There are two scenarios your finances can be in, to some degree. Below is a list of what the worst financial picture might look like and then the best. There are specific actions you can take to improve any one of these conditions. The worst ones can be made better and the best can be expanded and improved endlessly as well. Nowhere to go but up!
You can easily grade yourself on this list (just for kicks). Look at each line.
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the worst case and 10 being the best as written above, mark down a score for each line. Add it up.
18–72 is pretty rough.
90–126 is pretty good!
130 on up, you should be doing fine!
I am not saying money is the road to happiness, but I am saying life is a pain when you are leading a hand-to-mouth existence and your finances are a mess. It leads to stress on you, your family and friends, and so on. Having a strong financial base is a Holy Grail of sorts. So many of us struggle through life just to achieve that. It’s that cushion you need when other things go wrong. And life being like it is, something always goes wrong when least expected and least prepared. If you had $1,000,000 extra saved away in reserves and investments, would you breathe easier? Of course, you would.
It does take some discipline and hard work initially to get your finances in a groove, but once you do, it gets easier and easier. As you shift from the left side to the right side in the above scale. and gain stability you’ll find you never want to let all your hard work sift through your fingers.
If I were to prioritize a few of the items above I would say #1 is discipline; #2, a budget; #3, getting out of debt and being ruthless on overspending (#1 again); #4, saving money. But out in front of 1–4 is you, taking action, by working smart and hard to make money in a sensible way.
One other comment: if you are on the left side, it all starts with a decision to change your condition in life. Without that clear-cut decision, there can be no discipline. No one can make you do this. Eventually the world will come down on you – credit cards taken away, evictions, bankruptcies, angry creditors, rejection – UGH.
BUT you can reverse this course ANYTIME.
Do 1–4. Get some good advice. Follow winners – not losers! Almost magically life starts to sweeten up.
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