It’s Time For Your January Budget
2017 Is Over
The year is rapidly coming to an end. Take a moment to reflect on how your financial year went. Did you pay down your debt or finally become debt free? Did you save enough? Invest enough? Spend too much? Give too little? However your year went, you can still make 2018 better.
Now is the time to make a positive change for 2018. This is not a New Year’s resolution. It is a New Life resolution. How can you make this year (and all future years) better? What were your unfavorable financial outcomes this past year? What can you do now to make this year your best financial year yet?
Your New Life Resolutions
I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. I always thought them to be corny and I never understood why we waited until January 1st to make positive changes in our lives. You don’t have to wait until the new year. You can make positive changes in your life all year long. But in the spirit of the New Year, I figured I would offer some Life Resolutions. These are resolutions that shouldn’t be forgotten about by the end of January. I hope these ideas will help.
- If you go out to eat too much, make a life resolution to eat-in more to save money and stay healthier.
- Did you not save enough in 2017? Make a new life resolution to pay yourself FIRST. Make 10-15% of your paycheck automatically go into your savings!
- Did you not invest enough? Easy- make your investments automatically withdraw from your checking every month. If you never see the money in your account, you won’t miss it. If you are already debt free and investing, can you squeeze $30 more a month to put towards your retirement? Check out Frank’s story below…
- Did you not give enough? Plan out your charities for the entire year right now. Put it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone for the first of every month. You can even open another checking account and have an automatic transfer of 10% of your paycheck every month, then give HUGE at the end of the year. There are lots of options!
- Did you spend too much on frivolous things? Get into the habit of saying “No” when you are at the store. Make a list and stick to it. Stores are very good at creating the impulse to buy. Every display at the end of every aisle is there for a specific purpose. It is there to make you buy. Be smart. Be strong.
- Are you suffering from a Christmas financial hangover? Did you put Christmas on credit instead of cash? There are about 360 days until Christmas- if you set aside $2 a day until then, you would have $720. If you set aside $100 a month, you would have $1,200! Think about how great it would be to pay for Christmas with CASH in 2018! Here is a great money saving challenge from the Frugal Money Man the will help you out.
The Great White Buffalo
What about that debt? Is 2018 the year you are finally going to get out of debt? Or is this the year you have finally had enough of being the bank’s puppet? Would you like to be wealthy by the time you reach retirement? If so, then stop paying the bank! Banks make their money by charging interest on their loans. If you are debt free, then your money stops working for the bank and starts working for you. Over time, the compounding interest starts growing like crazy.
Let me tell you about a guy I know named Frank. When Frank graduated from high school, he got a job. It was a blue-collar job. He worked this job for the past 47 years and his highest salary was $50,000. I mean no disrespect to Frank because he is a great worker, but that salary isn’t a whole lot– especially with three kids who he sent to college and with one wedding to pay for. Do you know what Frank did since the first day of this job? He invested.
Frank is not only a millionaire but a multi-millionaire now. He has close to $2.5 million in the bank.
How did he do it? Easy. He avoided debt, paid cash for everything, drove very inexpensive cars, and lived life fairly frugally. Because he didn’t have any debt, he could maximize his investments. His money worked for him over his 47-year career. That made him very wealthy. According to him, his only regret is not putting just a few dollars more in every month starting back when he was 18.
A few dollars more did he say? Yep. Let’s look at an example…
Hey Interest, Compound This!
Let’s assume that Frank only invested $100 a month for 47 years. After 47 years of investing $100 a month with a conservative 10% return, he would now be sitting on $1.15 million. Of that $1.15 million, he would have only contributed a total of $56,400. The rest is growth from compound interest!
But let’s take a look and see what he would have if he only invested $130 a month– a mere $30 more per month… He would be sitting on almost $1.5 million. His total contributions would have been $73,320 over that 47 years. The rest would have been from growth. But that extra $30 a month, which he probably wouldn’t have missed during those 47 years, would have given him an extra $400,000.
With what Frank has now, it would be safe to assume that he would have had an extra million with a $30 increase in his monthly investments. That’s the power of compounding interest. Frank knows it. Now you know it. Time is the greatest wealth building tool.
The Parting Shot
Now. This moment. Right now. You have the choice on whether your future self will be wealthy, or you have the choice to make your future self a puppet, forever controlled by the banks, debts, and are unable to stop working when you want. What’s it going to be?
2017 is over. It is done. If your financial choices were not the best this past year, it doesn’t matter. You can still change it for 2018. You are still in the game and you can still win. Get on a budget. Stay on your budget. Get out of debt. Grow your emergency fund. Start investing. Pay off the house early. These are the simple steps that will guarantee you will be better off in the future. 2018 is your year. This is the year your future self will look back upon with a thankful attitude. You’ve got this. Now go and do it.
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This post was created with the help of:
Boston’s Best coffee and me and Jen’s 2017 investment summary. We are very happy with the numbers we are looking at.