5 Steps to Build the Financial Future of Your Dreams

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by Phil Bradford on September 29, 2016

Today’s article is brought to you by personal finance aficionado Phil Bradford.
Take it away Phil!!!

“You reap what you sow.”

This is what you should remember before making any life decision. Your financial life is no exception. Learn to sow seeds effectively today and you’ll savor a financial harvest tomorrow.

So, what should you do? How should you prepare for the future? How do you strike a balance between spending today and saving for tomorrow?

Have faith in the 3 P’s of financial planning

You must follow the 3 P’s when planning your financial future:

1. Be prepared
2. Talk to a professional, and
3. Stop procrastinating.

Be prepared for the worst to happen, seek help from a professional when in doubt, and don’t delay your actions by procrastinating.

Visualize your future goals and dreams and then take the steps to achieve them. Financial planning is not child’s play. You need to give it a considerable amount of time and effort.

A sound financial plan is the secret to your financial well-being. So, if your finances are unhealthy, visit a financial doctor. Every day is the right time to plan your finances. If you want to plan your monetary goals, do it immediately without any delay.

Remember, your financial future is now. Make a plan, strive hard to achieve it, and later enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Analyze your current financial situation

Do you know where you stand financially? If not, you won’t be able to enjoy a stress-free financial future. You must assess your present economic condition and then compare it with where you want to see yourself decades into the future. It’ll help you get a strong hold over your finances. Are you finding it difficult to review your present monetary situation? If so, then consult a good financial advisor.


Get ready for the unexpected

You won’t see an emergency coming because it’s sudden. Emergencies can strike anywhere and anytime. So you must prepare for it when the situation is calm and when you have time to make the proper preparations.

How will you prepare for a financial emergency?

1. Set aside at least 3 to 6 months’ of living expenses. Keep this money separately in a special account.
2. Prioritize your spending
3. Look for ways to earn more money
4. Get adequate insurance
5. Have some available credit
6. Ask for help if needed.


Become debt free as soon as possible

Becoming debt free is the easiest way to feel safe about your financial future. However, achieving that isn’t so easy. If you want to become debt free, you must review your budget at regular intervals. Save more and spend less, control your expenses, and use cash instead of credit cards.


Prepare your will

What will happen if you kick the bucket without a will? You might think that you don’t have anything valuable to pass on. Even if you have very little, you should leave a will.

This is because in your absence your property will get distributed by the state and not according to your wishes. Dying without a will could also cause conflict within your family.

You need to take a lot of things into consideration while creating a will so consider seeking professional advice.

I’m going to leave you with one more important piece of advice. Save early so that you have enough time to build a great nest egg by the time you retire.

Phil Bradford is a financial content writer and an enthusiast. He has expert knowledge about personal finance issues. His passion for helping people who’re stuck in financial problems has earned him recognition and honor in the industry. Besides writing, he loves to travel and read books. Follow Phil on Facebook.

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You’re salivating over the newest fashion trend, latest electronic gear, or perfect get-a-way vacation. You know you can’t afford it. You know you shouldn’t. But you can’t help it.

You look for any reason to pull the credit card trigger, even if it means telling yourself lies to rationalize irrational financial decisions.

Perhaps you’ve even convinced yourself that:

“I deserve it”

You’ve worked hard. You’ve spent long endless days and nights in school or on the job. You’ve made sacrifices too numerous to count in order to get where you are.

Worst of all, it seems like no one appreciates all that you’ve accomplished.

Who can blame you for feeling like you “deserve” your financial indulgences, because you earned your expensive red high heeled gems, your late model automobile, and your expensive Caribbean vacation.

You only live once, right?

But, while an occasional indulgence or two is understandable, too often an “I deserve it” attitude run amok leads to financial ruin.

Remember, what you truly deserve in life is an emergency fund, a fat retirement account, and the peace of mind that comes with being debt free.


“It’s on sale”

You’ve done it. You’ve grabbed the deal of the century, snagging your prize at an amazing 70% off the retail price.

Never mind that the object of you consumer affection was probably made in China on the cheap. Who cares that you could go without it. It really doesn’t matter that your closets are already bulging with shoes, clothes, and everything else under the sun.

It was a deal. How could you refuse?

But, here’s the golden rule of retail you should really live by: No matter how good the sale, if you don’t need it, it’s not a deal at any price.


“I’ll pay it off at the end of the month”

Who hasn’t told themselves this lie at one time or another.

Sure, we have the best of intentions.

Deep down we really do intend to purchase our shiny temptation with our credit card and pay off the balance by the end of the month.

Inevitably, however, it always seems that something comes up to sabotage our best laid plans. Some other emergency or expense gets in the way and our best intentions go by the wayside.

Here’s a simple but effective piece of advice: If you can’t pay with cash don’t buy it. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you succeed in breaking the credit card addiction your finances will reach a whole new level.


“The monthly payments are only…”

Monthly payments, they’re a retailer’s best friend, and your worst enemy.

You’ve heard the pitch. Take your beloved purchase home today with no money down. Just pay in simple monthly installments.

Who can’t help but be seduced by low monthly payments? But the truth is, you’ll spend years making them. Worst yet, associated interest charges multiply like a cancer, savishing your financial well-being.

That $700 flat screen morphs into a $950 financial fiasco. The $500 sofa transforms into a $800 money mistake. All because you fell for the monthly payment trap.

Here’s the rub.

What gives our money lies so much power is that we truly want to believe them. We become complicit in rationalizing the lies into truths.

And perhaps the only way to break the seductive power of these falsehoods is to become aware of what we’re telling ourselves.

The next time you’re faced with a retail temptation, take a second to listen. Listen to what you’re telling yourself. If it is a lie, stop the lie in it’s tracks and walk away.

Your pocketbook will love you for it.

Now it’s your turn. I know you’ve got some great money lies that you’ve told yourself. Help us out. Share a few of them below in the comments section.

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