By Leo Babauta

This month, we’re going to be talking about finances, along two different tracks:

  1. Debt reduction/elimination. If you are in debt, this should be your first priority. Focus on this track first.
  2. Savings/investing. If your debt is zero or pretty low, you can always improve your finances by developing the savings habit and then shifting to low-maintenance investing. Even if you’re in debt, you should start a small savings habit.

Now please understand, I’m not a financial advisor, and I don’t claim to have amazing financial advice. But I did manage to eliminate my debt following fundamental financial principles, and I’ve taught myself the savings habit and the basics of investing … and in the last decade my finances have done a complete turnaround, from horrible to pretty awesome. I’ll talk more about that later, but I just wanted you to understand where I’m coming from.

So we’ll talk about some basic principles and methods, some of the the more common obstacles, and start creating the habits that will lead to your awesome financial future.

For now, let’s focus on the start.

Here’s what I need you to do:

  1. Make a commitment to focus on one of the two tracks (debt or savings/investment) this coming month. This needs to be a firm commitment to yourself — make a promise that you won’t back out of, that you will 100% stick to. Make the commitment to others, in your Sea Change group or in real life.
  2. Set aside time to work on your finances. Just 10 minutes a day for now. Put it on your calendar, set a reminder on your computer and phone, put a visual reminder somewhere. This should be an unmissable appointment.

That’s all!

We’ll talk about what to do during your financial sessions soon, but for now, just take those two steps. Do them now!