Without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite times of year is the one little week sandwiched in between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The craziness of the holidays are over and I start to get really, really motivated for the year ahead. And hopefully you already know that I LOVE GOAL SETTING. So that’s basically what I spend the whole week doing…and not surprisingly, a lot of my goals tend to be financial ones. Then once I’ve settled on them, I work really, really, really hard to get them accomplished.
So as you start brainstorming ideas to tackle your own financial goals, use these tips and resources to get them totally accomplished this year:
Related post: The Life-Changing Power of Goal Setting
I love this question. I know it sounds weird, but I ask myself all the time – What would you do with $10 million, Nikki? And then I make a list. Usually with a glass of wine after everyone’s gone to bed. I know it sounds indulgent, but it’s really not. In fact, I think it’s a really, really important question that everyone needs to ask themselves on a regular basis – What would you do with $10 million?
Why waste time imagining a life you don’t have, you ask?
Student loan debt is the absolute worst. Yes, it is really important to get an education. But the vast majority of students that are taking out loans have no idea how much that debt is going to weigh them down. Education is important, but so is getting this debt off your back!
If you want to pay off student loans early (which I’m assuming you do), there are a lot of things you can do…some of which you may not have thought of. I feel lucky that my husband and I were able to get rid of what we had before I decided to stay at home with my son, because basically I wouldn’t have been able to if we hadn’t. And I want that for you!
So here’s what you need to do to get rid of that debt FAST:
I love, love, love things that save time and make life easier (who doesn’t?). I’m always on the lookout for cool gadgets, awesome life hacks, and basically anything that helps me get more things done with less time and effort. So it should come as no surprise that I’m a sucker for anything that enables you to automate your life. As the saying goes – set it and forget it!
Automation is one of the best way to build wealth, increase your productivity through the day, and now it even helps me clean the house (seriously!). Believe it or not, it’s also a great way to save money and just live a happier life.
So it’s time to share! These are all the ways that I automate my life…and a few extras that I should be doing (or wish I could do):
A big part of me loves investing in real estate and it’s a big part of my plan for the future. Yet, for some reason this was still one of the easiest posts I’ve ever written…because the truth is, I lose soooo much sleep over some of the worries that come with this type of investing (at least for buy and hold real estate investing). It is not an easy thing to do and it is TOUGH work. And not just the getting-your-hands-dirty kind of work (though it certainly can be that), but the dreadful how-the-heck-am-I-going-to-fix-this kind of work. The kind of thing you think about all day and lose tons of sleep over. And until you’ve really hit it big, it’s hard to tell if you’re even doing things right.
So before you jump head first into your first property (which I still hope you will consider!), make sure to read this carefully because real estate investing is not as glamorous as you think and it’s definitely not for everyone!
I am obsessed with saving for retirement. I’m also obsessed with collecting things. So it’s probably not surprisingly that I love finding different types of retirement accounts, different ways to save for retirement, and OBVIOUSLY any way to get “free” retirement money.
So I think it’s time to share! Not only do I know you all love posts like this, but I also can’t wait to hear your suggestions and ideas for MORE ways that we can hoard away money for our golden years. So don’t hold back! Hopefully my suggestions can help you as much as yours will help us. 🙂
I am absolutely in love with the house I live in…most of the time at least. There have been things I never realized I’d love so much and others that I wish I would have considered more thoroughly. Right now we’re planning to live here for quite some time, but I still wonder if we would do things differently if we had the opportunity to turn back time.
Hindsight is always 20/20 though, so in reality I’m lucky we had such great advice going into our purchase. If it hadn’t been for our parents and a great realtor, God only knows where we’d be living. So for those of you about to make this huge decision, here’s my best advice and some important things to consider:
Even for a person with a horrendous memory (me), I have vivid recollections of my pregnancy and the subsequent birth of my son. Ironically, one of the memories that still sticks with me the most was the total shock of realizing how much it costs just to be pregnant – and that’s with good health insurance (and a healthy pregnancy). Ultrasounds were considered elective, blood tests were extra, and of course there’s the deductible right off the bat. By the time we got to the hospital for delivery we had “luckily” reached our deductible and would only have to pay 10% of any additional costs…but as every other delivering parent knows, 10% of a whole lot is still a whole lot.
Luckily we were able to stomach the costs but it totally shifted how we managed our money and led to one of the best investments we’ve ever made – our Health Savings Account (HSA).
I know this sounds ridiculously corny, so I’m hesitant to even write an entire post about it, but I’m telling you – this one simple activity is how my husband and I have (and are) achieving all of our dreams in record timing. It’s why I’m able to stay at home with my son, how we bought two investment properties, are learning a second language, have spent our summer traveling, have become vegan, the list goes on and on…
So here’s the really simplistic, dumbed-down gist of how we’ve made it all happen: Every few months (if we’re lucky, weeks), we sit down and formally Goal Set. I’m emphasizing formally and capitalizing Goal Set on purpose – it’s that big of a deal and that big of an event for us…it’s better than a date night (actually, we love it so much that it basically is a date night). But most importantly, it consistently and reliably always works – sometimes it’s scary how much so.
So here’s what we do, and how you can (and should) do it too:
For the most part, the classic American dream includes home ownership. A comfortable job, a vacation once a year, and a place to call home. What’s funny is that the vast majority of us are relying on 30-year mortgages to “own” our homes. So, in some sense, we really aren’t owning them – we just feel like we are. And it’s so commonplace to have a mortgage that nobody really second-guesses it.
To be fair, there are some benefits of having a mortgage. But does that really mean that it’s a good idea for everyone? Should it be the norm? I’m not convinced. Here are some of the biggest reasons I think it’s a good idea to pay off your mortgage (and why we’re doing it):
Related post: How to Pay Off the Mortgage Early