Friday, January 18, 2013

financial freedom

Let's get serious for a minute. The economy is lame and it's time to take matters into our own hands. I've decided to make 2013 the year of gaining financial freedom, and rightfully so since I am kicking the year off with a job change and a move. (eek, breath and out).

I was given a book for Christmas from a dear friend called, "The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me", by Richard Paul Evans. Since the friend insisted we read it together, I am committed to finishing this one, and applying it's principals rather than just let it sit on the shelf.

Needless to say, it's been good. No, it's been fantastic actually.

The five principals of book are:
1. Decide to be wealthy
2. Take responsibility for your money
3. Keep a portion of everything you earn
4. Win in the margins
5. Give back

To validate my cause I felt that I should be looking at financial freedom as a spiritual blessing, as much as a temporal principal. There are loads of helpful talks that address this topic. One I liked in particular was Elder Wirthlin's, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts". Read this. It's so clear as to which path we are supposed to follow when it comes to our finances. In this talk, he also lays out five guidelines to follow to keep our Earthly and Heavenly Debts in check.

They are as follows:
1. Pay your tithing.
2. Spend less than you earn.
3. Learn to save.
4. Honor your financial obligations.
5. Teach your children to follow in your example through hard work, frugality, and saving.

As you can see, both the book and the talk are very much in line with each other. I am still reading and researching, but there are a few financial goals that I have accomplished in this month in which I am proud to share.

  • Cancelled Massachusetts auto insurance and signed up for Utah plan (with a discount for being a non-drinker...bonus!) Savings: $80/month=$960/year
  • Cancelled Hulu account. I loved it, but I don't "need" it. Savings: $8/month=$96/year
  • Changed phone plan from unlimited minutes to monitored minutes. Savings: $20/month=$160/year
  • Stopped drinking soda of any kind. Savings: $25/month=$300/year..this blew my mind.
  • Put 1/4 of paychecks into savings account. Estimated $500/month=$6000 per year.
  • Went through closets, decided that I have enough clothes for the year and will not be purchasing any for 2013...even if I wear them out. Estimated $100/month=$1200 per year.
Total Savings for January:  $733                            
Total Savings for 2013:  $8716

So there you have it. I will be nearly $9000 more frugal in 2013 and nearly $9000 richer. How can I not be motivated by this?

And let me just put in a little plug for Best. Site. Ever. This is an all inclusive financial tracker and it's amazing. I have the mobile app as well, which allows me to enter in purchases as I go. It's totally free and anyone can do it. This site links to all of my bank accounts, student loan, car loan, insurance, and phone bill so I can see exactly where I am at financially all on one site. It's beautiful. There are pie charts trending where I spend my money (so I can see if I have gone overboard on entertainment, etc.), and calendars telling me when my next bills are due. I don't know how to begin to tell you how much this site has changed my life, but I love it. I will always use it.

As you can see, these teeny, weeny little changes (which by the way have been fairly simple to make), along with paying my tithes and fast offerings have blessed me with the confidence that maybe I can get really good at this money thing. Perhaps I can live on a lot less than what I thought I had to and give more to those who don't.

This is only the beginning, still finding ways to save money and I will keep you updated as I do. Please comment if you are financially savvy or have something to share. I'd love to hear from ya!

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