Did you know that about one third of New Year’s resolutions are about finances? And we all know the sad statistics for how often resolutions are kept (hardly ever). So this year we decided to create some New Year, New Money You challenges for a healthier, wealthier life to make your money management more exciting and more successful.
Are you up for the challenge?
Challenge #1 Use a Money App
There are lots of apps out there and most of them are free. One we really love is called Qapital! If you purchase something for $2.50 it will round up to $3 and take that difference and stick it in a savings account for you! The average savings is about $44 a month. If you do that for a full year you will have saved about $550, which could be your whole Christmas budget, and it didn’t even hurt!
Challenge #2 Invest
Invest in your future, yourself, and your education. Pick one or all three — investing in you is a sure bet!
Invest in Your Future
This is something we are usually really bad at, but the easiest way to do that is using a 401(k) or 403(b) through your employer. Nine out of ten of those have a matching plan so GO DO IT! I was a stay at home dad for seven years so Beth used the 403(b) at our organization while I was at home. Now we both use ours. It is great because it is 100% return on your money. Most companies will match a percentage: 3, 4, 5, or even as high as 6%.
If you can put in 3% and get another 3%, why wouldn’t you do that? I have been in investment advisory for 20 years and I can’t find an investment out there that provides 100% return, so USE IT! If you don’t have one of those use an IRA or a Roth. Just put $50 away a month. It doesn’t have to be this huge amount, just start.
Invest in Your Education
One of the things we are horrible at is continuing to keep ourselves educated. For me as a financial advisor, I have to take continuing education courses, but not every occupation requires it. So you need a little extra nudge. So jump into a community college class or find something online!
How about a class from the world-renown Massachusetts Institute of Technology? They offer all kinds of FREE classes through their MIT OpenCourseWare site – just sign up. Plus you can tell your friends you’re “going to MIT”. Go, invest in your education!
Invest in Yourself
Again, just pick somewhere to start! Get that gym membership, start a home brewing system, take a class, explore the time savings of a virtual assistant or maid, upgrade your look with a new wardrobe or hairstyle, take a floral arranging class, or find a knowledgeable counselor to help you get to that next level this year. Do something that you can really enjoy in 2017.
From the famous “philosopher” Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Start the year off right by challenging yourself to have a healthier, wealthier year.
Make it Happen.
Scott & Bethany Palmer
The Money Couple