1. Pay Yourself First

Ok, people don’t necessarily favor paying other people, but could you atleast pay yourself?

That’s right, the first step to mastering your money is starting with what you already have – save and invest 5-10% of your gross annual income.

2. Set Specific Goals

The idea: What you focus on, expands. What you pay attention to on a daily, weekly or monthly basis is where you will get your results.

Attributing to your savings can be easier with a purpose in mind. Are you saving for your first home, retirement at a certain age, a vacation, an investment?

The important thing is to be specific and write it out consistently – feed your freedom.

3. Maintain An Emergency Fund

People tend to confront things only when it becomes a problem, but don’t be one of those people.

Before you confront your new found savings with some new found spending, confront your emergency fund. Make sure you have at least three to six months worth of expenses saved to see yourself through difficult times.

4. Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

Trying to save while managing a large credit card balance can be difficult, but beneficial. If you’re credit card balance is about 19%, realize that paying off your debt is a guaranteed return of nearly 20%.

5. Insure Your Family Adequately

If you lack insurance, a major lawsuit, unexpected illness or death in the family can be  devastating financially. The key to having a truly successful insurance plan is not only protecting you, but your family as well.

6. Buy A Home

Many houses still appreciate at a rate of 6% to 8% annually and since 1968, the median price of single-family homes has gone up 300%.

Its important to also note here one of the common benefits from home ownership is that it entitles you to major tax breaks.

7. Take Advantage Of Tax-deferred Investments

A good tip for those who have employers – if you have the option to sign up for a tax-deferred investment plan like a 401(k) or 403(b), take it. One of the added benefits to this is also that most employers will even match your investment; now that is a deal.

8. Diversify Your Investments

Looking to manage risk and maximize your return? The answer is to diversify your investments.

The first step is to use three major classes to diversify these investments: cash, stocks and bonds.

9. Write A Will

To cap off the list, the simplest way to to insure your funds, property and personal assets as you wish is to make a will.

To begin, take an inventory of your assets, outline a plan and determine which friends and family you wish to pass your belongings.

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