By Dr. Ladel Lewis
Chances are if you are reading this article you may not be wealthy. No worries, that’s the majority of us. No silver spoons here. But, that doesn’t mean you can not achieve financial independence. Here are five steps to put you on the pathway to wealth.
1. Budget: Track how much money you spend. You must not only know how much money you are bringing in, but you must track every penny that’s going out.
2. Limit Frivolous Spending: Say goodbye to those daily trips to fast food and eat those leftovers at home. More money than you think goes towards restaurants. That double cheeseburger or that Starbucks coffee should be reserved for a special occasion, not a daily ritual. Take your lunch to work and warm up those delicious leftovers.
3. Bank With Care: Many of us have bank accounts that are not giving us the most bang for our buck. Look into banks that have products with no maintenance fees and high-interest rates. It’s a privilege for them to house your hard-earned money. Make them pay.
4. No New Cars: Yes, I said it. New cars are expensive. Maintain what you have. The only reason you should entertain “the new car thought” is if you are a serious negotiator and the interest rate is 0% for the duration of the loan.
5. Do not carry credit card balances. Unless your card has a 0% interest rate, you should not have a balance. Why pay them 27% interest when you can pay yourself and put that extra money in your savings or investment account.
6. Create an Emergency Fund: This account should have at least one year’s salary in it. This will cover you in the event you lose your job or you have a major financial emergency. This helps you avoid taking out high-interest loans.
The key to establishing and maintaining wealth is to save your money and living below your means. You can’t tell someone with wealth from an ordinary person because they don’t focus on looking the part. They drive the family sedan, not the latest sports or luxury car. They don’t show their money with expensive garments but humbly stack their money through frugality, temperance and investing. If you master those things, you will be on the money train to wealth bound. All aboard!