When I ventured out on my own after undergrad, I did not have much (if any) financial knowledge. I moved to Florida with $700, thinking that was a lot of money. Boy was I wrong! Once I was on my own and barely keeping my head above water, I started scouring the internet and the book stores for help. I read and read (and read) with a huge appetite and started making changes in my life.
In 2007 I started keeping track of my spending and my net worth. It is so interesting to look back at what I used to spend my money on, it’s like re-reading your journal. Some of my progress was very slow, I had a negative worth for a very long time. But I also was putting myself through grad school and buying a house. The lessons I learned, and implemented, helped me keep my spending in line and continually save.
Here are the biggest influences in my life that have put me on the track for wealth.
- Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams by David Bach. I have read a few of Bach’s books but this one spoke to me the most. It covers money myths, compound interest, the biggest mistakes of investors, and how to attract wealth, among other topics. It is a wealth of information.
- Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This book helped transform my relationship with money. Its core message is to teach you how to have your money be a reflection of your life values and purpose. I like that this book teaches about financial integrity, the authors define it as, what is enough money and material goods to keep you at peak fulfillment – and what is just excess and clutter. I have re-read this book so many times, and brought it so many places, that it is all disfigured and warped.
- Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Staney. This book opened my eyes to unlimited income possibilities and it provides strategies in increase your income.
- GetRichSlowly.org was one of the first blogs I started to read. It helped break down all of the finance and money terms into something I could understand and digest.
- David Ramsey – the seven baby steps and Financial Peace University has been amazing to learn alongside of my husband. We feel better prepared for the future since we completed this, we are on the same page with our desires and expectations for the future
- AffordAnything.com by Paula Pant. I found her blog recently and her message of “Grow the Gap” and “Mind the Gap” is just so simple and inspiring I can’t get it out of my head, and I don’t want to. Lower your spending, increase your income and save and invest the rest.
I have used all of this information I have gathered throughout the years, through books, blogs and courses, to come up with the following Steps to Wealth. Steps 1 – 4 can be done at the same time, then tackle the steps one at a time. My husband and I are floating in between 5 & 6 right now, so close to busting into step 7! (Update 8/17: We are in 8 and 9 now!!)
- Track your spending
- Track your net worth
- Establish a budget
- Start saving ($1000 EF)
- Pay off your debt – except for your house
- Save More! (a full 3-6 month emergency fund)
- Invest in your retirement.
- Mission minded saving accounts: vacations, cars, medical bills, down payment on a house, college.
- Pay off your house/Invest/Give back.
I am writing this series to provide a guide for you. If you have a question about something that is not on this list, please let me know and I will try my best to address it.
I hope you enjoy this series, I am having lot of fun putting it together for you!