Part of being financially alert is understanding where you are, setting goals, and working towards achieving them. This could be a simple as tracking your spending, creating a monthly budget, and executing. But, what’s the motivation to do this? How financially conscious are you?
After digging for many years, I started to uncover patterns of thought based upon other peoples’ stories and my own experiences. Here’s what I found. I call it The 6 Stages of Financial Consciousness.
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It’s important to understand where you’re at, so you can determine where you’re going. It is also helpful to know where you’ve come from so you can help others ascend too.
When I was in my early teens and twenties I was in The Awakening. It was a very exciting time exploring all the infinite possibilities. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest with, so I invested my free time educating myself. I read voraciously most days and continuously checked out new books at the library. (BTW, what a great public institution – libraries give away free knowledge to anyone who wants it! One of my favorite philanthropies to this day.)
It wasn’t until I landed my first salaried job that I transitioned to The Shift, but once I had a steady paycheck I started taking action. I maxed out my 401k, automated a weekly savings plan, and automated another investment plan through Sharebuilder. These assets have grown steadily over the years (the sooner you start, the better!).
Which stage are you in? Are you ready to move to the next one? Why, or why not?