Your Success Relies Heavily On Your Desire To Become Successful
I can’t hand you the keys to financial success but I can share with you our key financial resources.
Over the past two months, I’ve had more emails from readers than I have since I started this blog.
What our world is currently going through and the fear of economic and personal crisis has sparked anxiety.
In all fairness, I don’t blame anyone who was not prepared but I certainly praise them for educating themselves.
Removing Barriers With Financial Resources
At the beginning of our debt-free journey, the only financial resources we used stemmed from our online bank account.
Although both of us had savings from previous house sales we rented a room and earned a bit over minimum wage.
At the time we were both working full-time jobs and were still paying a vehicle debt that my wife took on 4 years prior.
That monthly cost alone was close to $500 and a thorn in our side although a reality for most Canadians.
She had to get to work as did I and walking or taking public transit was not an option.
It was common practice for us to review what deposited and withdrawn from our bank to make sure the numbers were accurate.
I think it’s safe to say that most Canadians do this in the very least as part of protection to track their cash trail.
But is it enough?
The short answer is no.
Not if you want personal success that teeters on the debt-free side.
There are many other important financial resources that are critical to reaching financial stability.
Money Is Not The Only Success Factor
These days friends wonder how we are able to run a household when I’m the only person who works.
They might not come out and ask but there have been round-a-bout questions such as, “It must be tough with one person working” or “You must earn a good income so your wife can stay home”.
We’ve heard it all and to be honest, how much money we earn is only a small portion of personal success when you’re using the right financial resources.
There’s a difference between a successful person and personal success so it’s important to understand how they relate.
A successful person achieves success first through personal success which means invest in yourself first and the rest will come.
Education is an example.
If you’re not familiar with finance and are worried about not understanding how to budget, then learn.
Investing in yourself is the best way to increase your odds of achieving your goals.
1. Financial Goals Worksheet
When setting yourself up for financial success you’ll want two things to begin your journey.
2. Plan and a back-up plan
I remember when our financial advisor showed up at our room rental on a scooter.
He was just a young guy who used to drive a car but was now tooting around on what seemed to be a genius ride.
Not only was his insurance cheaper but the petrol to run the scooter was far less expensive.
I never laughed at the guy because I knew he had that frugal-mindset just from talking to him.
He started out with the financial company learning to become an advisor and now owns his own multi-million dollar company.
I wasn’t shocked to read about his success because the kid was a go-getter and didn’t let much stand in his way.
My point is that it’s great to have this grandiose plan but if there’s nothing backing it up, you’re doomed.
Not many of you planned for Covid-19 but look at what’s happening now.
Even businesses are suffering the consequences of not having the means to finance the drop in sales.
I know one restaurant owner who re-mortgaged their home and put it on the line to open their restaurant.
So, not only would they lose their livelihood but they’d lose the family home if everything went south for them.
That’s a pretty big brick to hold on your shoulders.
Talk about taking a risk without wearing a pair of underwear.
You put yourself in a position where you’re walking around naked until and IF you become successful.
Only then is when you can pull up your pants and worry less, but that doesn’t happen overnight.
2. Creating a Financial Plan A and B
Just like a business on a personal level we have to tuck away an emergency plan of action.
The what-ifs are more than necessary and not meant to scare anyone but to remind us that we have to hold our own.
Although the government is stepping in to help as many Canadians as they can financially it may not be enough.
We have to be self-reliant and understand how important financial resources are to becoming financially stable.
You would have thought since we were both working and had money stashed away that we’d be a financial success story.
That’s not the case especially when we deposited a large portion of our Canadian funds into our mortgage downpayment.
Money was tied up in the UK and in our retirement investments including pensions that we could not touch.
Financial liquidity and investments meant for the long-term are two entirely different things.
- Our financial plan A- Buy a house that we could afford
- Our financial plan B- Buy a house that we could afford on one income
It was that simple and since had been doing research about buying a house in Canada and mortgage lending we had the ball in the right court.
Before buying our house we had to get married and there were no big wedding bashes either.
You have to think about how debt will affect you in the event of certain situations.
How will your debt repayment plans if _______________?
Fill in the blank as it’s nothing new that I haven’t blogged about before.
- You lose your job
- Changing careers with a lower income
- Go back to school
- Start a family
- Emergency situations
The idea of a Plan A and Plan B for us became clear the more we worked together to uncover the hidden problems facing many Canadians today.
Spending more than they earn and even though awareness is out there it continues to happen day after day.
Why? Because debt bails out debt with more debt.
Payday loans are widely available, credit cards, banks, and personal loans either help or lend to the debt problem.
What you get is nothing more than revolving credit until everything crashes and people burn.
It’s always only a matter of time if little to no effort is put in.
So, what should you do? What did we do?
We brought out the big guns and pulled up our pants once and for all.
3.Using A Monthly Budget
Freedom from not owing money for debt that you’ve created is something that feels so good it hurts but in a cool way.
By this I mean you still get that ache in the pit of your stomach because you’re never really safe however you have power.
You have the power to say I’m in control and I have choices I can make and that stems from using a budget.
It was the budget and always will be the budget that saved us from a life of debt worry.
If you’re reading CBB for the first time and wondering how a budget can help you succeed, you’ve come to the right place.
For those of you who have read my countless articles about budgeting and are STILL not convinced, I can’t help you.
You see, we used financial resources that were available to us because trying something was better than doing nothing.
It’s comparable to putting two slices of cake in front of you, one being chocolate which you know you love, and the other carrot cake with caramel sauce.
You know you like caramel but are not a fan of carrot cake.
What would most people do?
They’d eat the chocolate because they know they love it.
However, the carrot cake with caramel sauce may just change the overall taste and texture of something you have no interest in eating.
Moral of the story, give it a try, you might like it.
Just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s the right decision especially if that same piece of cake isn’t exciting you.
You must be excited about personal finance and testing boundaries with-in reason is the only way to find your happiness.
Continuing to eat the same boring piece of chocolate cake not only keeps you in a safe but perhaps insecure financial situation it holds you back.
Review my 10 Step Mini-Budgeting Series and use our free financial resources to get started.
4. Other’s Financial Success Stories
When you teach yourself financial discipline it’s only then you want to dig deeper into financial success stories.
Let’s just say that you start a diet and you begin to see how your body is losing weight.
Your confidence increases and you become almost hyper-aware to all things related to a successful weight loss journey.
The same goes for finding the best financial resources whether it be online, in-person, or in print to fuel your fire.
Keeping up with what was happening with our bank Simplii Financial and government info at Canada.ca was not to be missed.
When I first started blogging about finance I followed Canadian bloggers who I felt had the same mindset as myself.
Spend less, earn more, invest, and kill debt while enjoying life to the fullest.
- The Million Dollar Journey – Building Wealth Through Saving
- My Own Advisor – Saving And Investing My Way To A Million Dollar Portfolio
- Rob Carrick– Globe and Mail Personal Finance Columnist
I chose well since both bloggers are still blogging and Rob is still writing for The Globe and Mail battling the financial wars.
My advice is that if you’re looking for online financial resources that fuel your fire find people that you can connect with.
Stop searching for the magic pill and educate yourself from someone who has lived what you’re living and has broken free.
These are the best free financial resources to connect with online.
I often share financial success stories of readers on CBB because we relate, others might relate and it’s a time to celebrate.
These are the winners who understand that financial success isn’t how big your bank account is.
5. Free Financial Resources We Use
Besides setting goals, budgeting ,and following other successful Canadian finance bloggers we have become obsessed with tracking.
Take that lightly but in a financial sense, it has been critical to know where our money is going.
Years ago when I started this blog the Financial Resources page consisted of our free excel budget spreadsheet and a basic budget.
Over time we created a budget binder which only seemed right given the blog name.
To be fair one blog post I’ve never written was how to put a budget binder together which is in the making.
I want everyone to see just how easy it is one of the most valuable financial resources to add ammunition against debt.
Our budget binder consisted of free printable worksheets that helped us to :
- Stay organized
- Understand our net worth
- Know where the money was going
- Detail where the money was coming from
- Become Results-driven
Many of you have downloaded and printed our free financial resources and changed them to suit your needs.
Whatever you do with our financial resources to bring you personal success should be meaningful.
So, if you print them and are not using them consistently they either add no value or you are not seeing the value.
What I mean is, they won’t work themselves and they take time to see results, similar to dieting.
Top 10 Free Financial Resources To Get You Started
Let’s look at my top 10 budget binder printable picks from our free financial resources page.
- Monthly Net Worth Tracking Sheet
- Debt Repayment Plan
- Daily Expense Tracking Sheet
- Credit Card Tracking Sheet
- Monthly Grocery Tracking Sheet
- Money-Saving Chart
- Monthly Bill Payment Schedule
- Weekly Expense Report
- Overtime Tracking Sheet
- Monthly Medical Expense Tracking Sheet
Financial Resources- Must Read Books For Beginners
One of the first finance books that I ever read was, “The Millionaire Next Door” which set the framework for this journey.
It’s about the secrets of the wealthy and worrying about what’s in your backyard and no one else’s.
A highlight of our budgeting journey so vivid that I no longer care what anyone else has.
Enjoy your cottage life, boats, cars, a large house, and endless trips around the world.
It’s a freedom that comes before you start your budgeting journey because you’ve eliminated our worst enemy, comparison.
Another favourite is “The Wealthy Barber” by Canadian author David Chilton which is a common-sense approach to financial planning.
This is a simple finance book to read and definitely one worth exploring although the savings ideal has slightly changed since but the follows the same premise.
The book was followed up with “The Wealthy Barber Returns” an update to the original.
Financial Resources Recap
Your journey towards financial success begins now.
- Invest in yourself through financial education
- Understand your personal financial situation
- Get organized
- Budget yourself debt-free
- Create goals and a plan A and B
- Hang out and learn from like-minded successful people
Discussion: What financial resources have helped you make significant strides throughout your journey?
Leave me your comments below as I’d be interested in reading them.