The 100 steps mission to financial independence has hopefully propelled you into the world of money savviness and wisdom. Every step has taught you a new skill or raised your awareness on a specific personal finance concept and has thereby expanded your knowledge on money-related issues. I sincerely hope that you have been completing every single step along the way and that your efforts are paying off and that you see your debt decreasing, your income increasing, your net worth improving or your financial security in the form of insurance or pensions getting better. The plethora of topics that have been covered in the many steps has made you an insider on saving, investing, pensions, income and much more!
Although we’re getting to the end of this mission, it is certainly not the end of your own financial journey. In order to now stay on top of your finances and to keep putting your financial situation as one of the main focus areas of your life, it is of major importance to keep expanding your knowledge about money and personal finance. Reading books is a great way to do this and offers you all of the following:
Provides more (specific) information and teaches you new or more specific skills or habits to implement.
Allows you to keep up with the latest developments as new knowledge, information or practices emerge.
Keeps your motivation up – the more you know about a topic, the more enjoyable it becomes to put it into practice, the more likely you are to keep budgeting, saving and investing.
With this in mind, I believe reading personal finance books is a key part of achieving financial independence. To start you off, below is my own personal top-5 books on money: Continue reading →
A difficult question that many people on their mission to financial independence quickly encounter is “where they should get their money to work for them”: You’ve managed to cut down a little on your expenses, or to up your income or earnings from a side hustle. But the question as to what to do with the extra money you now have remains. Let’s review some of the avenues on how to “make money with your money” that we have looked at on this mission:
Paying off debt – saves you money on interest and compounded interested paid over the years.
Saving – generates money due to interest received and the power of compounding interest over the years.
Investing – generates money due to capital gains, interest received or dividends.
Pensions – builds up the income you’ll receive after your retirement age
Personal capital – increases your earning potential as a professional or entrepreneur.
These are the most common strategies to pursue in order to leverage what your money can do for you.
But where to start? Say you saved $100 this month and that you are happy to invest this money into your future and future earnings, where do you actually put this money? Which of the above options do you choose? And how do you mix these strategies?
If you haven’t yet fully read the previous steps on the above mentioned strategies, I invite you to read those first before continuing reading this step, to better understand all the pros and cons of each strategy. Just come back once you’re done!
The question of where to allocate your money doesn’t have to imply an “either …or…” situation. You can start investing whilst still having a mortgage. You’ll want to save an emergency fund together whilst still paying off credit card debt. And once you start investing in your personal capital, you’ll likely want to keep that up on a fairly regular basis and the fact that you are investing in the market doesn’t rule out this option. Continue reading →