As a fellow NVLDer, being financially free from my debt was one of my most proudest achievements in my life.
2020 was a challenging year for everyone, however it was a blessing in disguise for me. I was able to follow a 7 steps financial guide from a successful entrepreneur by the name of Dave Ramsey which sparked my interest in financial literacy. He wrote simple steps that anyone can do:
Step 1: Save $1000
Step 2: Pay off small debts first and work towards the bigger ones
Step 3: Save 3 to 6 months worth of emergency fund. So basically if it’s possible try at least to save 2 months worth of salary. I personally find saving 2 months worth of salary to be the best insurance for the curve balls life throws at you.
Step 4: Invest 15% of annual income into a retirement fund. This step is my favorite one, especially the excitement of seeing passive income coming into my bank account every month from stocks investments. Personally, for me, stocks are what I am comfortable with. However, I recommend anyone starting out in investing is to figure out the type of investment you are comfortable with. It could be mutual funds, Roth IRA, Retirement Savings plan, ETF and dividends stocks.
Step 5: Use your savings to fully pay off college. This step I skipped because my folks already paid for my schooling.
Steps 6: Pay off the mortgage. I also skip this step as I am personally renting for now, I might possibly look into getting a mortgage in the future if I can find a significant other to share the responsibility of owning a house with.
Finally Step 7: Continue to build wealth, then give it away or enjoy it! This is the finish line when all the sacrifices a person has made by sticking with a budget pays off. all the debt is gone, investments of 15% over the last 20 years are earning a comfortable annual yield, the house is paid off. So now the home could be a rental investment, property for sale, or could still be a home.
Thanks to Dave Ramsey and his 7 steps to financial independence by the end of 2020, I was able to pay off my massive credit card debt, accumulate a 3 month emergency fund, invest 15% of my income into stocks and accumulate the most money I have ever saved in my life. I did not let the pandemic or my own diagnosis take away my focus, drive, and positive attitude for a better life.