Who doesn’t love getting gifts? I know that I look forward to getting some sweet swag every year on my birthday. This year I got tickets to Stevie Wonder and an amazing sketch of me holding hands with Will Smith (be still my heart!) from my friends.
Some gifts you have to give yourself. While yes, your friends and family are there for your Will Smith-related needs, something like long term financial planning is going to have to come from you. And don’t be fooled- long term financial stability is just as sexy as Will Smith is. I promise!
This year I personally decided to give myself the gift of debt freedom. Through eliminating debt I am giving myself a more stable financial footing. I am giving myself a more secure future. I am giving myself control over my income and finances.
A healthy financial future is one as free of worry and instability as possible. I think we all want to be secure in our finances, despite the changes that may and will come our way. The choices we make today affect the person we’re going to be tomorrow. Why not make the decision for tomorrow a positive rather than a negative?
This kind of gift doesn’t require a shopping spree at the mall. How can you gift yourself a healthy financial future? It’s actually kind of easy and the kind of gift you’ll love for years to come.
Think about your life as it is. What do you love about it and what would you change? Are you happy in your town but not in your job? Do you want to have a child in the next few years or spend some time traveling internationally? Knowing the answers to these questions and setting goals will help lead you in the direction you really want to go in.
Get Out of Debt
If you are in any debt (other than a house payment) get out of it ASAP. Consumer debt is just going to make everything else you want to do harder. Debt freedom is an incredible gift to give yourself. Like I mentioned above, debt freedom is really a gift of independence. You can control and own all your money. You don’t have to spend it on anything and you don’t owe it to anyone. It won’t hang over your head when you need to make other life and financial decisions. Getting rid of debt is the first and biggest step in a healthy financial future.
Saving money is the next step. If your debt load is small (under $10,000) and you’re on the younger side, you should prioritize debt payoff over saving. If you have a significant chunk of debt, save while also paying down debt. You can’t spend years at a time without saving money. Don’t just let your money pile up in a savings account either. Invest in the stock market and put your savings to work!
Build yourself a stable financial basis and suddenly the rest of your life will be smoother as well. If you have a really solid next egg of savings and investments and no debt you have a flexibility that those without those things don’t. With that background you can leave a job where you’re unhappy or switch to a less stable career. You can take risks that those shackled to debt can’t.
Knowing what you want and how to get there is the path to success in any aspect of life. Knowing that you want a healthy future means making good choices today. Give yourself the gift of being good with money and set yourself up for a long and happy financial life!
How are you gifting yourself a healthy financial future?