I recently read several articles at the beginning of the year that talked about ways to make 2014 your best year financially and I honestly thought to myself “Well there you go, a way to help guide your path to financial security”  -well I am certainly hopeful this will be the case because I cannot even begin to fathom continuing on my path of living paycheck-to-paycheck and constantly being behind the 8-Ball so to speak.

The first article I read was The 7-Habits of Highly Frugal People and the original can be found here

To Summarize the author’s points:

  1. Be Proactive – adopt the “I can” or “I will” mentality, take that first step by sharing with the people around you your goals of being financially frugal, and listen to yourself, no one knows you better than you.
  2. Begin With the End in Mind – “If you don’t visualize what you want, then you’re at risk of other people and external circumstances influencing your life” you can achieve this by defining your goals both long and short-term and then deciding how you are going to get there.
  3. Put First Things First – “What are the things you find most valuable and worthy to you?” and then recognize the effect your finances have on this and just say no to those things that will set your goals back.
  4. Think Win-Win – “See mutual benefits from all of your interactions” – this plays into the Keeping up with the Smiths mentality we sometimes adopt or when we get jealous of our peers thinking of “why do they go to so a-b-c while I am stuck always doing x-y-z” instead remember that you don’t always know the full story, for all you know they could be in debt up to their ears!  The second part of this though is to think like someone of great wealth – understand the very difference between possessions and net worth, know those things that are collecting wealth vs. those things that are just that THINGS
  5. Communication – “To effectively communicate, you need to first understand” remember that you are not the only person in your life – your decisions affect not just you, but those around you – so you need to communicate your goals and desires and in turn listen to the goals and desires of those around you
  6. Synergize – “Creative Cooperation – working as a team to find new solutions to existing problems” – do you constantly find yourself repeating the same financial mistakes? (um I am guilty of this) Then work with those close to you to find new ways of fixing the mistakes…and maybe even surround yourself with other frugal people.
  7. Sharpen the Saw – there’s four stages to this; Physically – eating better, exercising, maybe building that vegetable garden you always talked about (this will in turn save you money at the grocery store); Emotionally – interacting socially with others will help you build relationships and keep you from feeling isolated; Mentally – exercise your mind by reading and learning all you can about all things finance and/or any topic that interests you; and Spiritually – spend time with nature by taking hikes, meditation, and connecting with your inner spiritual self.

These are just some of the steps you can take to begin thinking differently about your finances.

What changes will you make in 2014 to your finances to become more financially independent?

  1. I changed my withholding on my W-4 so I can get more money in each check. I’m also saving $40 each week in employer sponsored deferred comp. And hopefully adding a little to my Roth IRA.

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