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Unemployment reaches record levels, the housing market is slow, and real wages haven’t increased in far too long.  Many are finding themselves discouraged and losing and faith for a better financial tomorrow.  However, an increased level of faith will allow all of our financial dreams and goals to come to fruition despite this recession.

There are two primary components that comprise the essence of faith. The first element is “to believe”. Do you believe that you will be able to meet your goals and achieve wealth in your future?  Can you visualize that new house, new job, or a retirement fund that covers all of your living expenses for the remainder of your days?

The second element is “acting on what you believe”.  This is just as important as the first.  I will outline seven actions that you can begin today that will allow you to demonstrate that your faith for a brighter tomorrow is real.

One: Put together a household budget using a template, Quicken, or even a website such as

Two: Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage to manage life’s unexpected risks.  However, do not fall prey to predatory insurance coverage.  Let your needs dictate how much insurance you purchase and not the desire for a commission of an insurance agent.

Three: Plan your estate wisely.  Invest in a will, a living will, health care proxy, and a power of attorney.  We never know what tomorrow holds and our families left behind suffer from lack of preparation.

Four: Increase your FICO score to 750 or higher.  Your credit score is too important to neglect.

Five: Eliminate all of your credit card debt.  With a national average APR of 14.6% this debt is far too expensive for our households to carry.

Six: Maximize your company retirement plan.  In my years of teaching I have NEVER heard someone putting too much money into their 401K, but have heard many complaints about not putting enough.

Seven: Keep at least 9 months of living expenses saved in a high yield savings account for a rainy day.

If you can do just these steps you would be making a good start to a brighter financial future.  Remember, faith is not just a feeling…it is an action.  Take action today to take control of your financial future!

Ryan Mack, Author of Living in the Village and President of Optimum Capital Management, LLC

Read all of the Your Money In The Black posts here, including:

11 Tips For The Unemployed