Regardless of where you stand financially, you can take realistic steps toward wealth building. It may be just as simple as learning how to get started, making a plan to do it, and taking action starting right now. If you are discouraged about your financial outlook, consider spending an investment of your time learning about wealth building and how you can take actionable steps toward a brighter future!
1. Increase your income.
This does not necessarily mean you should look for a better job, although that is a possibility. What it really means is that you should look to increase your income by adding additional realistic streams of income. Passive income is ideal but may require more time and money to get started -- some examples of passive income include rental property income, book royalties, and investment income. If passive income isn’t something you can achieve right away, you may also consider getting a second job or engaging in a side gig with evenings or weekends. The sharing economy is booming, and you can make reliable extra income using your skills, talents, and imagination. If you are willing to work, you can likely find extra income.
2. Eliminate debt.
Use one-third of your extra income to eliminate debt and make sure you are not acquiring any form of new debt. Restrict credit card use to only one that you commit to paying off monthly. Pay off high-interest debt first, and as you pay off a debt, use the payment that is normally used for that debt towards paying off your other debts. Until all debts are paid off, one-third of your extra income goes to paying off debts. Continue to use the money earmarked for debt payments from your regular income to pay on debt as well. If you find that debt repayment is tough for you, consider the help of a non-profit credit counselor to get you on the right track.
3. Save Money.
Put one-third of your extra income into a savings account. Once all of your debts are paid off, put the money you were using for those debt payments from both your regular income and your extra income into this savings account as well. Build these emergency savings until you have a minimum of six months to one year of living expenses saved up. Do not touch this money unless it is needed in the event of the loss of your regular income. This money should not be put into any other investment vehicle so you have access to it if you need it quickly.
4. Invest Money.
Use the last third of your extra income for investments. There are a variety of investment options available to you, ranging from very conservative to higher risk investments, with varying rates of return. You will want to do your homework and educate yourself about the best options for your situation, lifestyle and risk tolerance before jumping into any investment decisions. It’s always ideal to get the help of a qualified investment professional to assist you with planning out an investment strategy if you can.
5. Budget your expenses based on your regular income alone.
Do not include any extra income you earn in your regular household budget. If you have a regular income that covers your monthly expenses, any extra income you earn will help you with wealth building. If your regular income is not covering your monthly expenses, then the first thing to do is to get control of that situation by adjusting your expenses to fit into your income. A budget is an important key to unlocking the insight that will help you make wise decisions about changes you need to make to your spending. There are many options to help you cut expenses: Consider turning off unnecessary services, such as a home phone or cable television. Spend less on entertainment. Use average billing programs offered by utility companies and cut your grocery bill by using coupons or sales.
Once you have your budget under control, you are ready to start earning extra income and beginning wealth building for your family.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY