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.

greatest-financial-advice

 

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?

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money NOW!

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money

Hello!

I’ve recently shared that I’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for a year now.  I plan to share exactly how much debt I’ve managed to eliminate within this year in a later post.  Now, however, I’m addressing what got me into debt and what exactly I’ve done to get out of debt. My first step was to stop spending too much money NOW.

By now you should know the key to getting out of debt is to earn more and spend less! While I definitely don’t consider myself an expert at earning more and spending less, I do think that the things I’ve done to stop spending too much are achievable and can be helpful to someone.  

What I did to stop spending too much money  

1. Track and Analyze my Spending

On a monthly basis, I review my bank statements.  I categorize my spending into gas, fast food, groceries, clothing, and bills and totaled my spending in those areas.  An additional category is miscellaneous which is where I payed close attention to see where exactly where I could cut cost.  I was able to realize just how much “little things” added up such as vending machine trips, candy and sodas from the gas station and random trips from the grocery store, Dollar General, and Target.  Afterwards, I would attempt to decrease spending in all areas by at least 10 percent.

2. Avoid triggers

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re aware of how tempted I was by Target.  I would take random trips to Target, browse every isle, and spend hundreds of dollars on things I did not need, and some I did.  After maxing out my card, I did the same to my Mister’s card until we had TWO maxed out cards for one household.  Shortly after, I decided to begin my debt free journey.

To avoid behaviors that placed me back in debt, I removed my Target from my pocket book and had my mister place at the top of my closet in a pocket book without me looking.  Afterwards, I cut it up.  Now, to continue avoiding triggers, particularly emotional spending, I’ve unsubscribed from email list to avoid the temptation of online shopping, removed all my cards from my wallet, and shop with list in most cases.

How To Stop Spending Too Much Money-2

3.  Use cash

It took me a long time, like a really long time, to develop the habit of using cash instead of swiping my debt card. It also took me a long time to remove my debit card from my wallet and use cash only or the cash envelope system.  The cash envelope system is not working so well for me right now, swiping my cards had become so normal.  I plan on being more diligent and consistent in my efforts.

4. Develop a Budget

I developed a budget about three months into my debt free journey.  That budget did not work out so well after one attempt and I went back to my old system of paying bills, however I made sure to assign an increased amount towards my debt snowball payment.  I’ve since developed a zero based budget, which continues to be a work in progress.

All the above techniques have been helpful in preventing me from spending too much money and paying off debt in this first year of my debt free journey.  It does require lots of determination and discipline, which I didn’t have in the beginning.  Which why, it’s probably called a journey!

In addition to the techniques above, I’ve stopped spending money on these 4 things as well:

  1. Dunken donuts coffee
  2. Manicures and pedicures
  3. Fast food
  4. Pocket books and shoes

Here is a video explaining exactly how much debt I’m in and why I began my journey!

Please add any tips you have to help people from spending too much money below?  Is there anything that you stopped buying that you added back into your budget?

 

Avoid Financial Regret

avoid financial regret

Today’s post is a guest post from Michael.  Micheal blogs at Super Millennial.

Regret..it’s an awful feeling to have in your life.  I’m not quite 30.  I’m lucky to not have much regret, however this Business Insider article got me thinking of how much financial regret some people will have in their life. The article mentions five financial experts and the money regrets they look back on in their life.

Business Insider Financial Regrets to Avoid

  • Failure to do research to make an educated decision
  • Not listening to your gut if it doesn’t feel right
  • Not investing sooner
  • Living beyond your means & getting into debt
  • Ignoring a collection item

These are all very legitimate regrets and sure a lot of people are currently suffering from, or currently leading a life that will lead to these regrets. Let’s take a look at these five financial regrets and the necessary steps to take to make sure you never feel this type of financial regret in your future.

Failure to do Research

The article references a CPA who didn’t do his research when he bought their first house. Buying a home is most likely you’re biggest purchase ever and need to do your research. Before you even begin looking online at houses, do RESEARCH the following information:

· Use a mortgage calculator to find out what you can afford & the monthly payment amount (make sure to include taxes, insurance & HOA fees)
· Will you have any savings or will all your money be in your home?
· Evaluate if the house needs repairs, if so do you have the additional money?
· Is your credit score high enough to secure a low APR loan?
· How does it compare to other houses in the neighborhood?
· Would you be okay living there 5-10 years?

There are 100 additional questions to ask before buying a house but the same applies to buying or leasing a car. Make sure to do your research! These high-ticket items will be around in your life for a long time so make sure you really want it and can afford them.

Not Listening To Your Gut

The article references someone feeling pressured when meeting with financial advisors and the bad feeling they got during the encounter. Listening to your gut in most situations is usually the best solution; whether you’re unsure about taking a new job, feeling pressured by a salesman for a “limited time offer”, or hiring a financial advisor. In most situations you should at least sleep on big decisions for a night. If your gut still doesn’t like it the next day, don’t do it.

When it comes to financial advisors I think if you’re net worth is under $100,000 then you can manage your own finances. Paying someone to do it may be convenient but if you don’t learn now you may never. Most people who acquired wealth have had a solid understanding of their finances. That includes how much money they save, how much they spend, and where they invest. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your finances:
· Invest Enough in your 401K to match your employer match
· Open a Roth IRA to maximize retirement savings

Avoid Financial Regret 2

Not Investing Sooner

I’ve always been a saver but didn’t begin investing until I was 25. As the article mentions Jeff Rose, fellow blogger of Good Financial Cents said “if only I had started a Roth IRA at 18.” But let’s get real, from 18-22 the last thing on your mind is learning about low cost index funds and tax sheltered accounts.

Unfortunately after that age people then get busy with work, additional education, having a family, and keep up the same excuses. “I don’t understand investing, I don’t have the money right now, or I’m not going to retire for like 40 years.” While one or all of those may be true it’s important to take the time to learn about personal finance or investing earlier, rather than later. Not only will investing earlier compound your potential gains but it will create a habit for your brain to always invest a portion of your income and set up your older self for success. As mentioned previously start investing in your 401K and open a Roth IRA to ensure you can start benefiting from compound interest over time.

Living Beyond Your Means

How often do we all see this? People that make the same or less than you do but always seem to be living the life on Instagram…anyone can do it, but typically they’re just racking up high interest credit card debt trying to impress everyone.

Just STOP, do you need to buy bottle service every weekend? Or buy a car with a $500/month payment? Probably not. It’s important to understand how much you make, create a budget, and stick to it every month. Don’t rack up debt trying to impress everyone; you’ll create a vicious cycle that will be tough to climb out of when you realize how much interest you owe on your credit cards. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your spending:

· Track Your Spending with Mint or Personal Capital
· Track Your Net Worth (Download my net worth tracker here)

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses…they’re broke!

Ignoring A Bill

Finally the last example is ignoring a bill that eventually ends up in collection. If you get a bill, pay it off, no matter how small, get the receipt and store it away. Even one item can have a serious impact towards getting a loan or even negatively affecting your credit. Bottom line…pay the bills! To ensure you don’t miss any bills I also recommend setting up automatic bill pay for your cell phone,
Hopefully everyone can avoid financial regret by sticking to a few simple, easy financial rules. Always do your research for big purchases, listen to your gut (it’s rarely wrong), start investing, don’t overspend trying to impress people and always pay your bills on time.

What has been your biggest financial regret?  

MichaelMichael L. is the creator of Super Millennial. He teaches millennials how to evaluate their financial situation, simplify money management & learn how to automate your investments to reach their financial goals. Subscribe for his personal finance “Keys To Success” and blog updates here. For additional updates, follow me on Twitter!

August Side Hustle Income

 

August Side Hustle Income

Hello! I’ve decided to return to sharing Side Hustle Income reports as a means to motivate others on their Financial Freedom Journey!

New Visitors!

I do Side Hustle Income reports to show exactly how much money is earned from side hustling.  I continue to work a full time job and that income is not reported.  Side Hustle Income reports, originally Online Income Reports,  began in 2015.  These reports stopped when Goal Digging to Happiness stopped producing income.  However, I’ve decided to return to reporting my Side Hustle Income.

Side Hustle, or “side hustling” is a common term within the personal finance community.  A side hustle is considered to be any task or tasks that earn additional money to be applied towards debt payments.  Side hustles include blogging, a part time job, Youtuber, amazon seller, anything that brings in additional income!

In 2015, I earned about $4000 in side hustle income, with only starting in March 2015!  I was able to pay off 3 credit cards and

August Side Hustle Income Breakdown

Side Hustle as a Therapist:                     1050.00

Google Adsense:                                        102.37

GDTH:                                                             0

Selling Items:                                                  0

Natural Hair Care Specialist:                           0

Total:                                                          1152. 37

The categories listed above are ALL my side hustles.  Earlier this year, I earned extra money doing hair in a shop however that stopped.  My schedule become more and more hectic at my full time job and I was unable to be consistent with appointments.  Shortly afterwards, I decided to do therapy on the side, which has been my most lucrative hustle yet.  There is potential to work less hours and make more money at my part time job but the benefits of my full time job are needed at this time.

Debt Payment Progress

I’m currently on my LAST credit card with hope to have it paid by the end of October or before!  $600.00 of my side hustle money was applied to my debt snowball payment this past pay period and over $1000 in all for the month of August!  This brings my consumer debt number  to $1966.58.  

August 2016 Side Hustle Income Report

Updates

I started a Goal Digging to Happiness youtube channel!  There I also provide some insight of my debt freedom journey as well provide a personal look into my life with 5 children.

With only one credit card left, I’ve been able to make other investments. My insights on work independence has changed drastically after a recent incident at work.  Since then, I’ve been more interested in having the option of work flexibility, although it is not my goal at this time.

After October, the mister and I will be FINALLY joining finances.  Joining finances will increase our debt snowball payments and speed up the debt free date!

September Goals

Financial

  • Pay $1000 towards WFCC
  • Build Emergency Fund

Goal Digging to happiness

  • Complete course and implement techniques
  • 1 blog post weekly

Health

  • have one meatless meal/week

Happiness

  • Do a crafting, DIY with family
  • plant my fall garden
  • go on a date
  • Enjoy all the pumpkin spice I can!

What do you think? Do you think I should be applying more to my debt snowball?  How do you determine your debt snowball payment?

Debt Free Journey: Year 1

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?

My Debt Total Update

My Debt Number-2
My Debt Total Update appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!

This past Saturday made three months exactly since I posted My Debt Number! Although I track my credit card balances monthly, I do not usually keep track of my other balances, since they are not my main focus at this time.  However, I think it’s good to track progress and reflect back to continue to motivate me on the journey so lets see if the number has changed much!

 My Balances:

October 30, 2015                                                                     January 30, 2016

  • $1,806.00-overpayment                                                        $ 1036
  • $7,874.46-consumer and credit card debt                           $6,795.79
  • $9,217.10- Auto loan #1                                                         $8231.76
  • $19,585.30- Auto loan # 2                                                     $1894.63
  • $55,688.64- under graduate school loans                            SAME
  • $59,498.00-graduate school loans                                        SAME
  • $135,341.05-mortgage                                                            $ 134,673.75

That brings my total debt number to                                    $267,818.57

I think that is pretty good progress in three months time!  I recently discussed my plan to aggressively pay debt here and here to meet my birthday goal of having my credit cards, car number one, and the over payment paid.  I’m determined to meet the goal but with time moving so fast, I’m becoming a little doubtful.

I’m not sure I made a realistic goal to have nearly $17,000 of debt eliminated.  I’m going to continue trying to meet the goal but will reevaluate at the six month mark which will be in April.

How do you set debt pay off goals?  How often, if any, do you change the goal?

 

 

 

 

 

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?

December Goal and Budget Review

December Goal and Budget Review appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!
December Goal and Budget Review appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!

I know that it’s super late in the month to be doing a goal review but umm…better late then never right!

December was a super busy month at first then I like crashed for like 7 days where I didn’t do anything but the basics.  Literally, all I did was eat, sleep, and watch tv.  Somewhere in there I would bathe, check mail, and attend to the little ones.  I completely eliminated social media during this time and enjoyed every minute of that as well.  As a result, I’m pretty sure some of these goals fell by the wayside. Lets see.

FINANCIAL

1. Stick to my Christmas shopping list and budget.

SUCCESS-I had no choice but to maintain my budget and my shopping list, once I created it.  I had absolutely no access to go overboard which was a great thing.  And more importantly, I did not add any  additional debt on my credit cards because I’m so serious about getting out of debt.   

2. Improve my household budget.

SUCCESS-  You’ll see below how my budget improved compared to Novembers.  Actual payments were much closed to Novembers actual payments and the totals were not drastically over.  

I always get excited at the end of the year.  I go overboard with goals and plans for the following year which may be reflected in this post.  Also upon reflection and reevaluation, I realized that I did not want as many hands in my paycheck. So I worked diligently to eliminate as many hands in my paycheck as possible. 

3. Open a Christmas account for Christmas 2016

SUCCESS-I actually opened the account in December and made my first deposit this past pay period.  I hope that it continues to grow.  We’ll see.

I hated the feeling of being restricted when it came to being prepared for Christmas so I wanted to get better ahead this year.  I will continue to shop throughout the year for gifts as well to off set the cost in December.   

HEALTH

Take my vitamins daily

FAIL-I was not consistent with taking my vitamins in December but I have drastically improved and have only missed one night thus far.  

 Reach my FITBIT STEP Goal

FAIL-There were some days in one week that I reached my fit goal and then there were some weeks where I didn’t reach my step goal at all.  Now my fit bit it broken and needs a band replacement so I’m not even wearing it at all.  But I have decided to workout at least three times per week and I’m successful with that thus far. 

MENTAL

 Be content

SUCCESS-Surprisingly!  I think maintaining my Christmas list and budget, working hard and then getting a much needed break and regrouping towards the end of the year allowed me to maintain my peace.  I was well rested for my return to work and was actually excited to get back, although it did not last long. 

January 2016 goals

  • Purchase materials for the Mister to lay the floors
  • Get a builders permit
  • Pay half of my AM credit card balance- Completed
  • Earn or exceed at least $400.00 side hustle income
  • Work out at least once/week
  • Blog at least twice/ week and begin building my email subscibers
  • Save $50.00-Completed
  • Read one book-Completed
December Goal and Budget Review appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!
December Goal and Budget Review appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!

December Budget

You can refer back to November’s budget here to compare progress.

Fixed Expenses Projected Actual
Mortgage $1000.00 $1000.00
Utility $319.00 $319.00
Cell phone $60.00 $98.29
Cell phone2 $298.00 $330.00
Cable $123.00 $102.11
Car payment1 $354 $365
Car Payment 2 $414.00 $414.00
Car Insurance2 $165.00 $165.00
Life Insurance $70 $70
Total $2,813 $2,863.40

 

Other expenses Projected Actual
Groceries $300.00 $247.33
Eating out $50.00 $112.10
Clothing 0 $42.54
Transportation $160.00 $75.00
Entertainment 0 0
Credit Card (s) $394.00 $621.00
Miscellaneous 0 $222.86
Allowance $20.00 $20.00
Savings $25.00 $0
Totals $949 $1140.40

My highs

  • My major high was just being diligent, consistent, and determined to get out of debt by any mean necessary.
  • Also being aware of my miscellaneous spending amount from the previous month made me more conscience of what I purchasing and for what.
  • I was still able to pay an excessive amount of money on December’s bills and even a final payment despite the Christmas holiday.

My Lows

  • I continue to go over on my cell phone bill and really need to make the change to a lesser plan.  Maybe I’ll make that a February Goal.
  • I went over in areas that I zero’d out.
  • I still did not save anything in December despite the good money I made from my side hustle.

January I’ve continued to stay focus on eliminating debt aggressively.  I’m also doing lots of research on how to build my blog, subscribers, improve content, as well as continue to search for freelance and guest blogging opportunities.  I’m also considering other ventures but don’t want to speak as much on those as of yet.

So far how is January going?  Have you been successful on your goals thus far? Have any had to be adjusted.

 

How to Accelerate the Debt repayment process Pt 2: Cutting the Spending

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How to Accelerate The Debt Repayment Process: Part II appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness.

Tuesday I blogged about my Accelerated Debt Repayment Process. Since then I’ve been analyzing my spending habits and my budget’s highs and lows, adding and subtracting to come up with a FAIL proof plan to ensure success on my accelerated debt payment process.

We all know that, or should know by now, or will know by the end of this post that the key to eliminating debt is to spend less and earn more.  In order  to determine where I could spend less, I combed through my spending from the previous three months.  I categorized each purchase, specifically of the miscellaneous category .  In the miscellaneous category, I discovered three monthly subscription fees that I immediately cancelled.  

  • Newspaper subscription #1    $11.99
  • Newspaper subscription #2    $8.99
  • Microsoft subscription             $ 10.66

Total                                                $31.64

Next, I discovered that I pay about $36.00 of insufficient fund fees that usually spike around the mid month paycheck.  I discovered this is the result of more than half of my monthly payments coming out of this check.  My resolution was to 1.) add overdraft protection by linking my checking account to my savings and 2.) switch two bills to the end of the month pay period.  This should eliminate the NSF completely.

Additionally, I’m incorporating two No Spend weekends.  I did this back in October and was pretty successful.  I usually do well planning , which reduces the chances of unplanned grocery store trips and/or fast food purchases. If anything is purchased on the weekend it is usually gas.  However because I am dedicated (for right now) I’m planning lots of ‘Netflix and chill’ weekends!

Finally, I’m ditching eating out from the budget completely adding another $50.00 per pay period as excess.  I’ve decided to adapt to vegan eating habits (but do not want to be labeled a vegan).  Since Wilson, NC has not joined the vegan bandwagon, my fast food options are limited to foods that are still not considered healthy (i.e.  Bojangles Cheese biscuits or KFC potato wedges) that I’m not eating either!

With success, I should have an additional $167.64 of excess to apply towards credit card debt payments.  If my calculations are correct, I should be able to eliminate each card in two months or less.  However, I’m still not sure if I will have had the truck  paid off by my target date.  We’ll just have to see!

Now that Christmas is over or a New Year is here, have you reevaluated your budget?  Did you make changes? Add or subtract catagories?