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8 Financial Resolutions to Make in 2021

With 2021, it is the perfect time to evaluate your financial situation and improve your financial health.

Big Items First:

1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Make a list of your credit cards, your balances, and your payment date. Also make a call and check the APR or % you are paying per year for that balance.

Start with the largest amount and highest APR – and start focusing on getting it paid down. You may also look at the smallest balance and work to pay that off first. Just look at the options and get focused.

Additional Tips:

– The other credit cards- pay more than the minimum each month (even if a small amount over).

– Look at low balance transfers to move debt out of high interest credit cards. Transfer fees may be 3-5% but this is typically better than the interest rate on the credit card

– Depending on the debt, you may pay off the debt with a home equity loan. Home equity interest is deductible – also, caution to those who do not pay on time…failure to pay may lead to foreclosure on your home.

2. Trim that Budget

Now is a great time to cut the budget and stick to it. Cancel cable, dine out less, and shop at discount places or go through your closet. This can be temporary or permanent but is a flexible situation. Look at things you spend money on and consider making some changes.

3. Create a Will. And Medical Power of Attorney.

A will is important. Should you die, you decide the estate, the children (if you and a spouse pass), avoid probate (in many cases), make donations, decide who makes decisions (executor), minimize taxes, and you can disinherit anyone you want.

A medical power of attorney is someone authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf of you are incapacitated. Medical power of attorney representative decides on withdrawing, giving medical or surgical treatments.

4. Make extra mortgage payments.

Every little bit helps! $100 a month, an extra payment a year…anything over time can make a huge difference. Paying an extra payment per year will equate to years off the loan.

Any monies on selling items I had went to the mortgage fund. Over time, it made a huge difference.

5. Evaluate Purchases by Cost Per Use

Think about the hoodie – is the $30 really better than the $5.00 hoodie? Or if you are wearing it daily should you splurge on the better quality?

I am a huge proponent of this factor. There was an amazing pair of boots for $275 Marc Fisher boots – I knew I would wear them at most 15 times…I found the Walmart dupe for $24 and bought brown and khaki and still stayed way under budget. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Marc Fisher but I can find quite a few ways to spend approximately $225 that does not involve boots

6. Spend money on experiences and not things

If you are spending money, then make it mean something. A concert, a trip, a picnic, a basketball game – these items are much more fulfilling than things.

7. Plan for Retirement

After getting your debt under control, then focus on retirement. Working for a school district, options include 403b or 457 Roth so a lot of money can be saved with maximum benefits. The more money you put in today, the more time it has to grow through compound growth.

8. Curb Overspending

Most people overspend in 3 ways: overspend on house, overspend on car, and overspend on entertainment.

Think about the size of house and cost of what is best for you, consider a more affordable car or plan to keep it longer once it is paid for, and entertainment – the number of trips, dining out, etc.

Hope this helps you think about your spending and how you might curb some spending!

Xoxo,

Heidi

0 In Education/ Lifestyle

Financial Goals 2021

There are a lot of people who will tell you that you need to invest, you need to save, you need to xyz. It is hard to do those things when you are barely making ends meet. Right now, in COVID time, it is so hard to get ahead….if it is not one thing….it is truly something else.

What you can do: look at your situation… take a deep look and make plans to move forward. Think about selling that car, selling that place you live in… make life easier and worry less about what people think.

My gorgeous house was sold after 2 years and I was a tad sad about the place (you have seen pics! It was gorgeous) but it is a house….a house is not a home and it is best to let go of the ideal and live with reality. I am in the process of making my new reno better than that one anyway. It is still a process….life is a journey and remember to stay true to you.

I hope you continue reading because my goal is to help share a few secrets of mine that have added significant monies back into my account once I realized what was happening….

Let me start with……people mean well. People tell you things all the time- do this, save that, sometimes they just do not understand where you are. I can remember graduating college and making $20,000 a year at a small school district in Ohio. I can remember thinking – how am I going to pay everything? I will be the first to admit that I have had opportunities and my parents have been extremely generous and that is probably too mild. I can also say that I have busted my tail since high school to retire early and have wealth.

What do I mean? I started college during high school – it was post secondary and meant that my parents did not have to pay for part of my college – my brother and I both did this. It saved or shaved off at least $40,000 by attending the local community college. I know some people reading this may say- oh but there is a college experience – I will agree with you. I will also agree to disagree that by staying at home; I did not find myself in trouble, did not find myself having time to make poor choices, and also can say in hindsight…it might have helped find a suitable mate that would have lasted or gone the distance with me but who knows ?? I do know when I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Principal’s License, and Superintendent’s License – I had $0 debt. I started my Ph.D. program and started paying off my program one quarter at a time…it was expensive and my quality of life (travel, car, life- was impacted) and decided to take out student loans to the tune of $140,000 (more than my first house)

If I had taken out loans with my Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s – there is a good probability that I would not have been able to finish a Ph.D. with the cost required in funding – so again, Community College V. 4 Year School. Both pay the same when you get out and get a job.

Reverting back a minute, being fiscally responsible is important. I have tons of friends who blew through money; I always worked hard for what I have. My parents had my brother and I renovating houses, flipping houses, and building houses in our spare time – this paid the college tuition. I can remember my brother and I both being at Cedarville and I had just graduated – my brother was also doing the same business program and he was also running a multi-million dollar project for the military while holding down a full course load. I was playing college tennis, taking classes at 3 universities to finish at the age of 20.

My brother and I both have grit. We have extreme work ethic and a no failure policy. We fall down, but we get up stronger and learn from our mistakes…we have had plenty. With years in education, years in remodeling, and helping to sell/ building/ and flip houses; we have a skill set that is unique and provides for extras in our daily life. With that said, we put in an extreme number of hours to afford such things. We also have skills many people do not have: when I was a teacher and there was a snow day; I would help snow plow, snow blow sidewalks, and clear parking lots/ businesses for money. I have helped out on farms – driving a combine or driving a grain cart. I do not have a CDL (I regret not learning how to drive stick and not having a CDL, but if I wanted to do; I am sure I could) This comes in handy and will share in a few …

Back to finances….. how you can get it together in 2021 and have more money each month and can plan for the future? Below is google sheet with 3 tabs that is good for anyone, college, high school, or adult.

Sinking Funds Checklist

The Sinking Funds Checklist shows an example of my monthly fixed costs as well as the monthly incidentals that get ya! What can you eliminate…what can you see disappear?

On the second tab is a blank one so you can copy and save for yourself. Tab 3 shares the actual income, costs, additional funds, and tracks expenses – use this monthly.

Why is important to having a sinking funds checklist? To plan ahead of the expenses you have and to save at least 5 months for an emergency fund.

I did say 5 months of expenses – add those costs and that should be what you aspire to have in a savings account in case something happens….

When you look at my list, there are definitely things that could come off…ie spray tanning, but that also serves as an additional revenue for me. (Instagram and my blog) so you can definitely see some examples. There are also somethings I will point out and no judgement to others, but no drugs, no alcohol, no smoking: those costs add up…..I do have travel expenses and never feel bad about paying for those crazy outlandish costs – ie microlight over Victoria Falls, helicopter of Kauai, last minute flight to Amsterdam…..

Something I do recommend…is to consider thinking about revenue – how might you create another stream of income beyond your regular job that creates happiness or joy?

Do you like to organize (can you establish an organization business) or you love numbers and like accounting and can help out a small business on a part-time basis? or you like to be crafty and can design birthday kits for parents who cannot pinterest?

I personally have several revenues of income: I have created 2 apps that were sold by Apple and Google. I have created items on Teachers Pay Teachers, I sell things on ebay, mercari, facebook, and craigslist. I renovate houses, I consult on home projects/ design, write for blogs/ newsletters/ companies, provide content for companies via instagram, Amazon, and other famous companies (you might see my pics floating around), I instagram, blog, TikTok, Likee, and Zynn. All of which have paid me to do different things. My point is….hone your skills. Know yo Worth and Get At It.

I am going to share more on money each month…I have been asked at least 20 times in the last month on information to save, survive, and have. I will do better at blogging on that to help others.

Success does not happen by accident (for the most part) it is hours of planning, hours of working, and hours of trying to move forward. I also start with goals…..3 month, 6 month, and long term goals and write it down – which I will do here. I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions…I fall off the wagon every year, but with goals…..I seem to meet them.

3 Month Goals: (Small steps)

  1. REDO website: Make it aesthetically pretty and blog at least 2 times per week
  2. Gain more followers to my facebook page as well as followers to my blog (easier once new site is up)
  3. Learn how to use my Nikon d850 and Sony a7iii better
  4. Move into renovation house

6 Month Goals: (what do you want in June or where do you want to be)

  1. Learn more about Graphic Design. Make Pinterest and Blog more appealing to viewers
  2. Create content for 15 new companies
  3. Get the COVID vaccine
  4. Learn how to use a tripod well

Year Long Goals: (think future…what do you have coming up? House, Car, Baby, Wedding, Relocation)

  1. Save Money
  2. Max out the Roth IRA (457 and 403b)
  3. Improve Social Media Engagement
  4. Book Antarctica again without fear
  5. Save for Replacement of Lexi (my 6th Lexus)

There is a lot of information here…..

A couple books I recommend:

The 4 Hour Work Week

The Broke Millenial

The Millionaire Next Door

Okay, that is a lot. Hope you enjoyed

XOXO,

Heidi