First things first

Copy of Character versus personality (1)

To live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There’s no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it’s all right to say no when necessary and then focus on your highest priorities.  – Stephen Covey

Putting “first things first” is making sure to always do the most important and critical things first and developing this as a success habit. Not only is this important for achieving more but it is proven that both stress and procrastination is caused by delaying the things you gut tells you must be done first. Of course it is easy to know you should “put first things first” and harder to actually consistently do it which is what we will look at here.  Continue reading

Day 31 / 31 Set Goals and Visualize your Dreams

Day 31: Set Goals and Visualize your Dreams
Day 31: Set Goals and Visualize your Dreams
Day 31: Set Goals and Visualize your Dreams

Congratulations!! You’ve made it to the last day of the 31 Day Challenge to Financial Excellence! Some days might have been easier and others more difficult, but you held on and continued until the end. That’s a good sign as it not only means that you’ve probably made some huge progress in many of your financial areas, it also indicates that you are much more likely to appreciate the progress you’ve made and to keep up giving financial planning a prominent place in your life.

And that is also the very last challenge of this series: to set goals and to visualize your dreams in order to keep moving forward even now you’ve come to an end of the 31 Days. Continue reading

Day 30 / 31 Your Children & Finances

Day 30: Your Children and Finances
Day 30: Your Children and Finances
Day 30: Your Children and Finances

Whether you have children on your own, grandchildren or (adopted) nieces and nephews or plan to have children at some point in the future, you can play an important role in educating these children financially, especially taking into consideration how little most schools incorporate personal finance into their curriculum.

Save money for your children

The first thing to do, is to set aside some money in a savings or investment account (again it doesn’t matter how much or little) so you can start growing some money for your children. Not only will this once they are a little older give you a great topic to discuss with them to show them the power of compound interest, it also makes for a great 18th, 21st or wedding gift. Continue reading

Day 29 / 31 Give to Charity

Day 29Day 29 of the day Challenge to Financial Excellence
Day 29: Give to Charity

I think we all appreciate that we “should” give to charity and help improve the lives of others and make this world a better place.

Giving to charity does not have to cost you hundreds of dollars a year. It is just like saving money: start with it early, even if you can only contribute $1 a month, or $10 a year. Not only is that still $10 a year, it also gets you into the habit of giving, so that every time you have a little more money available, it will be easy to also increase that contribution, even if it is by just a small amount, to make space for it in your budget and to remember that there are so many who are less fortunate than you and to whom your (however small) contribution can make a considerable difference. Continue reading

Day 28 / 31 Celebrate your Victories

Day 28: Celebrate your Victories
Day 28: Celebrate your Victories
Day 28: Celebrate your Victories

During the past few weeks and in the next weeks, months and indeed years, you hopefully will have and will continue to set new financial goals. Setting goals is one thing, but achieving them is a whole different matter. Goals are usually easy to set and difficult to achieve and require real commitment and dedication. As you continue on your journey to financial excellence, your goals might become bigger and more abstract which in turn makes it more difficult to see your daily efforts paying off.

You can make goals more tangible by not focussing on the end goal but on smaller milestones along the way, making it easier to see progress.. Then – and here is the most important part – you should celebrate your victories. Once you have got together half, a quarter or even just 10% of your $10,000 savings goal – celebrate. Continue reading

Day 27 / 31 Organize your Administration

Day 27: Organize your Administration
Day 27: Organize your Administration
Day 27: Organize your Administration

Now that you have almost got to the end stage of the 31 Day Challenge to financial excellence and have hopefully made huge progress on various areas of your financial life, one of the worst things is to have your finances all in order and then not being able to find important financial documents when you need them, such as insurance policies, warranties, bank statements or income stubs for your tax return. 

Having a proper, up-to-date and easy to understand filing system, does not only guarantee less stress and time lost when you are looking for things, it also ensures you do not waste money for example on a new product if your old one still has a guarantee on it. It allows you to quickly check you still have the right insurance, update your assets, debts and cash flow and makes is easy to check your credit card statements are all correct. Continue reading

Day 26 / 31 Update your Estate Plan

Day 26: Update your Estate Plan
Day 26: Update your Estate Plan
Day 26: Update your Estate Plan

Today’s challenge may not be the most cheerful of the ones to busy yourself with, but estate planning should be high up on your priority list of financial planning, no matter how old or young you are.

Estate planning is about taking the necessary steps now to arrange for what will happen to your inheritance for when you pass away as well as making arrangements for who is to make key decisions in case you no longer can.

There are 6 key parts you should arrange as part of your estate planning, which include: Continue reading