Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where Do I Start?

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

"I want to live with financial freedom, but I don't know where to start." I hear this a lot these days.

If you are a highly motivated and disciplined person, starting to write down "all" your spending for the next 30 days is a way to start. That will give you an idea for the next step: budgeting for the next month, which will help you come up with a realistic budget for a longer term, i.e. a year.

However, if you are like me, who needs someone to inspire you and keep you accountable for the progress, I would recommend taking a workshop or two. Willow Creek's Good Sense was the first finance workshop for both C.J and myself. It was a one-day workshop which helped us to see the big picture of our overall financial status. At that time, even though we were engaged, I felt finance was still a sensitive topic to discuss on our own. In that sense, Willow Creek's Good Sense workshop provided us a safe place to take a hard look at each other's financial situation and discuss about future financial goals as a couple. In addition, the workshop also helped us come out with a rough monthly and yearly budget, which have become the foundation of our journey toward financial freedom. At that time, this workshop cost us $35.

Three months into our marriage, we had the privilege of having Crown Financial Ministries workshop at our home church. It was a 10-week long, intensive, and very thorough workshop. There were even plenty of homeworks to be done for each class, but we loved it! What I liked most about this workshop were its strong focus on the basics and the accountability provided by fellow attendees. This workshop cost us $55.

Best wishes!