Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to Basics Series- Getting Started Post 1

First let me say that I love almost every personal finance blog I come across. I love the how-to’s, the out of debtors, the still in debtors, even the bread recipes. However, for the newbie just getting their finances in order some folks are forgetting that there are still people who need the basics. This is for you!! Over the next eight weeks, I will be running a series called “Back to Basics”. I will go over the basics of money management. So check back each week, or better yet, SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss anything.

Maybe you are reading this because you are in debt. Maybe you are not in debt but are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Getting out of debt and getting your finances in order takes a lot more than reading and planning. It truly is a new mindset. The first thing you need to do is clearly define WHY you want to get out of debt or get control of your finances.

DO THIS: Get an old notebook (DO NOT BUY A NEW ONE) or create a new file on your computer. Write down all the things you HATE about your current financial state. You can write things like, “I am tired of owing people money”, “ I hate living paycheck to paycheck”, or “I hate having to donate plasma to supplement my income”.

Now, think about why you want to get your finances in order (no more negatives here). What is the end goal of getting better control of your money? Being debt free? Going on a vacation? What is going to motivate you? (You are going to need a LOT of motivation)

The point of this exercise is to think about what upsets you about the present and what you want to see happen differently in the future.

One more thing before I go…. You must make one promise to yourself right now. You cannot go any further until you do this. STOP CREATING MORE DEBT. Now. Today. This very second. No more debt.

If this has you worried about how you are going to afford groceries you have a big problem. You need to start thinking right now about what items you can cut out. We will talk more about that next week.

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