Thursday, January 19, 2012

Understanding and Controlling Your Finances

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to have complete control over your finances?

If you are like most normal people, you have a job. You go to your job every day. Every week or two weeks or month you get a pay check for some amount.

You have taxes.
The government, in an effort to make your life easier, lifts something like a third of your pay check without your having to do a thing.

You have problems.
For example, you get a speeding ticket one day, and then your insurance goes up. Or your car blows a gasket. Or you lose your job!

Then you have desires.
All humans do, some more than others. You might desire new living room furniture, a new TV or stereo, new clothes... Whatever. You may desire all of it all at once. Occasionally you cannot control yourself and one of your desires is filled.

Therefore you have debt!
Debt makes up the difference between income and expense. For most people day-to-day debt goes on a credit card, and large items like cars and houses are handled with more formal loans. Debt itself is not bad. The problem arises when debt accumulates for no apparent reason. Problems and desires would push your credit card balance upward each month because there is no other place for the money to come from.

Notice what you do not have in the above scenario?
There is no mention of a savings program. Nor a retirement plan. There is no particular hope of reaching future financial goals. No safety net! And most importantly, no peace of mind, no sense of control, no control of your life and your finances.

Let's face it!
Investment planning is not the activity of choice for most individuals. If we had our way, the various pieces of our financial lives would magically fall into place. All of our financial needs would be met effortlessly without having to devote even a minute of time to planning!

Unfortunately, real life doesn't work that way!
Making sense of your finances requires more time and effort than ever in today's constantly changing economic environment. You are likely to have many different - and sometimes conflicting - financial goals. Deciding how to meet those goals requires careful planning.

So, is there a solution to this problem?
The answer is "maybe!"...
But it does require a big mental shift and if you are willing to make the mental shift the answer is yes!

It turns out there is a different way to live life. This way of life involves figuring out what you really want to do, and what is really important to you as an individual, and then working toward those goals rather than proceeding randomly.

What you gain in the process is a sense of control and satisfaction, and a sense of achievement, that is difficult to beat.

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