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I recall my journey to launching summit of coin. It was December 2014 and I was listening to a podcast. The podcast was an interview with Mr. Money Mustache. This sent me down a journey of reading every article that MMM had written and peaked my interest in writing a blog detailing our journey to financial independence or as I like to call the Financial Summit.
Being a teacher, I waited until summer to prep ten articles for the blog and develop the website. After a month of prep, I officially launched this blog on July 13, 2015.
During the past two years, my writing has evolved and I have learned even more about finances. It is amazing at the amount of topics that can be covered in just the realm of finances. It is also amazing to meet and read about all the different perspectives found in the financial blogging community.
Since this is the completion of the second year of Summit of Coin, I wanted to review some of the big points I believe are important for everyone to be successful financially! I will also list some of my favorite blogs that have caught my attention the past two years.
What are the most important principles to remember about finances?
Number 1 - You can't blame anyone for your mistakes or your errors. There comes a time when you must grow up and start controlling your own life. Don't let your life happen to you, instead happen to your life. Make the choice to get out of debt or take on a second job. You can't just sit there and expect good things to happen to you, get out there and start making good things happen to you! - Further Reading: You Are Not Owed Anything
Number 2 - Debt can only hurt your financial future. I have countless articles about this topic, but the best thing you can do for your future is GET OUT OF DEBT! - Further Reading: Steps to Financial Independence: Step 2
Number 3 - Always have a safety net. There is no excuse for going back into debt, because you don't have any savings for emergencies! - Further Reading: Americans Not Prepared for Emergencies
Number 4 - NEVER buy a new car/truck/van. The loss alone in depreciation, will require you to work longer. A purchase of a new car will eventually take away your freedom to do what you want with money. Further Reading: You Need a New Car, The Myth and Three Reasons We Keep Our Old Cars
Number 5 - Sit down each month and track your expenses...in other words BUDGET! I have kind of switched from budgeting to tracking. My wife and I are pretty good about keeping our spending low, therefore we look at and track our spending in the middle of the month and adjust our budget based on our spending. You need to take time to find out where you money is going. Just cutting spending in a couple of categories will save you tons of money each month. Further Reading: The Importance of Keeping Track of Your Finances
Number 6 - INVEST for your future! This means that every month you should be saving for retirement. The fastest way to increase wealth is to save as much as possible each and every month! Further Reading: It's National Save for Retirement Week (In October)
Number 7 - You must understand the reason for your money! Building wealth is not a greed thing, but a security thing. You want to have enough money to live off securely in case you lose a job or in case you want to leave your job and try a second career. Having wealth allows you the freedom to make the choices you want.
Number 8 - Track your NET WORTH. This is one of the best ways to track your progress each and every month. To calculate your net worth, add up all of your assets (retirement accounts, savings accounts, property, and other investments). and add up all of your liabilities (student loans, credit cards, mortgage, and any other loans). Then subtract you assets from your liabilities (hopefully it's a positive number). I like to look at the Net Worth statement, because it shows me our progress towards our goal of financial freedom.
Number 9 - Don't forget about the importance of GIVING! I don't know about you, but I feel lucky that the Lord has trusted me with the money that he gives my wife and I. We have always thought it was important to use our money to give back to the community. Further Reading: Generosity
Number 10 - Live like the Millionaire Next Door. All of the nine principles listed above are things that the average millionaire does (not the ultra rich, fancy, flaunt it in your face type of rich people). These are you next door neighbors that drive used cars and live below their means for the security that wealth brings them. Start living like the millionaire next door and someday you will be that neighbor on your block! Further Reading: Rich Habits
There are many more principles that I could place on this list, but I picked ten rock solid principles as a reminder of the simple things that can lead to a great reward. For anyone that wants more reading on finances, below is a list of blogs that I read and recommend that you should read also!
- Mr. Money Mustache - MMM retired at the ripe old age of 30 and started mrmoneymustache.com. He did this by following simply principles of saving nearly 3/4 of his income and living for the future. One of My Favorites: The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement
- Millennial Money Man - M$M was a band director for two years. He was unhappy as a teacher and quit his job after becoming debt free. One of My Favorites: Sacrifice: An Artform in Itself
- Keep Thrifty - Chris writes about trying to get his family to debt freedom by 2020. They are using frugality and minimalism to accomplish this task. One of My Favorites: How Much is Your Stuff Costing You?
- Dollar Diligence - Jacob is a high school teacher who paid off $33,000 in 18 months. He details his journey to dollar diligence. One of My Favorites: My Biggest Money Mistake
- Budgets Are Sexy - J. Money makes personal finance cool, where his motto is, "Where Personal Finance Nerds are Cool." I really enjoy his insight on all of his Net Worth Update articles. The latest: Net Worth Update: $648,316
- Money Boss - J.D. Roth has been blogging for a while, starting and eventually selling Get Rich Slowly. Years later, he is diving back into the financial blogging at Money Boss. One of my Favorites: The Key to Financial Freedom
- Montana Money Adventure - Ms. Montana writes great inspirational articles and details her families expenses as they experiment a year off of work every decade and now they are jumping into the Early Retirement. Two of My Favorites: Taking a Year Off Work and Buying a Lifestyle
I'm sure there are other great blogs out there, but these are the ones that I read regularly. Heck, I am even excited to read some of the new articles I stumbled onto while I was linking the pages to this post.
As we celebrate two years at Summit of Coin, I want you to think about the following quote:
Become excellent in your personal finances by developing habits that will lead you to financial security. It's one step and one habit at a time. It's 10 dollars saved today that could be $300 or even $1,000 saved in the future. You have to start sometime. Make it today.