KNOW WHERE YOU STAND
Knowing where you currently are provides a snap shop of your financial starting point.
Image you are on a road trip across with three other adults. Everyone except the driver falls asleep a few hours. The driver wakes everyone up to say the GPS is dead. He's not sure how long or where he's at. He had just been driving through Wyoming for maybe an hour. You are not the next driver, so they ask you to plan the rest of the trip. You know you can just keep going on the interstate headed to California and wing it - stopping for directions - maybe even find a map. You know you have to be there for the games in time or you forfeit your tent, so you decide that's not a good idea. You know you have 72 hours to arrive at the camp site in the redwood forest.
You don't know 1) where you are 2) the address of your particular camp site where tents will be waiting for you. To begin your journey, you will need to find out where you are by a GPS or physical map at the next stop. You get the GPS, update the plans for the delay. You will strategically set your breaks locations for gas and food. You'll need to set aside maximum break time for each stop to meet the goal time. All this needs to be done with allowing at least 1/2 hour emergency breaks.
You set your plan and set your times to check your progress. You are ready to make adjustments for extra long breaks (you are estimating based on four travelers eating and drinking from a cooler - it may be off). Due to excellent planning, thinking of obstacles, you arrive on time to join the event.
The same is true of trying to reach a 680 score, a 850 credit score. The same is true when planning for an increase in your regular disposable income. And again, this planning is important planning to increase your net worth whether it is by debt-less purchases or through reduction.
Finding out where you are in a financial situation is even more important than a trip. It allows for progress checks and redirection where needed. This is the basics to starting on a road to financial maturity. We do that with Three Numbers.
Credit Scores = It has three numbers of it's own: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
Net Worth = It has three numbers of it's own: Net Worth = Assets - Liablities
Disposable Income = This number also has three numbers : Disposable income = Income - Expenses