Last time I began to break down how I ‘think’ I might be able to achieve my long term goal of being an 80+ year old, healthy guy, participating in a 5K run, surrounded at the end by loved family and friends. I started with ideas about how I might live today, and in the coming weeks, months and years which will positively impact the likelihood of this happening in the area of health.
Today I’d like to begin a discussion on managing my finances – in the here and now, and into the future – and how that, too might play into the likelihood of achieving this goal.
Our country has been struggling visibly and audibly for 4 years due to issues relating to the way our country spends, the way it saves, how profits are generated, and what can happen when markets reverse. There are remarkably important parallels that need to be drawn on a personal level – if you are ready for that. The one repeating basic philosophical tenet I have discovered through trial and error which works in my life is ‘to be fiscally conservative’.
Being fiscally conservative would mean the following:
– Buy items with cash
– Work to pay off any loans, beginning with the highest rate of interest first
– Strive mightily to fend off impulses leading you to participate in the bigger, better, more more more phenomenon.
– Improve or leave relationships which place unnecessary financial stressors.
– Save the maximum amount you are capable every year
– Pay your taxes, on time.
– Set aside money for fun times and diversion – and pay with cash
– Zero out credit card balances at the end of every month.
That’s for starters. The objective is to keep more than you spend. I know many people who prefer to live ‘on the margin’ and put their borrowing power to work. That’s a great philosophy in a growing, bustling economy for someone whose stream of income is beyond reproach. The downside is that in a reverse, you will be trapped upside down, holding nothing but debts.
For me, in order to reach my goal – I realize I need to be at a completely debt free place, and to have saved enough over the years in order to be living off my fixed income for whatever I want. I have heard it said, and I hope it’s true, that as we get older, we have had more, and we have done more, and we end up wanting and needing less. That will simplify the equation…
That’s all for today. We’ll talk more about reducing debt, saving, and earning over the next few installments.
The link below will direct you to my wordpress.org blog, and the article