To have and to hold from....
Happy Valentines Day in this prosperous New Year.
Our 2019 resolution is to bring you a different major key to financial success each month. It’s our commitment to help make a difference in the lives of our clients. We’re going beyond making sure you aren’t “Ridin’ Dirty” and helping you lay a good foundation for your future wealth.
Major Key #1. Have a Plan! The key to success in anything is to have a plan. Even if you are at zero right now, you can become wealthy if you establish and follow a plan. Let’s talk about the practical application of having a plan when it comes to spending your Tax Refund (Wisely)
1. Don't spend a single penny before the money arrives in your bank account. Don't charge something on credit cards; don't promise to spend the money before it’s here. Don’t go car shopping before the money is in. Stuff happens, and you might have an emergency come up that requires the money that you have already spent. Or there may be a delay in the funds coming in and you can end up with additional late fees or interest payments.
2. Don't go on a spending spree after the money arrives either! Seeing that nice chunk of change in your bank account could put you in the mood to splurge. Instead, start by making a plan for these funds. Be deliberate with your money so that it gives you the maximum benefit. When you make a list and prioritize you make sure you get the more important things in first.
3. Make a budget or spending plan before you do anything else. It's amazing how quickly a refund can disappear without a plan. Once you know how much your refund will be, create a plan. Think about your total financial picture; income, expenses and potential upcoming expenses. Think ahead, too, about any large expenditures that might be on the horizon. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
4. Apply the refund to one of your debts. Do you have credit card debt? Maybe more than one. Removing debt from your monthly expenses will lower your stress levels. Strategic payments now can speed up your debt repayment and save you thousands in interest. Use the refund to pay off a card or decrease a card balance. Pick the card with the smallest balance or the highest interest rate — whatever will motivate you the most to continue your cause to get out of debt. Doing something is 100% better than doing nothing.
5. Build your savings. A healthy savings account balance can help you achieve your goals and work toward financial independence. When opportunity arises, it’s too late to prepare. A healthy savings account is preparation for opportunities you may not see at present. Build your savings with all or part of your refund. A healthy savings goal is 6 months of your current monthly income.
6. Donate to a cause. If your expenses and savings are well covered, you might consider helping out a cause that you believe in. A few dollars to the Lydia House or Open Door Mission or to a foundation that you believe in will benefit you as well as the recipient.
7. Buy things that will make you money. Invest in yourself. The difference between an hourly wage of $15.00 or an hourly wage of $150.00 is generally what you know. Can you use your refund to help you learn different skills, take an interesting course or go to a conference that can help you increase your income?
8. Invest it. Use your refund to start a fund for a down payment. Set a goal of owning your own home or maybe a rental property or two. Investing in real estate has been a major part of wealth portfolios for decades. A property you buy today can increase in value and be worth well more than what you paid 5 to 10 years from now. Purchase an income property and the rental from the property can make a payment on a car for you.
9. Spend 5 percent or so on something nice. Go out to eat with your family (once). Buy yourself comfortable shoes or some cool, new gadget. (You probably have a favorite splurge.) Depending on the size of your refund, take a weekend or weeklong vacation.
10. Do not make financial decisions without a trusted advisor. We’d like to be one of your trusted advisors. GTRSALES has been a friend to thousands in the community since 1967 when my father started helping people open the door to their first home. Auto Insurance Mart started has insured drivers in North Omaha for over 40 years. We’re here to help you. We’re your friend in the business.
To recap the major key is, it doesn’t matter how much money you start with, it matters that you have a plan. Today let me recommend the JARs method for saving money. Just Google “JARS” j a r s SAVING METHOD or visit the link.