2017 was all about ‘Living Your Best Life’ and while many of you were doing so, you may have forgotten the basics, staying on a budget. Walking into the new year, you want to make the best decisions when it comes to your money. One of the many new years resolutions is always a savings goal, but lets go beyond the saving goal, lets target your money moves for 2018 !
1. Get on A Budget
If you don’t already have a budget, it’s never too late to start. When it comes to budgeting, we are always Ballin' On A Budget, and living by the 50/30/20 rule. No more than 50% of your Net income towards your needs (living expenses), No more than 30% for wants (the fun stuff) and you should be saving 20% of your NET income to a savings account. Remember, money invested in a 401K does not count towards savings. Your personal savings is money you have immediate access to for emergencies. Imagine your car breaking down, or if you lose your job, you need cash to rely on.
2. Pay Down Debt
Big or Small, we all have some sort of debt, start creating a plan to get rid of your debt. The easiest tactic is starting with the smallest bills ($100-500) paying down first and working your way up toward the larger debts. This way as you pay down the smaller debts, you feel accomplished, and you will be motivated to continue your financial journey.
3. Start Investing Toward Retirement
Retirement planning is very important, aside from your personal savings, you should have a plan for retirement. If you are employed full time, your employer may offer a 401k program, if so, TAKE ADVANTAGE, especially if they offer a match program. Many companies will match up to a certain amount of your contributions, essentially giving you ‘free money’.
If you are an entrepreneur, you want to invest through an IRA, which you can set up on your own. While you won’t receive a match, this is your personal retirement account, which can also be beneficial by providing a tax deduction. Contact your bank or research various institutions to see about setting up your IRA.
4. Set a Savings Goal
What’s your personal savings goal? Whether if it’s for your emergency fund or to purchase a car, down payment for a house. Once you create a budget, you will know how much room you have for your savings goals as well as other goals. (Refer to Money Move #1)
5. Add Another Revenue Stream
Who can’t use a little extra money every now and again, think about how you can add a new revenue stream to increase your income. If you are employed in a regular job, never stay dependent solely on your paycheck, even as an entrepreneur, you want to create new ways to bring in money. What other skill-sets do you have, turn that into a side hustle. Think about ways you can earn money without always being present, (an eBook, webinars, products online, etc.) The term ‘Making Money in Your Sleep’ can be true for you if you put in the work.
6. Check Your Credit Report
Your credit report is one of the most critical financial credentials which follows you for the rest of your life. Being aware of what’s being reported is crucial. If you aren’t already regularly checking your credit report, to begin with, you can pull all three (Experian, Equifax & Transunion) reports for FREE from www.annualcreditreport.com . Remember, information contained on one report may not be reported on the others and vice versa. If you can, sign up for monthly credit monitoring to be sure accounts are reports accurately. There is nothing worse than applying for credit and being declined due to lack of knowledge of what’s contained in your credit report.
If you ready to move forward with your financial goals, I suggest getting on a budget to begin with. Ballin’ On a Budget is a financial workbook which teaches you how to set up a budget, & tactics to sacrifice in order to increase your savings. Available on Amazon.com Be sure to follow on social media for financial tips throughout the year.
Happy New Year