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Wear BADGE for money decisions

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Friday, June 7, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

As we go through life, many financial ups and downs come our way. When things head south, we wonder if we will ever obtain financial freedom.

Many of us have good jobs, and great cars and homes. Still, we may be just a few paychecks away from being homeless. If this is your situation, ask this question: "How can I make better financial decisions to obtain the financial freedom I so desperately desire?"

The "BADGE" is a concept I use to teach others about finances. It stands for:

  • Budgeting
  • Asset accumulation
  • Debt reduction
  • Goal setting
  • Earnings expansion

Applying these principles to your life creates a strategy for obtaining financial freedom.

Budgeting

To achieve financial goals, you must put a budget in place. For many people, operating without a budget will halt your financial progress.

I love to call my budget my inspiration. It gives me a plan for a period of time, and also inspires me to reduce my expenses to achieve my goals. I usually create a budget on the first day of each month.

Asset accumulation

It's great to accumulate assets, but make sure they contribute to a positive net worth.

As millions of homeowners have learned, some assets can decline in value. This reduces your net worth. Do your homework before purchasing assets, so you acquire things that are more likely to rise in value over time.

Debt reduction

If you find yourself swimming in debt, do something about it. Create a debt-reduction plan.

One way to reduce debt is to pick up extra income from a part-time job or self-employment. Or perhaps you could sell goods you no longer use to generate funds to pay down debt.

Get creative when identifying ways to pay your debt down.

Goal setting

If you don't know where you are going, you won't know how to get there. Many people do not use a holistic approach when it comes to finances. As a result, they have investments or assets that do not align with their goals.

Understand that each and every dollar has a purpose. Know both your short-term and long-term goals, and identify how you will get there.

Earnings expansion

Invest in your human capital. In order to increase your income, it is important to get the education and skills you need. Working part-time jobs also can help put you on the road to financial freedom.

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and business professor. She writes a personal finance blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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1 Comment
Travis
June 09, 2013 at 5:11 pm

This is great info. Thank you for this article!

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