1. Know where your money is and where it is going

Money is mostly electronic and very easy to lose track of.  It is important to understand your spending habits, your insurance (Insurance represents money), and your investments.


2. Plan where you want your money to go

Once you know where your money is, plan where you want it to go.  The easy thing to do with money is all to often spending it on stuff you later regret.  You must be purposeful with your money. If your goal is squashing debt, apply more towards your debt payments. If you want to retire early, save more.


3. Squash debt

Debt is an obstacle to financial independence and must be SQUASHED. Debt costs you money in the form of interest and fees. In some cases it is a useful tool (to buy a house or fund a business) but be judicious and discerning when you use it.


4. Save for tomorrow

Money not only needs to provide for today but for the future.  Saving for tomorrow means funding an emergency fund for short-term needs.  It means taking advantage of retirement account for long term savings.  It means setting money aside to start a business, send a kid to college, or to put a down payment on a home.


5. Give to Others

Focusing on others often gives us a greater purpose to achieve financial success. You can give with your time, your money, or your talents.  If you are driven to give financially,  you can maximize your gifts when you’ve implemented pillars 1-4.