10 Steps to Financial Freedom - A Course in Personal Finance
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The COURSE IS OPEN! I add new stuff regularly so keep an eye out (: the excel sheets have intuitive built-in formulas to help you quickly calculate your debt snowball, total expenses, interest costs, and loan amortization schedules.
Please feel free to write me and ask any questions! I will be happy to customize sheets for you if your computer is giving you a rough time. They are in excel format. I also have numbers for mac versions if you'd prefer to apple way! Just email and I will send them to you.
A little about me: I am a classic lifetime learner and jack of all trades. The fellas who podcast Freakonomics (Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt), Dave Ramsey, and Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad/Poor Dad) are my financial heroes.
Near my mid-twenties, a concern began to creep over me. I finished the degrees I sought to acquire, married, had my first child, and began to wonder about the future I was quickly approaching.
It would be a future involving a high debt-to-income ratio, one of minimum payments, murderous interest rates, tireless hours of work, and no savings.
I could NOT let this become my future. So I began researching, analyzing, and definitely obsessing over my finances. Our future is organized, bright, and now we have a plan that is easy to follow and even easier to maintain.
I wish the same for you and yours. The best way to receive is to give and I hope to give the tools necessary to simplify the struggles associated with developing a financial plan.
No gimmicks, no "too good to be true", and no "hacks" to financial freedom. Just the tried and true methods that anyone can follow in a short amount of time.
This course is a course designed for:
Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.
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Certificate of completion.
|Section 1: Quickly Automate your Expenses and Make Budgeting a Breeze|
WELCOME TO THE COURSE!
I am thrilled you have chosen me to help guide you through the chasm of finance, budgeting, debt pay, and asset building! Please let me know if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the downloadable content: lecture descriptions, excel sheets, PDF print outs are available within each lecture! Best of luck!
Let's start with your expenses! There is so much you can learn about how you spend money.
Log in to your checking account and any credit cards you may be using to pay for stuff. Find last month's statement and print it out. Get a few different color pens, or a set of symbols, and create a code for you to separate into the following categories:
Knowing the total amounts of automatic withdrawals is essential to having a grasp on the amount of money that needs to be in your account. The first step to getting out of debt and moving forward financially is making sure you plug up any drains on your income.
Once your debts and bill payments are laid out, the next step would involve calling each entity to either lower your interest rate or lower your overall costs.
|Quiz 1||2 questions|
So you've gone through and evaluated JUST HOW MUCH you spend each month on debts and reoccurring bills.
The next BIG thing you can do to help your financial situation is to go through one debt and one bill at a time and see if you can lower the corresponding interest rate (via refinance or negotiation) and/or lessen the services you have billed to your name (via canceling, lowering your packages/expectations, or negotiation).
The Zero-Balance Budget with Seven Categories (keeping it super simple, lots of categories will cause you lots of stress in the long run, you may even get discouraged and stop caring). Please add up your totals using last month's statement in each of the following:
|Quiz 2||2 questions|
This quiz involves automating your bank account to set each of your transactions to a particular budget (saves you hours and hours of time!) also learn about the one account you need NOW!
|Lecture 4||1 page|
There is no point to making a budget if you do not intend to actively stick to it! So to check your progress at the end of each week:
This will provide you the information you need to assess whether you're doing well or if you should cut back on a particular category.
You may not have known before JUST HOW MUCH money you spend week by week!
|Section 2: Let's Get you out of DEBT without Crushing your Soul in the Process|
|Lecture 5||1 page|
Using your monthly statements (provided by your lender), write in your statement balances for each month.
This step is critical for one purpose and one purpose alone:
From the perspective of a lender, it is better to have the debtor (you) make minimum payments that will only marginally decrease the principal balance on your loan.
If you do not see a decent drop month-to-month in your balance you should take the following steps:
You will expose so much about your lender's motives in this step!
|Quiz 3||5 questions|
Alright debtors, the dirtiest of the dirty little secrets kept by your lender is the "minimum payment". You may have noticed in the lecture that you have a debt or two that are not steadily decreasing each passing month...
This may be because the "minimum payment" set by your lender does not adequeately cover the cost of compound interest with your principal balance. They can lower your monthly payments all they want or calculate it in a way that ensures you will be paying this debt every month for all of your natural born life LEGALLY. It all depends on what you agreed to in your terms for repayment.
Why do this to you? Because they make money off of your naivety/ignorance. The longer you pay monthly, the more interest they can charge, and the more you pay overall.
In this quiz, we will look at your monthly payment to ensure you are paying what you need to stay ahead of these costs.
In the next lecture, we will take a look at what your debt will REALLY cost you long term (the total amount you pay for a debt including the compounded interest).
We've created your budget, taken a hard look at your bills/interest rates/debts, and ensured your minimum payments are sufficient. Now the depressing part... How much is your debt REALLY costing you?
|Quiz 4||4 questions|
Snowballing payments should be a necessary objective of your debt payoff plan. However!
You may be wondering which debt you should pay off first...
This quiz address the financial and psychological efficacy of each strategy!
A "debt snowball" involves taking each of your minimum payments and rolling them into one another as you pay each one off.
Let's say, for example, that the list below is a list of your monthly debt payments:
Debt #1: $25/month
Making your Debt #2 payment = $30 + $25 or $55 a month.
How much interest you say? Let's find out!
Here's the BIG excel sheet with the most detailed outlook on your amortization schedule, debt pay strategy, your debt snowball, and most important your DEBT FREE DATE!
|Section 3: Step-by-Step Goals to Guide you to Financial Freedom and Early Retirement|
To move forward financially and get out of the "rat race", a change in your mindset needs to occur. To facilitate that change I HIGHLY recommend you download the hyperlinked app.
Here is the gist:
Working for your money < Putting your money work for you.
You may think this is pretty obvious. If so, does your money work for you? In lecture 9 we will evaluate your current assets.
Here is your ultimate financial goal: To someday have enough “passive” income generating assets to pay your total monthly expenses.
Examples of “Passive Income” Opportunities:
To learn more, download that app and run through the material. It won't take long and you will learn so much about keeping your eyes open to incredible opportunities.
|Lecture 10||3 pages|
At the bottom (and to the right) of your "Monthly Debt Balances" excel sheet, you will find a list of steps to take to guide you along your path to financial freedom.
These steps include a combination of advice given from a large number of notable sources.
I personally have elected to follow these steps to the tee, however, you may choose to edit a few of these to meet your needs.
In reference to donating/tithing/or charity, if you are of the mind set "I AM the one in need here" or "I will give to charity when I can afford it" (very much my mentality up until 2013), I challenge you to run a little scientific experiment...
Look over the last three months and total up your monthly income. For just THREE MONTHS, actually donate 10% of your income and track your total income over this time period.
I cannot explain how or why it works, it just does. To receive you must first give. Try it out! You may be amazed by the results. If not, you can revert back to your original mind set.
Many people in a high debt : income situation tend to struggle with when to pay off debt and when to save. Use these steps as your guide.
SEE STEP 9 (PDF) for your general guideline!
|Lecture 11||1 page|
Incredibly similar to the "Debt Payment Schedules" we discovered in Lecture 5, the asset payment schedule will provide a snap shot of how much an asset will payout over the course of 30 years.
It is frequently advised that a small time investor have no more than 8 unique asset opportunities.
You should have a savings account in place along with a Roth IRA for each adult in the household.
Your goal is to continue adding to this portfolio (see Lecture 8 for when this should be done in comparison to paying off debts).
Thank you for joining me in this course please write if you have any questions or need help manipulating the cells on your excel sheets.
The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone is to keep LEARNING. But you already know that secret (:
Financial Planner for Next Generation Financial Planning and Management
I have a twisted obsession with creating intuitive excel sheets for maintaining finances. Once you automate your budget, staying on track is simple and takes very little of your time month to month.
The trick to financial freedom is that there is no trick. You need to make sure you are watching your spending, handling your debts, making good financial choices, and building your assets in the correct manner while keeping an eye open for "passive income opportunities".