Like most things worthy of our time, getting our finances in shape doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by making deliberate, good choices every day. Each choice might not seem like much but, on a cumulative basis, will have a lasting impact over the course of our lifetimes.
But, contrary to most advice we’re given, we don’t like to wait for the results. We look for the shortcut. The easy way out of debt. We grasp at the million dollar business idea that costs, well, a million dollars despite the evidence that says it will be a total flop. I should know.
Let’s say we toss our egos to the side for just a moment. And once we’ve done that, implement a regimen of daily activities that will absolutely guarantee our financial success. Would you do it? Without the thought of any visible gains in the short term but dramatic, life changing gains in the long-term?
FrugalDad lays out a simple, believable, and doable plan for getting a grip on your finances and your life. The first step—track your spending with a spending journal.
Journaling is a great way to introduce accountability into your life. Whether it is dollars or calories, keeping a journal of expenditures provides a way to keep track of your daily outgo. It also helps you identify trends that may be valuable in creating next month’s budget, or help in reducing a particular budget category.
I don’t use a physical journal (although that would probably make me more spending conscious). However, I do track my daily spending with MoneyWell, a personal accounting software package from NoThirst software for Mac. I can download my transactions automatically every day. No receipts required.
The next step is to jumpstart your cash inflow by creating passive income streams.
Passive income may be derived from things like interest accumulation, royalties, [or other] activities such as blogging, or selling e-book products online.
I recently wrote about a couple of creative income generating ideas. They aren’t completely hands-free but I think they could definitely be streamlined into something at least semi-passive .
My wife and I publish a planner that is “almost” passive. After someone places an order, we print the shipping label, grab an envelope in the closet, pack the product, and stick it out in our mail box for delivery.
The entire process takes less than five minutes. But, whenever we travel, we have to take the packaging and labels with us in case we get an order. Not too terribly inconvenient but it would be nice to have it completely automated—maybe in electronic format.
You can head over and read the rest of FrugalDad’s tips on how to improve your finances with daily activity.