As with most things, the first step is the hardest. Learning to walk, learning long division, learning piano, Spanish, dating, and personal finance all start with overcoming the fear of taking that first step.
The fact that you are reading this now means that you are ready. You are starting to figure out how to make your money make sense.
Want to jump ahead?
- Earning, Spending and Looking Ahead
- Building an Emergency Fund
- Employer Matching Contributions
- Paying Down Expensive Debt
- Setting Big Goals
- Preparing to Retire
- Seize the Day!
All of us at BodesWell have been where you are now. We all remember what life was like when the money part of our life was out of control.
None of us were born understanding personal finance. We didn’t grow up with perfect budgets. We’ve all struggled with earning enough, spending too much, and wondering if we were going to be able to live the life of our dreams. That struggle is why we made BodesWell.
Step 1 in BodesWell’s 7 Steps to Financial Independence is to figure out how much you are earning, how much you are spending, and what you want to do about it.
Most people know how much they are earning. If you are working full time, you know your current salary off the top of your head. You probably know how much you get paid each pay period after taxes and other deductions. If you are a freelancer, a contractor, part time worker, commissioned worker, or someone with a variable income, you have a rough idea of how much money you bring home every month.
If you don’t, that’s fine. Now is the time to figure out those numbers.
If you share bank accounts or financial responsibilities with someone else, you might not know that person’s income. That’s fine as well. If you do know how much they earn, you can choose to incorporate it into your plan or not.
While you can type those numbers into BodesWell, the easiest way to use our platform is to connect BodesWell directly to your financial institutions. This gives you a complete picture of your expenses and allows us to better suggest what to do next.
When you connect BodesWell with your banks and investment accounts, not only do we figure out your income sources, expenses per category, investment returns and debt payments, we keep your accounts updated automatically. So you’ll always know where you are in your journey to financial independence.
Part of the BodesWell platform are the BodesWell mentors. They will walk you through how to connect your accounts. They will alert you when we’ve lost a connection and when we need your help to make sense of a transaction.
Long gone are the days when you would have to pour over bank statements and add up rows of numbers. BodesWell will do this work for you now.
We will also project out what we think your income will be and estimate your future expenses. But only you can say what’s next for you and your life.
First, if you spend more than you earn, we highlight that and show goals to help you change that situation. Maybe you need to ask for that promotion you deserve? Maybe you need a new job that pays what you are worth? Or perhaps it’s time to start that side project? Maybe you are studying right now and planning for your career after graduation. Or maybe it’s best to reduce expenses and set yourself up for a richer life in the future?
In any case, BodesWell helps you plan your options and then reach your objectives.
So that, in a nutshell, is the first of 7 Steps to Financial Independence.
The next step is much, much simpler.