A way to live an inspired life is to be financially secure. I am not talking about being a millionaire or anything. However, it is essential to know that you can pay your bills, travel, retire comfortably, and take care of emergencies as they arise.
Growing up, I was told don’t worry about money; my husband would provide the family funds. Well, I am over 50 and never married. That was terrible advice which I am glad I did not fully take to heart. I have known many women who are financially insecure because they expected to be married and did not plan for their financial future. They expected to be taken care of by a husband that still has not found them.
I am not a financial expert, but I have learned a few hard lessons over the years. The purpose of this article is to get you thinking about your financial future so you can live the inspired life you want to live.
Prepare for Your Inspired Life
The most important thing is to create a financial plan that includes what you want your future to look like. Do you want to purchase a house or plan to rent, how many times do you plan to replace your car, do you want to take vacations each year, and want to adopt a child. These are just some suggestions for a financial plan for you to think about. The idea is to know what you need money to create a budget to accomplish the inspired life you want to live.
Some sound advice I received when I started working was,
- put half of every raise toward your retirement,
- save at least 10% of each paycheck
- spend less than you make.
This was great advice and served me well. I would add a few other actions to this list that will help build your financial portfolio.
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Avoid debt
- Give to charity
- Seek professional advice when needed.
Having a financial plan and a budget will allow you to control your money. I don’t think there is one best way to budget, figure out what works for you and stick with it. I found Christine Luken on LinkedIn, she is a financial coach for single women. Crown Financial Systems provides guidance on budgeting and managing finances. Another resource is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace University.
Donate to a charity. It is a good habit to build. The Bible in Malachi 3 tells us to give a tithe, or 10% of our earnings, to God, and he will bless us. I have found this to be true. It is good to bless others who have less than you do, include giving in your budget.
Seek Help if Needed
The other piece of advice is to seek the advice of a finance professional. If you need help, ask for it. There are several books and websites available to provide support. You may want to hire a certified financial planner—a word of warning, not everyone who says they know how to manage finances does. Check out their credentials before trusting someone.
When I was in my mid 30’s, a person who claimed to be a financial planner working with a well-known company offered to help me get rich. He said he could make me lots of money if I worked with him. I was interested and offered a bit of my savings to see if he could double the money as promised. He refused. He would only take me on as a client if I signed over my entire retirement fund to him, that he would more than double. I did not take him up on his offer.
When I looked into his background, he had no formal education in finances and had only been at his job for about a month. There are boards now that certify financial planners. They require their members to have specific training and meet particular requirements. Before you allow someone access to your money, check their credentials and get recommendations.
Plan the inspired future you want and how you will get there.