Jobs go away. Industries shrink. Debt gets out of control and your family can quickly face a harder future than anyone thought just a few short years before.
Millions of American families are often not ready for hard times, but hard times do come.
Many Americans have been on a gifted path for a long time. Seemingly gone were the days of the talked about “Great Depression.” It seemed that house prices would always go up and there would always be a market pushing values higher and higher. Jobs and innovation seemed to spring from the U.S. and it seemed the good times would never end…until 2007.
Financial messes. Foreclosures. Job loss. It has been a mess for the rich, but the not rich are much worse off. No one will bail us out. We must do what the best Americans have always done: Pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get rollin’. The only way to do that is to develop your on regular and steady plan for saving and investing out of each and every paycheck your family receives.
There is real worry about jobs, economy, world commerce and the so called “free trade” that ties the world’s countries closer and closer to each other. I remember the days of old when they talked about America leading the world. That has now been replaced by language about protecting the levels we see today.
National debt is out-of-control and many households are flush with debt of all kinds. This debt is the #1 killer of wealth-building in the middle class. When you hear people talking about the middle class going away, that means all these families with debt will fall faster and harder in the near future than you might think.
We must attempt to encourage families in the United States to develop a low debt or even free-of-debt philosophy.
How do you start on a path to no debt?
If you have a job today, you should understand that saving regularly out of your paycheck before it settles into a checking account is essential. Saving money regularly is not optional.
Saving money out of each paycheck when you get paid is not optional (notice this is repeated). People who think that is true will easily fit into a new class of American population: The recently unemployed and troubled former middle class.
If you have to begin with our 1% Savings Plan, do that. It will allow you to begin saving very small amounts and grow those amounts over the course of a reasonable period of time into appropriate amounts of regular savings. Read our previous blogs on the 1% Savings Plan or check it out at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com.
You should have or be working toward the proper emergency savings fund for today’s world: That is 15 to 18 months of your family expenses in actual money market savings and certificates of deposit.
Once you have your emergency savings underway, you should get your family together and focus on the twins of wealth-building as a family:
1. Reduction and elimination of debt.
2. Investing in assets on a regular basis.
You should participate in your company 401k regularly if it is available to you.
You should begin investing in a Roth IRA regularly.
Your checking account is not really your money. People who focus on how much money they make or how much money is in their checking account are lost souls.
These blogs are not for fun – if you have a job and things are good, sooner or later you will have temporary lulls in good happenings. If you develop your steady plan now, the future will take care of itself. You can build savings and then wealth, but you must begin now.
Focus on what percentage of your regular income you are saving on a regular basis. If you are not saving today, you must begin.
By focusing on saving and investing regularly with your entire family, you will make sure your goals are clear and everyone works together to achieve important financial goals for your family, but you will also let your children know that regular saving and investing is both important to you as the parent and essential as a “normal” part of life. This will protect your children long after you are sitting at the kitchen table together.
You’ve heard time is money. Money is options for your family. Get to work. Start right now. The family you save will be your own.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
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