Let’s just drive right in with some disturbing facts. Majority of Americans, 49 percent, are living paycheck to paycheck & most people cannot cover a $1,000 emergency according to a survey from National bank of Omaha. It is even more shocking that a Federal Reserve survey found that 40 percent of Americans don’t have $400 in the bank for an emergency
With knowing that, I love the fact that when people finally decide to control over their finances and actually believing they are in CONTROL.
Typically people do not see their money as a tool. Money usually tells you what you can and cannot do. Like, you can’t afford to buy that t-shirt or take that trip. Why is that? Why are people continuing to allow their money be in the driver seat of their life? Let’s start by discussing, what is money. According to a Positive Money’s blog post, money is any object that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts. In a nutshell, money is needed to survive. You need money to eat, pay rent, put gas in your car, pay for childcare and so forth. Ultimately, you need money to live. That is not going to change, so what are some better money habits that we can adapt for 2020?
1. Pay yourself first
Before you pay any bills, buy anything, literally before you do anything, set aside a portion of your income to save or invest. Some people suggest 10 percent. However, some people are not able to do that & that is okay, it is what it is. Put aside whatever you can afford. If you can only put aside a penny, put aside that penny PROUDLY. 1 cent is better than ZERO.
2. Have a buffer (emergency fund)
Life happens and the happenings usually cost money. Therefore, an emergency savings fund is a must. I recommend saving a $1,000 dollars to give yourself that buffer between you and financial surprises.
3. Track your expenses
If you don’t know where your money is going you can’t address it. Track your expenses. It will tell you two things. What you are spending your money on and how much you are spending. Knowing that you can “plan” you money accordingly and make change where it’s needed.
4. Create a BUDGET and STICK to it
Creating a budget allows you to tell your money what it is going do. Some people follow the golden 50|20|30 rule, but I go by the 75|15|10 rule. 75 percent of my income go towards necessities, 15 percent go towards wants, and 10 percent go towards my savings and investing.
5. SMASH your debt
Thanks to Dave Ramsey, I learned to prioritize debt by paying off the debt with the highest interest rate not necessarily the smallest amount. Also, put more than the minimum balance towards the debt you are focusing on to pay off. Set a goal, let’s say one of your debts is $2,000 and you want to pay that off within 6 months. You will have to pay approximately $333 dollars a month. You can break it down even more, you get 2 checks every money so each pay period you have to pay around $166. That smashing you debt as opposed to managing it by just sending the minimum balance due and wasting money in paying more interest if you would have left the debt lingering.
6. Use your credit cards wisely
Most experts recommend keeping your credit card utilization below 30 percent. Use your credit card for things you can afford to pay off before or on your payment due date. For example, if you use your credit card for a $100 purchase make sure you can pay that off before or on your due date.
7. Learn and teach yourself!
a. This is your life. Keep learning and reading about personal finance to become more efficient with your finances to fuel your dreams and accomplish your goals
I hope this helped somebody. Please follow me on twitter @sisidevoe and snapchat @iamsisidevoe