3 Key Ingredients for Your Financial Triumph

Time-Tenacity-Teamwork--> Triumph

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As we end Financial Literacy Month, I wanted to reflect on what it takes to achieve your financial triumph. Over the past few weeks I have covered the mechanics and importance of budgeting, saving money, paying off debt, and giving which I believe are areas we need to master to win with money.

But I also believe that there are 3 key ingredients you will need to achieve victory in your journey towards financial wellness. You need to have time, tenacity, and teamwork.

Time

Regardless of what your financial situation is today, you did not get here overnight. The truth is that you need time to restore order to your finances. There are two dimensions to this time element.

First, you need to spend time preparing a budget, tracking your expenses, balancing your checkbook, etc. In other words you need to start to pay attention to what’s happening to your money.

Second, it will take time to learn how to budget, to build a beginner’s emergency fund, to pay off debt, to build savings for retirement. There are no quick fixes, no magic formula. To give you an example, my wife and I have been on our personal journey just over 7 years now. We have made great progress but it did not happen overnight. I took us 29.5 months to pay off our consumer debt and a 7-8  months to finish our full emergency fund.

After that, it took a few years to catch-up on our retirement savings. So we have done it, but it took time. The good news is that since we did it, you can do it too. Be patient!

Tenacity

A tenacious person is someone who is not easily pulled apart. In addition a person like this is persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired. As you go through your financial wellness journey, you need to remember the end game. You are working to change the financial destiny of your household, of your family for generations to come.

Where does tenacity come in? Well, you might finish your beginner’s emergency fund and then immediately the car breaks down. You need to fix the car so you use your savings. Now, you have to stop paying extra on your debt so you can rebuild that small emergency cushion. Then a few months later the water heater and the water softener go out in the same month and your emergency fund is gone again. You have to rebuild and keep going.

Tenacity also comes in when you pick up that dreaded second job or you are working extra hours to generate more income. It is a pain and it takes you away from your family, but you keep going. You show tenacity when you use cash at the grocery store when swiping your debit card would be a lot easier. But you know using cash keeps you within budget so you stick with the cash.

You see, a tenacious person will not stop until they win, until they reach the end game. You need tenacity to stay in the game for the long haul.

Teamwork

If you are married, you and your spouse have to be in the process together. If you think it might be hard to restore order to your finances, it would be nearly impossible if you and your spouse are not pulling in the same direction. You both need to be engaged in the decision making process. Working together on your money will bring you to a new a level of intimacy in your relationship.

If you are single, you need some good friends around you. You need a trusted friend that loves you well and that will tell you the truth. Someone who will challenge you. Find someone who is doing well with money, someone you trust and ask that person to help you along on this journey.

And finally, whether you are married or single, it would be wise to find a community of people that are on the same journey as you are. For example you could join a financial class. You could also find on-line communities on Social Media devoted to helping people with their finances. Join the conversation. See that you are not alone on this journey.

This past week, I heard best-selling author Jon Acuff say that “fear fears community“. When you find others going in the same direction as you are, the journey gets easier.

So, what do you think? Do you have what it takes to reach your financial triumph? I believe that you do. Keep at it, don’t give up, and if you need help, you know where to find me!

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful!
But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)

Wherever you are on your financial journey, share your experiences below on what it takes to win with money. I would love to hear from you!

Financial Literacy Month: The Giving Series

FLM Gving Series

 

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Today we conclude our series on Financial Literacy Month. Over the last few weeks I have shared some of my previous posts on the topics of budgeting, saving money, and debt elimination. Today I will turn the focus to the subject of giving.

Why did I pick these 4 topics? Because I believe that when we master these 4 areas of financial management we will prosper. When you get on a budget you get control of your money and you learn to live on less than you make.

When you spend less than you make, you can allocate some money to savings, even a beginner’s emergency fund. If you have at least some savings, you can avoid getting further in debt when an emergency situation arises. When you stop adding to your debt, you can use the improved cash flow to completely get out of consumer debt and then build a full emergency fund.

Then, with a solid financial foundation you can plan for the future (college, retirement). But as you prosper with your money I want you to remember that giving should always be a key component of your budget. I firmly believe a good understanding and practice of godly giving stewardship principles is at the core of a successful financial plan.

Generosity is a distinguishing trademark of people who prosper with money. So go and win with your money but remember to keep your hands open to help anyone you can, whenever you can, as much as you can. What can you do today to become a more generous giver?

The Giving Series

 

24 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.
25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NASB)

Additional Information

Presione aquí para la versión de este artículo en Español.

Mes de la Educacion Financiera: La Serie sobre Dádivas

FLM Giving Series Spanish

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Hoy concluimos nuestra serie para el Mes de la Educación Financiera. En las últimas semanas he compartido algunos de mis artículos anteriores sobre los temas de presupuesto, el ahorro de dinero, y la eliminación de deuda. Hoy voy a poner mi atención en el tema de dar.

¿Por qué elegí estos 4 temas? Porque yo creo que cuando dominamos estas 4 áreas de administración financiera vamos a prosperar. Cuando vives dentro de un presupuesto tomas control de tu dinero y aprendes a vivir con menos de lo que ganas.

Cuando vives  con menos de lo que ganas, puedes destinar dinero al ahorro para una reserva de emergencia inicial. Si tienes algo de ahorros, puedes evitar añadir más deudas cuando se presenta una situación de emergencia. Cuando detienes la adición a tu deuda, puedes utilizar el flujo de efectivo mejorado para salir totalmente de las deudas del consumidor y puedes acumular una reserva de emergencia completa.

Entonces, con una sólida base financiera puedes empezar a planificar para el futuro (la universidad, la jubilación). Pero a medida que prosperes con tu dinero quiero que recuerdes que el dar debe ser un componente clave de tu presupuesto. Creo firmemente que una buena comprensión y práctica de los principios de mayordomía son el núcleo de un plan financiero exitoso.

La generosidad es una marca distintiva de la gente que prospera con el dinero. Así que ve y gana con tu dinero, pero recuerda que debes mantener las manos abiertas para ayudar a cualquier persona que puedas, siempre que puedas, lo más que puedas. ¿Qué puedes hacer hoy para empezar a ser un dador más generoso?

La Serie Sobre Dádivas

 

24 Hay quien reparte, y le es añadido más, y hay quien retiene lo que es justo, sólo para venir a menos.
25 El alma generosa será prosperada, y el que riega será también regado.
Proverbios 11:24-25

Información Adicional

Click here for the version of this post in English.

Financial Literacy Month: The Debt Elimination Series

Financial Literacy Month: The Debt Elimination Series

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This week we continue our series in honor of Financial Literacy Month (FLM). I am sharing some of our previous posts on what I consider the four key categories for financial management: budget, savings, debt elimination, and giving.

If a household can learn how to deal with these 4 areas of money management, it will get on a path to financial wellness. So far we have covered the topics of budgeting and saving money.

This week we are focusing on the subject of debt elimination. Debt is the number one enemy of your financial wellness. It will cripple your ability to save money and to build wealth. It acts as the proverbial hole in your pocket. You put money in and it simply goes out. Debt is also relentless as the interest rate compounds daily. It does not stop.

Here are just some numbers that reflect our serious problem with debt (thanks to Alex Jones’ Infowars.com)

  • Consumer debt is at $2.5T.
  • 46% of Americans carry a balance on their credit cards.
  • Average credit card debt balance is $15,799.
  • Student Loan debt is around $1T.
  • The average student loan debt load is now approximately $25K.

It will be very hard to prosper with your money when you are weighed down by a big debt burden. So I hope you read some of the articles below and make a decision to be done with debt once and for all. You can live without the crutch of debt in your life.

What are you going to do to deal with your debt today?

The Debt Elimination Series

 

Additional Information

Presione aquí para ver la versión de este artículo en Español.

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Mes de la Educacion Financiera: La Serie sobre Eliminacion de Deudas

FLM: Debt Series Spanish

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Esta semana continuamos nuestra serie en honor al Mes de la Educación Financiera. Estamos compartiendo algunos de nuestros artículos previos sobre lo que considero las cuatro categorías clave para la buena administración financiera: el presupuesto, el ahorro, la eliminación de las deudas, y el dar.

Creo que si una familia puede aprender a lidiar con estas 4 áreas de la administración del dinero, se pondrá en el camino hacia el bienestar financiero. Hasta ahora hemos cubierto los temas de presupuesto y ahorrar dinero.

Esta semana nos estamos enfocando en el tema de la eliminación de deudas. La deuda es el enemigo número uno de tu bienestar financiero. Va a paralizar tu capacidad de ahorrar dinero y de acumular riquezas. La deuda actúa como el proverbial agujero en el bolsillo. Pones el dinero adentro y simplemente se desvanece. La deuda es también implacable con los tipos de interés diarios compuestos. No se detiene.

Éstas son sólo algunas cifras que reflejan nuestro grave problema grave con las deudas (gracias a Infowars.com Alex Jones)

  • La deuda del consumidor es de $2.5T.
  • 46% de los estadounidenses tienen un saldo en sus tarjetas de crédito.
  • El balance promedio de tarjetas de crédito es $15,799.
  • La deuda de préstamos estudiantiles es de alrededor de $1T.
  • El préstamo promedio estudiante carga de la deuda es ahora aproximadamente $25K.

Va a ser muy díficil para prosperar con tudinero cuando estás agobiados por deudas grandes. Así que espero que leas algunos de los artículos siguientes y que tomes la decisión de salir de las deudas de una vez y por todas. Puedes vivir sin la muleta de la deudas en tu vida.

¿Qué vas a hacer hoy para lidiar con tus deudas?

La Serie Sobre Eliminación de Deudas

 

Información Adicional

 Click here for the version of this post in English.