How To Be Self-Sufficient: A Comprehensive A-Z Financial Checklist

Behold, my ABC’s of Financial Stability. :)

A…

Always check your bank account. Every day. No matter what. It’s important to know how much you have and make sure no one has made any false charges.

B…

Be confident in your decisions. Turning down vacations, nice dinners, and cute jeans on sale is hard, but financial freedom is worth it.

C…

Create a list of goals. It’s much easier to save when you know what you’re saving for.

D…

Don’t spend more than you make. Short and sweet. It’s the cardinal rule of getting out of debt and staying that way.

E…

Eat In. Make some spaghetti. Grill some burgers. Throw together a taco. Eating in is cheap, and it will save you thousands of dollars a year.

Eat In

F…

Find a side-hustle. Pick up a paper route, mow the grass, or start a freelance career. Seriously, the hardest part is just getting started.

G…

Get organized. From one Type-A gal to the world, being organized is the best thing you can do not only for your finances but for your life as well.

H…

Hire a CPA. This is especially integral if you own your own home or own a business.

I…

Inquire about discounts. Don’t be shy. You never know when you’re going to get a good discount on that fabulous Kentucky Derby hat.

J…

Justify each purchase. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” or “Can I afford this?”

K…

Keep a record of your spending. Writing down what you spend every day actually makes you buy less! I should know; I’ve tried it.

Write Down What You Spend

L…

Let go of errors and blips. No one is perfect. We all make financial mistakes.

M…

Make sure that you start saving for your retirement, even if you’re only 25.

N…

Never sacrifice your morals when it comes to money. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

O…

Over-prepare when it comes to budgeting. It’s better to have some money left over than to come up short.

P…

Pay your credit cards on time, every time. Set a reminder if you have to.

Pay Your Credit Cards

Q…

Quit receiving those e-mails from all those fabulous shopping sites. They’ll just make you want to buy, buy, buy.

R…

Reach for the stars. Anything is possible with enough planning and enough perseverance. Want to buy a vacation home? Go for it!

S…

Start your own business. Seriously, it’s kind of awesome.

T…

Tell your children, your spouse, and your friends about your financial plan. The more accountability you have, the better.

U…

Understand that not everyone will be like you. Having a budget and a desire to become self-sufficient is unfortunately rare these days.

V…

Visualize the end. It’s much easier to start a vacation fund when pictures of Hawaii are all over your office.

W…

Wait patiently for the best sales. You don’t have to pay full price for that bathing suit!

Wait for Sales

X…

Xerox those receipts. (Why yes, I did just use an “x” verb!) But seriously, make copies of everything. Scanners work too. ;)

Y…

Yell from the rooftops and tweet your finance friends when you reach your goals. It’s so nice to get a pat on the back, even if it’s virtual!

Z…

Zero in on that zen feeling, the one that comes when you are 100% self sufficient!

 

What are some financial A-Z’s that you live by?

All photos from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford aka "Cat" is a personal finance freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. To learn more about her writing services, please visit her Hire Me page or e-mail her at Cat[at]BudgetBlonde[dot]com. Follow her on Google + to get all the latest updates.

Lovely comments:

  1. I do try to stick to most of what your list said. I have been keeping records, but lately I`ve fallen off the writing wagon, but I really want to keep it as a habit.
    I have to say, one thing I hadn`t thought of, was over preparing by budget.. Perhaps if I try to do that, I might be able to save a little more…

    • Yes, give yourself a little extra! I have an envelope that says “oops” that’s filled with a little bit in case I run out of money in all the others!

  2. Very creative. All solid advice. I would add a second “G”: Get it. I don’t mean this in a consumerism kind of way, I mean this in a “type A” kind of way (see how I build on yours?). Type A’s don’t wast time, they don’t just talk, they “get it”, and this is why they often are more successful in their pursuits than Type Bs. Well, I guess you covered this in “R”… do you have to think of everything?

  3. Haha, love the “Xerox”. Though technically that’s a proper noun, not a verb. =)

  4. Love this list! Definitely find a side hustle and spend less than you make :)

  5. Great list! While I am a fan of many of them, I’ll go with F & M as being among my favorite. The sooner you start, the better.

  6. Great list! I think C is my favorite. It is incredibly hard to save when you don’t know what you’re saving for. :) B, D and J are also great ones.

  7. Great list – I agree with K. I’ve been doing that since January and it’s really eye opening to see how much it adds up to (and rather quickly!).

    • I know, right!? Tracking what you spend is so easy AND so eye opening. I still struggle with sticking to my food budget!

  8. That was a really cool idea for a post. I’m not a fan of Xerox… but there are reasons for that. I’ll just scan them with my Neat scanner :)

  9. Great list and fun post. I’m working on M right now. I know I got a late start to retirement planning due to my student loans, but now that I’m debt free it’s something I’m focusing more on.

  10. Now, that is how you put a list together. What a way to be creative.

  11. Really great list! I particularly liked “Let go of errors and blips. No one is perfect.” If you dwell on errors, it will only hold you back. I think a key to success in business, life, or anything is to make sure that you learn from mistakes but move on from them quickly.

  12. Oh! I really like this list!!!!

  13. Great article! I couldn’t agree more with almost all of these points. I had never actually thought about scanning my receipts. It would definitely cut back on clutter, which would be nice.

    • Thanks, Tushar! You should check out the Neat Desk. I heard it’s awesome, but I haven’t bought one yet!

  14. This is seriously awesome, Cat! I love this post…featuring it in my weekly roundup!

  15. Nel the vet says:

    I’m a new reader here and I’m really enjoying your blog! Was looking for some budgeting tips online and came across this lovely site. As I’m moving from my home country for a PhD in about three weeks it really resonated with me! Thanks for the tips!

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed this post Cat! So much useful info that I seriously need to put into practice!

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