As we get closer and closer to the end of the year I keep hearing people mention resolutions and ways they want to improve in 2018, but I hardly hear anyone talk about finances.
So, I wanted to toss out a few financial tips to help you start 2018 in a financially positive direction.
With most standard savings accounts maxing out at 1% you may as well bury it in the back yard.
If you aren’t currently investing, I know the idea of doing so may seem daunting, but simply putting your money in a savings account isn't going to cut it.
There are some “safe” and pretty hands off investments that you can make that will net you 5-10% in growth with very little volatility, they are definitely worth researching.
If you need a couple to get you started, check out VOO, SWYNX and any other target date funds.
If you are already a consistent investor, increase your investments by 1%. Trust me, you won’t miss it and it will make a huge difference down the road.
2) Build up that rainy day fund!
I've said in past everyone needs to have a rainy day fund in case life happens, but statistics show that a large portion of Americans wouldn't have access to 3 + months of income in the event of an emergency.
If you have trouble with being disciplined enough to put away the money on your own (Don’t feel bad, many people do), have your bank automatically deduct 5% (more or less depending on your situation) from your paycheck and transfer it into a Roth IRA.
Why a Roth IRA? Because you can invest your money, earn interest tax free and if an emergency arises, you can also withdraw any contributions tax free.
Also, whenever you pay off a credit card or loan, take at least half of what that payment was and store it away as well.
3) Stick to your budget!
I know a lot of people that have a budget but not a lot that stick to it. Set it and live by it. The biggest mistake I hear people make is they set a budget that’s not realistic for them.
Chances are you are going to spend more than $100 a month on food, so do yourself a favor a make a realistic budget that you have a shot at sticking to and living with.
Print it, put a copy on the fridge, take a screenshot and put it into your phone. Do whatever you need to do to keep it in mind.
If staying on budget while using a credit or debit card as your main form of payment is a challenge, try paying for things in cash. You are a lot more aware of what you are spending when you actually are handing out money.
Along the same lines, make envelopes, label them for the corresponding expenses (gas, groceries, entertainment, etc) put cash in them for the month and use that to help you stay on task.
4) Make a plan
Take a look at where you are today financially, set a period of time and decide where you want to be, and set a plan to get there. It may seem daunting at 1st, and honestly you may even fall a little short, but I promise you will be a lot closer than you would’ve been without it.
5) Finally, treat yourself (within reason)
You don't work all these hours just to pay bills and put your money away for a retirement you honestly may never live to see.
Life is for living, and there are plenty fun things you can do, all while staying on your financial path!
With a little smart planning and research, you can see different parts of the the world, eat at some really dope places, experiences some cool things all while staying financially healthy!
Here is to a financially healthy 2018!!
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