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Put Your Long-Term Financial Goals on Auto-Pilot

Perhaps the greatest challenge, overall, to achieving long-term financial goals is the inability…or, more precisely, the unwillingness…to apply a set sum of money each month toward achieving them. The importance of understanding basic psychology, and our simple failings as people, can go a long way to helping us to appreciate the importance of “systematizing” our efforts to achieve financial stability and independence.

One of the best mechanisms to which you can turn to help achieve your goals is the automatic debit from your bank account. When you initiate an automatic debit from your account and into a retirement plan, like an IRA, you are immediately turning a discretionary expense into a bona fide monthly obligation. The problem with any discretionary expenses, including those that are genuinely important, is that we simply do not look at them the same way as those expenses that are required. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t pay my electric bill each month by debit, but yet I make sure to get that in just fine.” That may be true, but your electric bill is not a discretionary expense; if you don’t pay it, a service that is essential to your well-being will be eliminated. Therefore, the strategy here is to identify those discretionary expenses that you should be elevating to the same level of importance as the electric bill, and incorporate the mechanism of the monthly debit to achieving that. There are large numbers of people who would have never achieved any kind of reasonable net worth at a point in their lives when they need it the most had they not employed such a simple mechanism to either fund a retirement account or pay down a substantial debt; this is the “Part B” to the use of such a mechanism, the fact that you can employ it to pay down debt as much as to build savings. For example, using an auto-debit feature to make extra principal payments to your mortgage is another great way to put your wealth-building efforts on automatic pilot.

It is no secret that people are inclined to procrastination, to putting things off, and often do so to such a degree that many important tasks fail to ever get done. Working towards your long-term financial goals, and plugging away at the specific tasks in which you should engage as a part of the process, are, unfortunately, efforts that are all-too-frequently pushed off to the side. Make a resolution today that you will move them back to center-stage by accomplishing them with the assistance of the auto-debit feature…and start working your way, finally, toward the financial freedom about which you’ve always dreamed.

Robert G. Yetman, Jr.
ChristianMoneyPlus Co-Founder

Re-Doubling Your Efforts at Financial Success

One of the special reports available to members of Christian Money Plus has to do with drastically lowering the cost of watching television. It’s amazing, when you think about how sneakily television-watching has become the major, monthly expense it has from when many of us were kids. It used to be nothing, outside of the cost of the set and the cost of the electricity we used to watch it, but now, it is not at all unusual to see people paying upwards of $200 per month to access the wide array of channels that can now be had by the TV “enthusiast.” Beyond the matter of television, it’s important to note the mass psychological leverage that has come to be exerted over all of us over the past several decades regarding the matter of consumption, generally (ironically, it is through our TV sets that we receive so many messages about how important so much “stuff” is, or should be, to our happiness).

This is not an article about detaching yourself from material possessions or anything quite so philosophical, but is, rather, about encouraging you to look at the rest of things on which you spend money in the way Jim Paris encourages you to look at TV viewing in his special report. Did you know it is estimated that the average American forks over about $1,000 per year on coffee? What about the amount of money spent on dining out? Even if you enjoy a nice night out once a week at a decent restaurant, it’s nothing for that dinner to cost $100, including tip. What if you were able to cut that weekly check in half, or perhaps went to the same restaurants but did so every other week?

The point is that there are a lot of holes in our proverbial financial pockets through which thousands and thousands of dollars are slipping each year, money that could be applied constructively to either paying down important and substantial debt, like the mortgage, or to use toward building a retirement plan on which you can rely when you are no longer able to work. What this will take, however, is a willingness on your part to make some tough but very important decisions about the current expenses that characterize your life. It will involve changing the way you think, perhaps even re-training yourself to learn to be happy with less, but here’s the cool part about that: because even modest changes can make such a big difference to your financial profile, you will likely find that there’s, overall, very little you have to change or go without in order to make the progress that will really matter down the road.

Robert G. Yetman, Jr.
ChristianMoneyPlus Co-Founder