions into cash. Everyone is an expert at something!

6. Develop a roadmap to get from where you are to where you want to be. Identify the steps needed to get you to your perfect life, and set deadlines to have each step completed.

Having a clear picture of where you want to be and the income it will take to get there will help you make appropriate decisions for your situation. You will feel empowered and energized because you have the information needed to better your situation and get out of debt, once and for all!

These are only six steps from the many exercises contained in the Life Money Handbook, which you can download free from this site! If you truly want to be debt free, you have to take the first step.

 

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Two Questions to Ask Yourself

I'm not sure where I encountered these two questions, but when I heard them I thought wow, two questions that once answered would provide a lot of insight into our money beliefs.  They are simple questions, yet profound.  Here they are:

What does money mean, to me?

What does being wealthy mean, to me?

Everyone will have different answers.  If there is any type of negative feeling towards these questions that says a lot of why you might be in a less than stellar financial position. 

So many of us were brought up with negative feelings towards wealthy people, or even jealousy.  Our subconscious thinks that "being wealthy must be bad".  As much as we all (think) we want piles of money, a negative feeling towards money will make it difficult to build those piles. 

We must embrace money as a good thing, a useful thing, a positive thing, but not the ONLY thing.  Many times our vision is skewed....I would be happy if only I had money.  Well, many people with LOTS of money will tell you that it does not make you happy.  That comes from inside. 

So take some time to reflect on these two questions and your initial reaction to them.  Now, adjust that reaction to something more appropriate.  Write down the more appropriate reaction and read it daily, until it becomes your new paradigm.  This will go a long way towards helping you find the financial peace you deserve.

 

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The Beauty of Life

As we go through our day to day routine, we often become numb to the beauty around us.  A dysfunctional relationship with money can take us into ourselves even more, so that we don't notice a beautiful sunset (or sunrise, if you are on your way to work)...we forget to hug our children or tell our spouse we love them.  We are so worried about paying our bills, about making enough money to get through the month that we lose site of the beauty in life.

I just finished watching a performance of Andrea Bocelli, accompanied by Lang Lang on the piano (no not live, but sometime in my life!).  What beauty, perfection.  Talent like that takes you to a greater place in existence, connects you with something far greater than paying that next bill.  It awakens that deep spirit within us, where our dreams and aspirations live. 

We all need to take the time to embrace the beauty in life, no matter what our financial situation.  I know people who appear very rich, but are living in a house of cards - and fear.  And I know people who have very little, but take time to enjoy life and all it has to offer.  A fantastic life isn't based on how much money you have, but how you embrace it and relate to it (life, and money).

I hope everyone has the ability to feel the beauty of a wonderful song, a perfect performance, nature and life, deep inside.  This is where life is lived.  And this is where change resides and will arise.

Join us.

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