Beginner Plan

1. Track your spending to see where your money is going. You will not be able to budget or make a plan with your money until you know how it is being dispersed. Put together a system that is simple and sustainable. It would be wise to conduct “judgment day” as you go through this process. A description of judgment day can be found here. A description of how to track your spending and download a tracking spending template can be found here.

 

2. Complete a net worth statement as you identify the value of your assets while subtracting the amount of debt you currently have. This is the proper way to track your financial situation. This document shows you where you currently are financially and that is very important as you set course on where you want to go with your future. See a description of how to do it and download a net worth template by clicking here.

 

3. Create a financial plan that will direct you toward a future that you desire. It is critically important that you identify your long term goals and then work on figuring out the short term goals that will help you achieve them. Make them specific, write them down and DO IT. This will require you to sit down and let your imagination go. Expand your boundaries and dream big. Your potential is much bigger than you may realize! See a description of a financial plan and guidance by clicking here.

 

4. Identify your credit history for free by going to annualcreditreport.com and download the three separate credit reports that relate to your past history. If you have no credit report, that means you have nothing that could be used to gauge your credit worthiness. Those are your reports. You must go elsewhere to identify your scores. Go to creditkarma.com to see your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores. The site is free, just ignore all of the advertising. These scores will provide you a close look at what your FICO score will be. Educate yourself on the issue and how to improve your score by clicking here.

 

5. Continue your education by reading books and learning from independent sources (avoid salespeople who have conflicts of interest with the information they feed you). Here are three books that will guide you down that path:Financial Happine$$, by Mike Finley, Personal Finance for Dummies, by Eric Tyson, and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John Bogle. Read these three books, apply the wisdom found within those pages, and you will be ready to move to the intermediate stage. Follow your knowledge with ACTION to see real change not only financially, but in your life as a whole. Make it happen!

Check out the other plans!