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“When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats.”

– Claude Swanson

US politician (1862 – 1939)

As Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy when starting her on the yellow brick road to Oz, “it’s always best to start at the beginning.”

If you follow this program faithfully, you will be financially independent in a short period of time. The goal of this series of articles is not only to get you out of debt, but to show you how to pay off all of your debts and be completely free of your financial obligations. You will be living the true American dream. That is the dream of ownership. You will go from owing to owning.

This series will show you exactly why you are in debt so you can avoid those mistakes in the future. You will learn how to build wealth. There is only one truly real definition of being financially independent and that is to be financially dependent on no one. You will be completely independent of your job, any person and certainly independent of any government support.

So what is the first step? There are two parts.

Step 1/ Part 1 – Where Are You Now?

oHow much debt do you have?

oWhat is your current income level?

oHow much do you save?

oWhat do you spend your money on?

oWhat can you do differently?

After you figure out the answers to the above questions, giving yourself the most candid, honest answers you can, no matter how painful, you can establish a budget. A budget that you can stick with but not so rigid that there is no room for alterations along the way.

There is a process that I like to call my 30 day challenge. For the next 30 days, get a receipt for every purchase that you make, no matter how small – no matter how large, get a receipt and put them in an envelope. Write on them what the purchase was for if you must. At the end of the 30 days, look at what you spent your money on. You will be in for quite a surprise.

It is amazing what we really spend money on. Five bucks for a Starbucks coffee. Two dollars for this, ten dollars for that. Is it really all necessary? Could we have done without any of these things?

Step 1/Part 2 – Internal Change

The only way that you are ever going to change your financial situation is to change the thinking patterns that got you in debt in the first place. You become what you think about. So it only stands to reason that by changing what you focus on will give you different rewards.

You need to develop a personal discipline. The things that you must do might seem a bit uncomfortable or unfamiliar. You will need to step out of your comfort zone and think differently. You will need to think outside the box.

And finally, you will need to put forth the work that is necessary to achieve the financial independence that awaits you. It is your destiny. You must not be denied. Reach deep inside yourself and commit yourself to this process.

Make that commitment now.

You will become transformed, without a doubt.

In our second step, you will learn about credit. What it is. How it was developed. Why it has become a crutch in your life and how to use it without getting in financial trouble.

12 Steps To Financial Freedom – Step 1 – Time For Change

12 Steps To Financial Freedom - Step 1 - Time For Change