Pagliarini has a quick quiz to determine if you're in the financial danger zone (red zone) or in the safe (green) zone.
If you work in the housing industry, finance, auto or retail, you're in the red zone because more layoffs are expected in those fields. The green zone jobs are everything else.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, if both spouses work Pagliarini considers that the red zone. If two people are struggling to stay above water and pay their bills, and one loses a job there's no one there to help. If only one spouse is working, then the other can jump in and lend a hand by getting a job or pitching in financially some other way.
You're in the green zone if you hit financial trouble and have a strong network of friends and family who can help, whether it's babysitting the kids, giving you a ride to a job interview or lending you money.
You're in the danger zone if you have less than six months of your household expenses saved..
Having monthly fixed expenses puts you in the danger zone. If your monthly expenses are more variable, you can cut back if you need to.
If you have a lot of debt at a variable interest rate, you're in the danger zone. If you have fairly low debt at a fixed rate interest, you're in good shape.
Pagliarini says if you've got more reds than greens, you need to take action. Use fear to motivate you, not to paralyze you. Boost your savings by cutting expenses. Shift from variable interest rate debt to fixed rate and pay it down quickly by getting a part-time job.
Read an excerpt from "The Six-Day Financial Makeover":
What Is a Financial Makeover?
Maybe you're not sure what to expect from a financial makeover. That's fair. It's good to be a little skeptical. If you're familiar with fashion makeover, you know the successful ones don't stop with a facial or a new wardrobe. Successful makeovers require a total transformation—from head to toe and inside and out. Likewise, your financial makeover won't stop with just a budget or an investment plan. Your financial transformation will include all of the critical areas of your financial life—creating a spending and savings plan, protecting assets, investing wisely, risk management, insurance, estate planning, and much, much more.
Over the next six days, your financial makeover will strip away every thing that is not working—maybe you're spending too much, sabotaging your own success, taking too much risk, not investing wisely, or leaving yourself and your loved ones financially exposed—and replace it with a solid foundation from which you can immediately start to see success and feel a sense of confidence. Your financial makeover will also maximize what you're already doing well. If you have powerful and inspiring goals, are saving diligently, and investing well, your Six-Day Financial Makeover will help you maximize and optimize your strengths.
I will walk with you, step by step, throughout the six-day transformation. Together we will turn the complexities of budgeting, investing, insurance, and estate planning into something understandable and practical. We're going to take the "pie-in-the-sky" theories and turn them into bite-sized pieces that you can implement in your life immediately.
The Importance of Financial Independence