Money Man 2Credit: stock.xchng - Avolore [Image ID: 590975]

Do you have a plan for your financial future? Are you diversifying, or are you counting on your job to cover your needs? Are you prepared for financial emergency, or are you waiting to cross that bridge when you come to it?

Whatever the case, building your financial future in the Information Age means more than just working a job and charging the latest gadgets to your credit cards. It's not complicated, but it isn't necessarily easy either.

Presented here are three key components to building your financial future.

Escape the Debt Cycle

You've heard it all before. We live in a culture of instant gratification and entitlement. People spend money they don't have to impress the people they don't like. They go further and further into debt to try to keep up with the Joneses.

Entitlement aside, the real issue with instant gratification isn't going into debt (although that is a big issue); the real problem is that people don't set long-term goals and work to obtain things anymore. We've lost something as a culture.

I recall that in the '80s and '90s, teens used to get summer jobs so they could afford to buy the latest Super Soaker or gaming console. Their parents wouldn't just outright pay for their toys (unless they were rich or spoiled). Even before that, in the '50s, people used to save up to buy cars and houses. There were no credit cards back then.

Fast forward to today, and paying for things in cash is practically unheard of. Most people mortgage their homes, lease their cars and worse yet, finance the latest iPhone and flat screen TV, and pick up a Starbucks latte on the way to work every single day.

The problem is not that people can't live more frugally; the problem is that they are so obsessed with status and gratification that they refuse to.  

So, the first way to build your financial future is to cut costs, streamline, eliminate debt, and never get sucked back in again.

Sell your home. Downgrade to a cheaper car. Use your computer until it dies. Cancel your cable. Turn the thermostat down. Whatever you can do to eliminate debt, do it. If you do it right, you won't have to do it again, so get aggressive about it.

Save Money

If people indeed live paycheck to paycheck, then it's quite likely that they don't have money saved up either. Furthermore, if that is true, then they don't even have an emergency fund on hand!

Not that you should expect bad things to happen, but it's wise to be prepared for them. If you don't have an emergency fund, what that means is that you can't repair appliances or pay for hospital bills. You can't fix your car or help a friend in need. You can encounter situations that are more than just minor inconveniences.

Therefore, the second way to build your financial future is to save up. Even success authors like Napoleon Hill talk about the fact that successful people are those that developed a habit of saving.

You're probably not going to get rich off of saving, so don't get too excited. Marriage, honeymoons, cars, homes, upgrades… all these things cost money. However, a large savings account will give you peace of mind. You would be able to cover an unexpected bill or expense and not have to go in to debt for basic needs should the occasion arise.

Build a Business

Jobs generally provide you with enough compensation to get by, but if you want to get ahead in today's world, a job just won't do it. You could be making $10,000 or $100,000 a year in your job, but the point is not how much you make, it's about how much time you had to give up to make that amount. You could be making lots of money, but have no time to enjoy your lifestyle. You could have lots of time, but have no money to be able to do anything you want to do. You can be broke in more than one way.

This is what Dr. Bill Quain calls the fast-track. Basically, you could keep taking on more hours or adding part-time jobs to your schedule, but ultimately the results you can expect from the fast-track program are marginal. You could make a little more money, but it's not a great long-term plan for financial independence or increased freedom of time. Getting on the fast-track might help you to pay off debt or a large bill, but otherwise it tends to be a losing proposition.

Consequently, the third and most important way to build your financial future is to build your own business. There are many options available to you today that don't require the overhead, stress and long hours that traditional businesses do. You could start a blog and host ads or endorse products through affiliate programs. You could create your own information products like e-books or audio programs and distribute them. You could outsource the creation of a mobile app or you could start your own direct selling business.

Adding a business to your already busy schedule might seem ambitious and tiring. This is why you need to get off the fast-track. Job security is a myth. Your boss doesn't care about your future. In a job, you're always building someone else's dream. If you want to start financing and building your own dream, then ownership is a must.

The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill
Amazon Price: $17.90 $12.51 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 25, 2016)
Overcoming Time Poverty: How to Achieve More by Working Less
Amazon Price: $12.95 $0.01 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 25, 2016)