5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

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It’s no secret to my faithful followers that I have a senior in high school.  Now could not be a better time for me to gain financial knowledge, develop investing skills, and understand credit education.  I’m anxious to learn and share that information and the practices I’ve implemented to improve my financial situation with not only my audience but my children as well. Especially my teenager getting ready to soon transition into young adulthood.  Although, I have a wealth of information to share,  below are the greatest 5 financial tips for young adults!

5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

1.  Use Credit Wisely

When I started college in 2001 and even still now, freshman are bombarded with credit card opportunities.  It was those opportunities that introduced me to credit card debt myself.  I’ve been educating my high school senior on good credit practices.  This includes encouraging her to avoid credit (as best practice) or to only charge what she can afford to pay back at the next bill cycle.

2.  Avoid Student Loan Debt

As my high school senior approaches college, and even before, I’ve encouraged her to avoid college loan debt as much as possible.  I’ve encouraged to take advantage of the early college option which would allow her to have completed all her college prerequisites by high school graduation.  Taking college courses is another option available to juniors and seniors at her school.  Finally, picking a major and determining if she can reach the same goals with an associates degree as opposed to a bachelors.

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3.  Save 

My daughter has been working for about 6 plus months now, after quitting her first job.  Originally, we encouraged her to save something from her paycheck and she would, like $5.00.  Afterwards we challenged her to save $500 by Christmas, which she has and wants to continue.  She decided that she would like to save as much as possible so she will not be restricted by money (or the lack thereof) in college.

4. Minimize Expenses

Approaching college, I’ve taught my daughter how to shop with coupons, plan as much as possible, and determine needs vs wants.  These are all imperative in minimizing expenses.  Beyond college, we’ve discussed moving back home as opposed to renting, and avoiding purchasing a new car with a new job during or after college.

5.  Be Patient

If you are wondering what patience has to do with finances, I’ll explain.  In my debt story, most of my debt (aside from student loans) derived from wants over needs, and satisfying those needs immediately with credit.  Emphasizing the importance of patience as a life virtue, will hopefully prevent my daughter from those impulse purchases and additional costly (and unnecessary) credit transactions.

Honestly, all of these financial tips could be learned and implemented at any point in life.  Hell, I’m just learning them within the last 16 months or so.  As a parent, we can appreciate our mistakes so that our children can benefit from the lesson!

If you have a child in college or on the way, be sure to begin a Target College Registry.  Target has all the college essentials to make the college dorm room feel like “their room” away from home!

What financial tips are you teaching your children?  What financial tips would you have liked to have learned earlier?

Debt Free Journey: Year 1

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If you are new here, WELCOME.  If you’ve been here before Welcome back and thank you for returning!

August 27, 2016 will make an entire year on my debt free journey and the birth of Goaldiggingtohappiness.com.  Here is my very first blog post!  I’ve spent the past couple of days thinking about what has changed in my life, how I’ve changed, and the good and bad of my journey thus far.  If your wondering how could being on such an empowering journey could have any negatives, sit tight, I plan on sharing.  I’ll also be sharing exactly where I am on my debt free journey and where I plan to be in the future.

Debt Payment Update

Amazon 290.9 PAID
Paypal 29.99% $1,136.65 $866.11 PAID
Bill Me Later 29.99% $1,157.99 $1,092.57 $589.80 $294.00 PAID
Citfinancial 13.64% $1,925.70 $1,948.98 $1,709.10 $1,685.24 $1,659.70 $1,388.95 $647.00 PAID July 31, 2016
Wells Fargo 26.49% $2,562.76 $2,506.96 $2,482.80 $2,455.50 $2,687.35 $2,965.16 $2,939.43 $2,592.72
Total $7,283.90 $6,369.62 $4,771.70 $4,434.74 4,347.05 $4,354.11 $3,586.43 $2,592.72

To see exactly where I started, click here.  I’m down to my very last credit card!  I hope to have this paid off by October 31, 2016 or before, I’m leaning more to the before.  Immediately following the month that I pay off Well Fargo, I plan on applying that month’s debt snowball towards my baby ER fund which is not/has not been funded as of yet.

Future Debt Payments

Once our baby ER fund is funded, we (the mister AND I) plan on tackling transportation debt.  We’d like to have our transportation debt paid by December 2017.  Those debts are as follows:

Motocycle loan:                           $4494.59

Tahoe:                                         $6292.72

Honda 2014:                                $16,649.14

Total                                              $27,436.45

Debt Freedom Journey Positives

1.  More money

This is obvious.  In the last 2 months I’ve been able to include sinking fund accounts into my budget and I’ve had money in between pay periods as opposed to before my journey where I’d go from paycheck to paycheck.

2.  Budget

I’ve been budgeting consistently and it has truly changed my outlook on money.  Developing the mindset of telling my money where to go as opposed to my money telling me, has relieved much of the stress about money that I previously had.  For me, organizing my money has lead to my success thus far.

3.  Organization

Once I began to see the affects of my budget and organizing my money, I began to desire the same organization in other aspects of my life.  Particularly, my home.  I’ve created some great spaces, purged some things, and plan to continue in other aspects like work and parenting.

4.  Confidence

My confidence in myself has increased tremendously as I’ve accomplished task that other’s have criticized and judged.  I now believe that anything is possible as long as I put my mind to it.

Debt Free Journey Negatives

I don’t have a huge list of negatives.  The main negatives are the sacrifices and the criticism.  I’ve had to sacrifice lots of things, mainly time.  Time away on the weekends as I work my part time, that I could be enjoying my family.  Another sacrifice, time related, is family vacations.  For the last two summers, my family hasn’t been on a vacation and that has sucked!

The criticism, bothered me a lot when I first started but I was able to deal with it once I realized how common it is.  I wrote a guest post about some of the criticism I received on My Debt Epiphany.  Most of that still holds true today.

I still have not determined exactly when I plan to be completely debt free because I continue to be on the fence about paying off my student loans while on the Human Service Loan Forgiveness Payment Plan.  I also continue to go back and forth about early retirement or working until retirement (I’ll talk more about that later).

Additional Income

I continue to seek out additional ways to earn passive income.  I’m currently considering an income property and I’ve also started a Youtube channel.  I’m just as inconsistent there as I am here.  I plan on improving that.  My youtube channel will focus more on my debt free journey AND my family life.  Finally, Goaldiggintohappiness.com has it’s own Instagram page, Please follow me!

Debt Free Journey Helpful Tips

How has your journey been? How much more debt do you have?

2016 Goal Review and Debt Update

2016 Goal Review

Hello!

First I’d like to apologize for the inconsistency here at GDTH.  Due to unfortunate circumstances at work, I’ve been extremely busy, like earning 75 hours a week busy, which has made it extremely hard to find time, energy, and motivation to write.  I understand that constancy is important for blog success and I’m working really hard to get back to a routine and am even considering outsourcing and guest post.  If you’d like to submit please let me know here.

June 30, 2016 marked the first half of the year as well as the end of the second quarter.  Since we are already half way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to evaluate my progress on my yearly goals and reevaluate any goals that are no longer relevant, may take longer than expected, or need revising.  Below are the goals I made at the end of the 2015 year for 2016 and the progress made thus far.

2016 Goals

  •  Fully finance our home improvement  FAIL (actually revised) This has been placed on the back burner.  This post explains more.  
  • Establish and build an emergency fund IN PROGRESS This is still in progress but will be completed by December 2016.  
  • Stop using all credit cards and be out of credit card debt by December 2016- SUCESS I’ve stopped using the cards and am on target to have the last two paid off by September 30!
  •  Earn or exceed $1,000 blogging income by December 2016  FAIL I completely lost focus with GDTH, which is so unfortunate because I probably could’ve been making more money from it by now and could’ve potentially met this goal.  Check out my previous Blog Income Reports below.  
  • Lose 10-15 pounds- FAIL
  • Generate or exceed $5,000 in side hustle money IN PROGRESS Thus far I’ve made about $3,000 and unless I lose my PT, I should exceed this amount!
  • Increase my income my 10% SUCESS I recently got a raise and the combination of the raise and my PT income should place me at the 10% increase I need to excel my debt pay off.  
  • Increase my financial knowledge IN PROGRESS Initially, my goal was to read a book a month.  I read one in January, none from February to April, and then 3 in May. Nothing since.  
  • Self improve ONGOING
  • Eliminate overpayment loan SUCESS This was paid in full in April!

 

December Side Hustle Income

November Side Hustle Income

We decided to revise our debt repayment plan.  I will be at the point in August that I can apply ALL my part time income to my debt which should successfully have my final credit cards eliminated by September 30, 2016 or before.  Beginning November 2016, the mister and I plan to both tackle all vehicle debt with the goal to have all paid by December 2017!  Afterwards that will leave my student loans, which I’m still on the fence about actively paying to eliminate while on the loan forgiveness program.

Since we’ve decided to work on eliminating the auto loan debt by December 2017, we’ve decided to DIY as much of the home addition as we can possibly do while saving for a contractor with goals to have it completely funded by December 2018.  However, those plans may change drastically.  My baby boy desperately needs his own room, and I can only imagine the peace we would get with the teens upstairs on their own level.

Debt Repayment Progress

Jan Feb March April May June July
AC 290.9 PAID
PP $1,136.65 $866.11 PAID
BML $1,157.99 $1,092.57 $589.80 $294.00 PAID
CF $1,925.70 $1,948.98 $1,709.10 $1,685.24 $1,659.70 $1,388.95 $900.00
WF $2,562.76 $2,506.96 $2,482.80 $2,455.50 $2,687.35 $2,965.16 $2,873.16
Total $7,283.90 $6,369.62 $4,771.70 $4,434.74 4,347.05 $4,354.11 $3,773.16

Here is the previous debt repayment update posted.

I’m super excited about being close to having my credit card debt eliminated and having that HUGE burden off my shoulders!

How have your 2016 goals been going thus far?

TICO: My Intelligent Agent!

Tico: My Intelligent Agent appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness! The post contains a paid review. However, all opinion are my own as a result of personal use.
Tico: My Intelligent Agent appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness! The post contains a paid review. However, all opinions are unbiased based on personal use.

I do a lot of research, specifically related to personal finance and wealth building, obviously. I’m always looking for helpful information, tips, books, and podcasts related to money. However, I never considered to research personal finance applications (apps) that could be as helpful and beneficial while on my journey.

I was recently introduced to Tico Credit Card Detective, a free personal finance application that allows you to track and organize your spending habits via all of the users credit cards (debit cards coming soon) in real time! This application records your purchases and categorizes them for you! It even notifies you of suspicious activity (which I’m especially loving since I worry about fraudulent activity).

You can imagine how excited I was to be introduced to an app that could track my spending for me.  After downloading the app and playing with it a little, I immediately appreciated the app.  It was like having a personal accountant Intelligent Agent available for free.

[bctt tweet=”Tico is your Intelligent Agent to monitor, evaluate, and consolidate your credit card transactions in one place”]
What I Love about Tico Credit Card Detective app:
  1. Easy to navigate
  2. Available on Android and Apple
  3. Intelligently Categorizes my spending
  4. Provides the option to call the institution customer service via a swipe option
  5. Notifies me of interest charges
  6. Updates timely
  7. 24/7 support
  8. Secure

The only thing I do not like about this app is that my actual bank can not be added.  Although, I understand because my primary banking is via the Credit Union but Tico will be covering more banks in the next version of the app.  

Do you have this app?  If so share your review?  If not, do you think you would download it?

My First Snowball payment

MySnowballPayment
I’ve made my first and last snowball payment on my Target credit.  Now I’m debt free!  Well technically, $500.00 free of debt.  I have officially paid off my Target card!!!! This is only a small accomplishment, however it’s accomplished.  What I’m more excited about is the fact that I now have $75.00 ($36.10 + the minimum payment on the next card) to roll over into my next snowball payment on another credit card payment! 

I posted my credit card balances here. At that time I only owed $36.10.  I worked this weekend and earned $100 in tips.  I immediately left work and scheduled the payment to be debited out of my account for today (because I had already cut the card).

Although it is only a small snowball payment (more like a snowflake payment) portion of my debt, the fact I have accomplished it makes my goal of becoming debt free more and more realistic!  I’m anxious to continue to see just how big my snowball payment increases to!

What did you accomplish this pass week or weekend? What is/was your first snowball amount?