Hi all, welcome to 2020! Like most of you, I still feel robbed for the lack of flying cars that cartoons and movies promised me as a kid. But I digress. A new year is upon us, with it, a new opportunity to look back at we accomplished last year or didn’t accomplish, and to reflect on the lessons learned. I like this time of year because it’s a great time to plan new goals, new experiences and commit to them. While most New Year’s resolutions involve losing weight, travel destinations, finding a special someone I will not be touching these subjects because I have no expertise in those endeavors…so good luck. Today, I want to give you some financial goals big and small that you can utilize this year to improve your financial health.
Here are some Financial Goals (in no particular order) you can work on in 2020:
1. A monthly Financial Review: This review can help you stay on top of your money. To do a financial review you take the time to log and review all your expenses for the month. Next, log into all your bank accounts, investments accounts and your credit monitoring accounts (I use Credit Karma) to see where you are financially.
2. Create a monthly Spending Plan: This is when you plan how you will use your money for the next month. The goal is to give every dollar a job.
3. Know all your bills’ due dates
4. Make as much of your financial life AUTOMATIC: Pay bills automatically directly through your creditor or through your bank/credit union bill pay system, make savings automatically withdrawn from your paycheck, automatically invest in your company’s 401(k), 403(b) or if self-employed SEP IRA. The advantage, to making everything automatic is you won’t miss bill due dates and your saving and retirement accounts will grow.
5. Start paying yourself first: Instead of paying all your bills and saving what’s left over. Start the habit of setting aside a set amount into a saving account directly from your paycheck.
6. Save $1,000 for emergencies: Only 40% of Americans have $1,000 saved in case of emergencies. Therefore, when an emergency hits them, they’re taking out loans via credit cards and paying the companies interest.
7. Save 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies: How many months you want, as your cushion is your decision.
8. Get a second source of income: The average millionaire has seven sources of income. Take a page from their book and start finding ways to increase revenue streams. You can get a PT job, do consulting on the side, turn a hobby into a money maker, do odd jobs, sell online, write guides, e-books, or create an online course. Take the time to brainstorm some ideas, do your research, and learn the start-up fees and just start. The real win is when your other source of income doesn’t require you to trade time for money such as the e-books and online courses.
9. Invest in yourself: Take a course to increase your skill set, go back to school, go to professional development seminars, and take the lead on team projects, and even volunteer at organizations you believe.
10. Use the debt snow ball technique to pay off bad debt (debt that doesn’t produce income that coverts the payment): The debt snowball is when you take all your debt and list them from lowest to highest amount owed and you use extra money to pay down the lowest first while you pay the minimum on the rest. After, it is paid off, take the same money you paid on it plus the minimum payment, pay off the next one, and so forth.
11. Buy real estate: Real estate is one of the three pillars to building wealth (real estate, investing, and entrepreneurship). Think about it, people will always need a place to live and businesses will always need a place to do business. They might as well pay you, instead of someone else. Do your research and find out which vehicle of real estate investing fits you.
12. Develop your financial intelligence: You don’t know what you don’t know. Become a student of one of the most important factors to life on earth your personal finance. Make it a goal to read personal finance books, investing books, to go to financial workshops, learn about real estate, take an online class, or work with a financial coach as myself (lblfinancial.com). The goal is to know more so you can have more options.
These are suggestions that I know will make a difference in your life if you implement them. My goals are to get back to doing my monthly financial reviews, to invest in myself and to increase my financial intelligence. My plan is to set the last Sunday of the month for a financial review. I will invest in myself by working on my communication skills, by networking more, studying marketing, using what I learn, and by studying business. Lastly, to increase my financial intelligence I decided to read or listen to one personal finance, investing, or real estate book per month. Goals are to inspire us and pull us to our future. You may not be the person you want be or have a certain area of your life the way you want it, but with commitment you can change it.
If you are ready to take your power over money and are serious about changing your financial future lets work together. Sign up for a one on one coaching session by clicking the Action Plans tab at the top of this page. Let’s work to get you the house of your dreams, increase that credit score, remove the sting out of debt, increase your savings or just rest easy at night knowing you have a plan and are working the plan.
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Good luck with your goals!!! You got this!!!