The secret to taking the guesswork out of your finances is to make the distinction between principles and actions. The principles of personal finance are quite simple:
-- Set goals for your financial results.
-- Pay yourself first
-- Earn more than you spend (or spend less than you earn)
-- Invest your savings to make your money work for you

The principles are simple, the math involved is simple, and the process only requires small, simple steps.

Simple means keeping things straightforward and uncomplicated, which is the best approach for many things in life -- and especially for your financial world. Keeping your financial system simple gives you a major advantage in putting good habits in place and continuing them over long periods of time. And long-term consistency is definitely rewarded, so one of the keys to a successful system is to develop one that you will continue year after year.

Yet simple is not always easy. Easy evokes thoughts of being effortless and trouble-free. No one can promise such an easy road when working to improve your finances. Ask anyone who has attempted to stick to a diet during the holidays or continue an exercise program past the month of January. Sound familiar? Now just substitute the word ‘budget’ in place of ‘diet’ and ‘savings’ in place of ‘exercise’.

So the process of putting the principles into action requires a bit more effort than just understanding their meaning. Be a continual learner of strategies and techniques to increase your income and create wealth. The key is to develop a plan for making the principles work for you in a way that fits your style and your temperament. You can’t change how the principle works – you can just change how it fits into your life.

Here’s the most important for right now: Get started! Yes, continue to learn as much as you can about personal finance, but begin today. Do the simple things and let time work for you.

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