This is the one we all do, right? We plan financially for our futures by investing, saving, budgeting or all of the above. We deprive ourselves of that new car, new house, big boat, new motorcycle, new furniture, etc, etc, etc. We do all this because we’re good financial planners and we want to plan for that rainy day. Actually, financial planning is a smart idea. If done right, we may be able to plan for our financial future and still have a little fun today.

Personally, I worked many jobs and continued to increase my salary, but didn’t really change my position in life. I was still barely paying the bills and living from paycheck to paycheck. It took me years to realize that I needed to track more than my expenses. To get ahead, I needed to create and track my assets, and then it made it easier to reject the temptations of buying more of those liabilities I have been buying in the past. I learned that a job will feed you today, investments feed you for life! Once I “got it” everything changed for me. I spent 23 years living paycheck to paycheck. In less than five years after using the basic strategy below, I was able to leave my company, invest in real estate full time AND write a book! You don’t have to wait 23 years…START NOW!

1. Probably the most important step, and certainly the step you should take first, is to figure out how much you can afford to spend. If you haven't set up a budget that shows you how much you're spending on everyday things, now is the time to do it. It’s hard to get rich quickly but it is easy to get rich slowly. The greatest use of money is to secure freedom; freedom from want, from dependence, from boredom. Your goal is to provide that freedom for yourself and your family. Eventually, you will spread that “freedom” and assist others to reach that level.

2. Now that you have begun to track your spending and are making money, don’t forget the basics. Save 10% in a savings account, 10% investing (real estate and business ventures) and 10% for charity. The charity element is ESSENTIAL! The pure gratification and ability to make a difference in this world through monetary contributions and volunteering your services to help others is indescribable and life changing. As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life you want if you help others get what they want.”

3. Continue to track your progress with your new “financial statement”. This will be your new report card that you will use for the rest of your life…so make sure it is a FRIENDLY report with many HAPPY assets!
To create your personal financial statement, list the value of your assets on one side of the paper and the total of what you owe (your liabilities) on the other side. You subtract one from the other and that is how you come up with your net worth.
Please understand, it is not important how much or little you have, it is important that you keep track!

Benefits of keeping track:
1. Important for taxes.
2. Builds your own sense of self worth.
3. It keeps you on track toward your financial goals – see how far you have come.
4. Helps you resist major purchases that would take away from your future financial independence.

You now own the essential “tool kit” to ensure that your future is filled with wealth and happiness! Don’t forget to share you “new found” wealth and happiness formula with others. Be a wealthy and successful "Dream Giver".

Author's Bio: 

Joe Kahler is widely recognized as a leading expert on helping young adults successfully transition from home to being “out on their own”. His latest work has recently been assembled in his book, Out On My Own…Now What? Tips and Insights So You Won’t Be Left Hanging in the “Real World”!

Joe received his undergraduate degree from Whittier College in Social Sciences and his Masters in Education from Arizona State University. His experience includes teaching, coaching, running numerous businesses, investing, selling insurance and real estate AND attending numerous, personal, “hard knocks” training classes!

Joe Kahler’s knowledge of his subject is thorough, and his expression is passionate and humorous.