I recently wrote about “SAVING/INVESTING” # 4 of the FIVE key ingredients to Financial Peace and the recipe that I find most useful to get there.
To recap here’s the full list of the 5 KEY Ingredients once again:
- Simplifying your Life
- Eliminating Your Debt
- Saving/Investing/BUILDING WEALTH
As I wrap up this series I want to talk about Giving and why this is such an important part of the recipe.
When I work with clients I teach that once they arrive at a place in their life where there is MORE than enough, giving becomes something so beautiful.
Before we pull out the bowl to bake your way to financial wellness, we make sure you have built a small emergency fund of $1000-2500.
Then we move to eliminate all of your Non-Mortgage Debts.
AFTER that, we start intensifying the savings so you can build wealth. By now you have Your Fully Funded EMERGENCY FUND (3-6mo) completed.
You should be investing 15% of your household income into building retirement and/or savings. If you have a mortgage, you should be taking those extra “the debt is gone” payments and now be making extra payments on the principal each month and take the last step at crushing your debt. Yes, crushing even the mortgage. That’s a big one but believe me, once you’ve committed to the other steps and moved through them, this should be super exciting (and easier for you because you have more MONEY now!)
Once that’s done, you have truly arrived! Other than your living expenses and future planned expenses, you have EXCESS MONEY and this is where giving gets fun! Why? Because we now have more to share/give.
Now I would hope that you are already making ‘giving’ part of your normal budget.
Maybe you tithe of making a weekly offering to your place of worship. Maybe you give to your local food bank by dropping off food each month or through a cash donation a few times a year. Maybe you have a donations/giving envelope in play for things like sponsoring a friend who is doing a charity 5K, or for those yummy girl scout cookies that you can’t resist. (I know I have money in my giving envelope for that).
But beyond those things, imagine today, (even if you are not there yet) the things you might give if money were no object?
Would you think twice about booking a beach house on the beach to spend a full week with all of your kids, their spouses and your grandchildren?
Would you think twice about a monthly commitment to an organization whose mission is near and dear to your heart?
Would you give a little more when you are invited to a wedding and know the couple could use a little extra blessing because they took care of the event themselves?
Would you possibly set up a college fund for a grandchild or a scholarship at your Alum for a student who is trying to forge their way to higher education?
The ability to give is so beautiful. So take a few minutes because this ingredient is the icing on the cake!
Dream a little. Envision what you might do when you arrive here at this stage of your Financial Freedom Plan.
Again, remember that the BUDGET is the tool to making sure every dollar has a name and that your ability to give easier. If we TRACK our money we have more of it going where to tell it to.
If you are interested in sharpening your financial wellness timeline why not invest in a Financial Coach? (That’s me!)
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