Money Matters

I’ve got something different for you guys today.  I know you are excited.  I don’t blame you.  You should be.  Today we are talking about money.  “What?!?!?!?!” you exclaim.  Allow me to explain:

When Lukus and I got married we got several amazing gifts (we’re spoiled) one of the most phenomenal has been the gift of financial planning.  Yes, that’s right.  We we’re given financial planning by a family friend.  We will call her “Financial Guru” or FG for short.  FG is a financial planner for many large estates, but she has taken us on as her charity case.  This has been a serious gift because between school debt and some mismanaged credit cards in our wild youth- we needed direction.  I am happy to report in a year and a half we have completely turned around our financial identity.  Today we have a positive net worth, no credit card debt and are two years from paying off our credit card debt.  All thanks to FG.

Money Tree

Photo by Eve Livesey. Check out additional photos by clicking on the image.

But this is not a gloating story!  This is a story where FG shares her 5 keys to financial freedom with you:

1) Live Below Your Means. Yep, you read that correctly.  Do not live at your means and certainly not above them.  Give yourself space so that you are not living paycheck to paycheck.  This allows for the other steps to be successfully enacted.

2) Build Liquidity. This refers to accruing savings.  The goal is to have 3-6 months of living expenses that doesn’t get touched unless it is a serious emergency.  After all, in these uncertain times who doesn’t want a cushion?

3) Avoid The Use Of Debt. Credit cards have their place.  And most of us can’t buy homes with cash up front.  But debt should be used sparingly and only when you have a repayment plan you can stick to.

4) Set Long Term Goals. This was the purpose of our meeting.  Creating plans to get you through each financial step helps to put things in perspective.  Plus when you have a plan it is a lot easier to stay on track.

5) Be Generous. As you accrue don’t forget to consider where else your money can be put to good use.  It doesn’t take much to find a cause you can get behind.  Besides, giving is so much better than getting.  I promise!

Hope you found this info helpful!!  Check out Mint.com for some great tools to help you on your financial path!

We now return you to North On Harper’s regularly scheduled programming….


Comments

  1. Do you listen to “Marketplace Money” at all? I love the show and it always inspires me to make good financial decisions. You have really great pointers here (especially 4 and 5) and you’re so right, money does matter and isn’t not something to be reckless with.

  2. Happymother says:

    ALEXIS, you are so impressive!!! It is one of the most important things in live, to learn how to handle money. And I totally agree, giving is much better than getting!!!

  3. Alexis, this was great. If everyone could learn this early on, life would be so much easier. I know that for me, I shop online from sites that I know and love. It helps keep me from impulse shopping.

  4. You kids are so smart and so generous! Fairy/Godmommy is so proud of you both!

  5. When they are giving away all those stupid t-shirts and concert tickets with Credit cards in the Union on campus they don’t mention how you should handle paying them off! Great advice, Alexis!

  6. Thanks so much for all the positive feedback!!! Lukus and I have put a real emphasis on becoming financially “free” and it is been such an amazing journey. I would even say that it has helped us to grow closer as couple….

    Jade— It is totally nuts. I actually would argue that college should offer financial planning classes and it should be a core requirement. The average US citizen has something like $17,000 of credit card debt!! How insane is that?!?!?!?!?!

  7. This is the second time I’ve heard about mint.com this week…I think I need to check it out!

  8. I learned early on about credit cards when I was younger… When I grew older, I took my parent’s advice & only use my card when I’m travelling, this way you receive bonus points,rewards,sky miles, etc. & is actually a debit card (which is better for me)because it works as a credit card with the logos. Also, I love what you said, “Live below your means,” this is very important & smart! That’s why I’m totally into vintage/charity/thrift shopping, it’s saved me loads of money I’m sure! I actually never pay full-price for anything. Great post!

  9. The first point is the most important! I love Suzy Orman and she is always emphasizing on this point. Just because yoou have money to buy something you not neccasarily can afford to buy it.

  10. Great advice, and what a practical gift idea!

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