- Eliminate Debt. Pay down debt or totally eliminate debt. Keep credit card balances at 20% or less of the credit limit, below 10% is ideal. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment for credit cards and loans.
- Plug holes. Shared rides, entertainment, eating out, buying items just because they are on sale, paying retail prices, monitoring services (credit score monitoring, etc.), expired policies and warranties, shopping, name brand items, etc.
- Assess Insurance. Reevaluate insurance policies yearly or when a big event occurs – marriage, childbirth, death, illness, etc. Ensure you have adequate coverage.
- Plan for Retirement. Contribute as much as possible to your retirement account. Look for no load or funds with low fees. Calculate the minimum amount required to save in your account by multiplying your salary by 30, i.e. $40,000 x 30 years = $1,200,000. You will need at least that much in your retirement account by your retirement age, i.e. 65.
- Track Spending. Use tools to help track spending and increase cash flow such as PageOnce, Mint.com or mobile apps on your cell phone. Use online banking which categorizes spending and provides graphs.
- Save. Automate savings. In addition to retirement, create an emergency savings account to cover monthly bills and expenses for 9-12 months.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
No New Years Resolutions Try Goals Instead
Everyone tries to make a New Year’s Resolution including myself. Somewhere around February we forget about that New Year’s Resolution and go back to whatever it was we were doing before the New Year. This year I am saying no to New Year’s Resolutions. This year I am creating a goals list of all the things I want to accomplish in 2016 with a target date and action steps for each. Your goals should include at a minimum health, finances, family, career, spirituality and relationships.
This year make a decision to make at least one permanent change to become better in one area of your life. The key is to keep moving forward and practice that habit every day. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you forget to practice your new habit. If you forget one day, don’t worry, tomorrow is available for you to get back on track. Don’t look at your goals as negative; view them as positive things to improve your life.
Ask friends or relatives to provide support and encouragement for your new goals. Purchase self-help motivation books or practice meditation or positive affirmations to help strengthen your confidence to ensure you achieve your goals.
Look at the big picture and how your goals will help you, your family or your overall life. Examine the long-terms benefits of your goals and focus on the benefits to increase your motivation. Ensure your thoughts, words, actions, beliefs and behaviors align with your goals.
Here are six effective financial goals to achieve in 2016:
Don’t make unrealistic goals, however believe in yourself and write down all of your dreams and goals. If you
believe you can achieve a goal you will. The only thing stopping your from achieving your goal is you. Wishing you much success in 2016!