Step 1:  Stop kidding yourself – that means, stop using money to fill a void, to impress others, to validate your existence, to feel needed, to be respected, or to feel independent!

Step 2: No matter the state of the economygood or bad, refuse to be a victim.  Take complete responsibility for your financial situation.

Step 3: Be willing to examine your financial past to gain a better understanding of your relationship with money.

Step 4: Be committed to turning your financial situation around by gaining the skills necessary to be smart about your money AND seek the advice of financial advisors, accountants and attorneys when necessary.

Step 5: Track your spending and monitor your incoming cash monthly. Bottom line – spend less than you make!

Step 6: Evaluate and remove all unnecessary expenses in order to get a better handle on your financial situation.  Over time you’ll begin to recognize with greater ease what you can do without.

Step 7: If you are in debt, be committed to a debt pay off plan that will liberate you from your financial burdens.  Oh ya, and stop shopping!

Step 8: Once debt free, commit to planning your purchases in an effort to remain free of credit card debt.  Before you make a purchase, really evaluate if you really “need” it.

Step 9: Repeat the mantra – “It’s all about balance”Spending wisely, investing smartly and saving regularly are important concepts to protect yourself and your family.   

Step 10: Make sure you have a minimum of 6 months and preferably 12-18 months set aside in an emergency fund.

Step 11: Work daily to uncover how you think about money that stops you from reaching your financial goals. Take the steps necessary to have the confidence to stand firm and not revert to your old money habits and mindsets.

Step 12: Share  your experiences with others in the hopes that they too can become debt free and gain financial recovery.

Bonus Tip: Remember, how you handle money IS how you do everything in life.  Changing your financial habits and becoming debt free has a positive impact on all areas of your life!