We are living in a time of change, learning and growth. There's been too much emphasis on what is not working about our economy. If you are feeling fear and worry about your finances, it's time to change that. You create what you think about and focusing on fear of lack will only create more lack. What's key, here, is to see the opportunities (and not the obstacles). Here are 10 things you can do to maximize your ROI (Return On Investment) in your financial life:
#1- Decide what you want for your financial future. Too many of us, in the past few years, got caught up in the idea that the only way we could live a good life is by taking out debt (mortgages, credit cards, loans, refinances, etc.). Is this the way you want to live? It's time now to make a conscious choice about what you want for your financial future. If you want to own your home cash, put it in writing. If you want to own your vehicles, furniture and pay cash for items, put it in writing. It's time to identify the standards by which you are creating your financial future.
#2- Live more by living on less. Do you really need everything you have? Get rid of all the things that are not essential to your life. There are those who thought, five years ago, that having a Suburban was essential. Now, when they go to the gas pump, they're having second thoughts. Upgrade your life by identifying what you really need and staying within that frame of mind.
#3- Walk more, drive less. It's better for the environment. It's better for your wallet. Just think, "Why haven't we been doing this already?" Sometimes, things have to happen to force us into a situation where we do the things we should've always done. Walk, get exercise and save the environment.
#4- Accelerate your mortgage with a mortgage acceleration program and pay off your home in 10 or less years (rather than the typical 30). Every mortgage company offers a mortgage acceleration program where you add $200 - $300 a month to what you currently pay on your mortgage (this goes straight to the principal balance) and you end up paying off your mortgage in half the time. Remember: you don't own your home until you physical have the deed.
#5- If you don't own a home or have lost a home to foreclosure, make it very clear to yourself that you will buy your next home cash. If you expect the best (and settle for nothing less), you will ALWAYS get it. This mortgage crisis is a real wake-up for people that says, "We need to own and control our homes and maintain our sense of safety and security." The only way to do that is to OWN your own home. A mortgage is not owning. You have borrowed money from a bank and they own your home until you pay it off.
#6- Do not buy a brand new car. Buy a used car cash. New cars depreciate by more than $6,000 the moment they're driven off the lot. Do not waste money on brand new cars or on paying interest on car notes. Freedom means not owing anyone anything. Free yourself. Pay off your car notes and make a commitment to never have another one again.
#7- Start a business. Each person has, within them, at least 10 phenomenal business ideas. Even in an economic downturn, people still need certain things. Line your skills up with consumer need that exists, whether the economy is great or not, and be in control of your money-earning potential.
#8- Stop putting a price tag on your life. If you find that all you think about is money, start volunteering, find a way to serve others and make a difference. The more you focus on the money you need, the farther the money you need goes away from you.
#9- Know that you are provided for. Do not let this economy scare you. Think "Have you ever starved? Have you ever not had enough to stay alive?" If you're reading this, obviously the answer is yes. You are provided for. Trust it.
#10- Know that you live in an endlessly abundant world. It may not feel like it right now but you are a 'yes' person, living in a 'yes' world, being responded to by a 'yes' universe. Know that there's a yes even when you don't get what you want. Breakthroughs always come after breakdowns. Find the opportunities and take hold of them!
Kassandra Vaughn, the ROI Coach