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?

Avoid Financial Regret

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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!

Debt Free Journey: Year 1

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This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for each purchase you make at NO extra cost to you. I promote quality products, that I have personally use. All opinions are my own.

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?

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?

2016 Ready! 2015 Outcome

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Hello!

I hope you guys enjoyed your Christmas and got everything that you hoped for.  My Christmas was great and I’m so excited that it is over and 2016 and a day away.  I’ve got plenty of catching up to do so lets jump right to it.

My vacation began Sunday December 20, 2015.  I was fully prepared with post topics and rough drafts for my vacation but then my computer got a virus.  To fix the virus was $50.00/hour which was not at all in my budget since Christmas completely drained me….like completely.  I just got my computer back but was on a social media fast this last week of the year to gain clarity and direction for my 2016 goals.

I recently came to the conclusion that my blog is less social media since I earn an income from it (or attempt to) and logged back on today.  I even commented on some blogs.  I was surprised to see that even on my nearly two week hiatus, I still managed to get nearly 20 page views/ day and a couple of comments.

2016

In 2016, I’ve decided (for now) on main goals and then decided to break those goals down into mini goals to make achieving them more successful. these goals include:

  • Fully finance our home improvement
  • Establish and build an emergency fund
  • Stop using all credit cards and be out of credit card debt by December 2016
  • Earn or exceed $1,000 blogging income by December 2016
  • Lose 10-15 pounds
  • Generate or exceed $5,000 in side hustle money
  • Increase my income my 10%
  • Increase my financial knowledge
  • Self improve
  • Eliminate overpayment loan

January 2016 goals

  • Purchase materials for the Mister to lay the floors
  • Get a builders permit
  • Pay half of my AM credit card balance
  • 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

I discussed some of my 2016 plans in this post.  I’ve already removed that CF credit card from my wallet, opened the Christmas fund and scheduled my first draft, and plan on opening that savings account on or before Mid January for my car fund. I also purchased this Purpose Driven Planner from Amazon and immediately begin tracking my goals!

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2015 Outcome

December 2015 debt progress

Card August September October November December
Target $36.10 PAID
HHG $457.02 $280.90 PAID PAID
AM $703.92 $699.27 $693.89 $639.12 $660.08
PP $1232.14 $1215.20 $1197.02 $1144.35 $1136.65
BML $827.70 $1093.39 $1097.26 $1076.36 $1157.99
WF $2716.12 $2679.26 $2714.26 $2588.49 $2562.76
CF $1811.83 $1802.87 $1901.30 $1867.19 $1925.70
CP $579.36 $561.89 $296.08 $194.45 PAID

TOTAL           $8364.19    $8051.88     $7899.81    $7509.68    $7,443.18

I began 2015 with $9,850.45 in credit card debt and I’m ending with $7,443.18, a difference of $2,407.27 and four less credit cards, with the majority of my progress beginning in July with my journey to financial freedom.  Check out previous debt payment progress below.

I’m also ending 2015 with a total debt number of $171,792.33.  Check out my total debt number here, from when I began my journey to financial freedom.  $171,792.33 does not include my student loan debt since I have not intentions of aggressively paying them off because I’m on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Side Hustle Income

I do hair as a side hustle.  I usually work about 2-4 hours on Friday and about 5 hours on Saturday during the winter months.  In the summer months, while the children are out of school, I work Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  In 2015 I generated $3,980.05 in side hustle income.

 December 2015

I earned $707.55 in side hustle income for December 2015. The break down is below.  

  • Doing hair side hustle                                $480.90
  • Milage reimbursement                              $127.19
  • Shopping reimbursement apps              $84.46
  • Selling items online                                    $15.00

December 2015 was my first month tracking all my additional income in order to set realistic goals for 2016.  I’m sure I’ll be able to make more money selling items (mostly my children’s clothes) online now that Christmas is gone.  Also the shopping reimbursement apps is the amount earned the entire year but cashed out in December for Christmas.  I did online (freelance and a review) work but have not received payment for them due to me just being able to turn them in.

As for NYE plans, I’m looking forward to dinner and a movie with my love. By dinner and a movie, I mean our favorite take out and a Red box/ Netflix movie and off to bed looking forward to a prosperous 2016!

In one word, how would you sum up 2015?  What are your 2016 goals? What are your NYE plans?

How to eat healthy on a budget!

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 As seen in my 4 Things I’m doing to save money in September, I carried over my goal of continuing to eat breakfast and lunch from home.  This week I made a series of salads for lunch and drunk smoothies for breakfast (I still stopped for breakfast at Bojangles on Tuesday, Thursday and Today, holds head in shame.)

Continue reading “How to eat healthy on a budget!”