For people who haven’t got a clue about how to finance debt and make investments, Indiana Jones may be able to help. What does an adventure hero have to do with your finances? The answer is simple. You can take a lesson from how he gets in and out of trouble and apply it to your attitude towards money. Pay yourself first When Indiana Jones pursues a career option, he is basically trying to stay alive. He will not achieve his goal, which is usually to help all mankind, if anything happens to him, so he considers his safety first. The same can be said for anyone’s finances. No matter what your debt or investment goals, you must consider yourself first and pay into a savings account 10 percent of your pay check before you do anything else. That money can be used to invest to make more money , but only after you have paid off your high interest debt. Saving 10 percent of a pay check is achievable for everyone. It won’t change your lifestyle much and, since it is a percentage, it will adjust along with your income. You can do it today and not postpone it until sometime when your ship comes in. It’s a great feeling to be looking after yourself. Just ask Indiana Jones. He always has an escape route. Eliminate the bad guy: debt When the odds are against Indiana Jones, he takes out the biggest threat first, while he is still at his best. He is setting his priorities and eliminating the bad guys one by one. When you organize your debts, you need to set your priorities too, and remove the one that is charging you the highest interest such as credit card debt. Next, pay the loans that don’t allow a tax deduction for the interest such as a car loan or line of credit at your bank. The next debt to eliminate is the one that offers a tax write-off such as a student loan. Finally, pay off your mortgage . With just one extra mortgage payment per year, you can reduce the length of your mortgage by several years and save thousands in interest. Don’t ignore the small things Indiana Jones is just as determined to dodge small weapons as he is big ones. You would think the small ones don’t matter as long as he isn’t caught by the rolling boulder. He knows if he bleeds from several small wounds he will become weak and unable to outrun the rolling boulder. This is a good lesson for financial management that is most often ignored. It’s easy to get into debt. Buying a new car, an LCD TV, expensive trendy clothing is all easy to do with a credit card, and the debt grows. Small spending also adds up. Buying lunch, specialty coffee, seeing the latest movies are all small expenses that will gradually weaken your finances, so when the rolling boulder of debt comes at you, you won’t have the liquidity to withstand it. Even if your income goes up with a new job or bonus, if you just spend it on cars and lunches you will end up with zero. In a way, your money is controlling you not you controlling your money. To have a solid financial future you need to stop being a victim of your whims and fancies and focus on how best to pay down debt , save and invest your money. Positive endings are for everyone Indiana Jones always has a happy ending to his adventures. This is partly because it’s a movie but also because he is a smart, careful adventure hero who is never a victim but always in control. When you stop being a victim to your purchasing desires, pay yourself 10 percent from every pay check first and start paying down your debt, you will know the feeling of a happy ending. Photo by Rob Young Related Articles: 6 steps to reducing your credit card interest rates What Affects Your Credit Score? 5 Ways to Kill Your Financial Progress (And How to Get Ahead) New credit card legislation coming soon – interest rates rise, limits go down 7 Steps To Help Get Out Of Credit Card Debt The Secret to Staying Out of Debt: Control Your Spending Credit card rewards coming to an end? Jon is a Christian personal finance writer at Free Money Wisdom . His mission is to help you succeed in your personal finance life with the Bible as your compass. When Jon is not writing on personal finance, he spends time with his girlfriend, lifts iron at the gym, and plays Scrabble. You can subscribe to his site through EMAIL / RSS or you can also find him on Twitter and Facebook . As a thank you for subscribing to our newsletter you can download our quick eBook ” 25 Ways To Save Money in 2011 ” for FREE! The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
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The Indiana Jones Guide to Personal Finance