Put some action to the plan! Raise ’em up!

The month of January is winding down already.  It’s time to make sure you are putting some shoe leather on your monetary plans for 2014.  Get on the computer and increase the percentage that you are saving in your company retirement plan.  Retirement age will get here faster than you realize, and cost of living expenses only go up.  Get yourself ready.  Raise your long term savings and investments.

A customized plan is best, and the success certainly depends on the amount of time you have for the money to be working for you, your current investment balance and the average returns of those investments.  A good general rule of thumb though is a goal of saving 10% long term gives you a shot at maintaining your lifestyle in retirement.  Saving less than 10% and you will likely be dependent on family or government programs to provide support.  Savings of 15-20% would give you a better opportunity to have more disposable income available for more than just getting by in retirement.

So how much did you save in 2013 towards your long term savings?  And now give yourself a push to increase that amount in 2014.  Increase it as much as is realistic and maintainable.  Look at it quarterly to see if you have room to sock away more.  One step at a time is all it takes to make progress. Raise ’em up!

What you focus on becomes larger in your life

Debt-FreedomWhat you give your focus to becomes larger in your life.  This is true for relationships, finances, health and anything else you can think of – both positive and negative.  If you give your attention and focus to your finances, you will find yourself looking for ways to improve the matter.  You will find yourself learning about money.  You will be more conscious of what things cost.  You will pay more attention to what you spend and how you spend it.

If you ignore money thinking that the problems will go away by themselves – you will create a bigger problem because you will neglect details that cost you money.  You will miss payments and be charged with late fees and increased interest rates.  What you ignore, atrophies, and weeds come in and choke out what little life there was in the matter.

Consider your finances a garden of your own making.  Right now it may be out of control, but you can take the time to weed out and uproot the things that destroy it (creating more debt, living above your means, ignoring financial lessons, pretending it doesn’t exist, trying to keep up appearances, failing to focus on how to make it better).  Decide to give your financial garden some livable boundaries, then spend time tending to it daily.

Apply your focus here, and you can make a difference in your financial life.  Take control of  your financial life.  Tell your money where to go before you get it in your hands.  Give your money an assignment and hold it accountable to work for you.