It’s January 1st, and happy new year. I want to create a new series to help you take control of your money. Now is the perfect time to start a budget, start making more money and start paying off debt.
Create Your Emergency Savings Account
If you’re familiar with “Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps”, then you know the first step is to create your emergency savings account.
If you haven’t started your emergency savings account, then let’s kick-off a high-yield savings account and put away $1,000 in your emergency savings account. You’ll use this same account to put 3-6 months of living expenses in your savings account, and this will be for emergency purposes only.
Compound interest reminds me of the old question, “would you rather have $100,000 right now or a penny doubled for the next 30 days?” Here’s your answer:
Related Articles About Budgeting:
Boost Your Credit Score
One of the best things you can do for your financial future is to give yourself an 800 credit score. There are simple hacks you can do to boost your credit score.
For example, these factors will increase your score or lower it, but once you understand the game, you can make smart decisions.
- Payment History
- Availability of Credit
- Credit History
Knowing that, you’ll want to keep your longest running cards open (and you might charge it every now and then to keep it active). Then, to increase the availability of credit, you simply request higher credit limits. That will increase your availability OR just pay down the balance.
Second, you’ll want to check your credit report to make sure there are no errors, no charged off accounts older than 7 years and no surprise accounts.
When I was graduated college, I had no clue about credit and credit cards. I had 8 different credit cards completely maxed out and was paying the minimum payments. Those cards were costing me an extra 20% in interest. Simply consolidate every credit card into one payment using Payoff.
I like Payoff because there are no late payment fees and there’s a fixed monthly payment which frees up extra cash that you can apply to the principle to pay off the loan early. Plus, it’s designed to help boost your FICO Score. Click Here to Get Details on Consolidating Credit Cards
Third, if you’re paying rent, you can add rent to your credit report for an instant boost. Most people don’t know there are services that will help you connect your rent payments and report them on your credit report.
There companies that help you report rent are:
Related Credit Score Articles:
- How to Increase Your Credit Score by Reporting Rent
- How to Remove Negative Information on Your Credit Report
- How to Raise Your Credit Score by 50 to 100 Points in 30 Days
If you haven’t started budgeting or setting financial goals, stop what you’re doing right now. Take a deep breathe and it’s time to get serious about making and managing money. First, if you haven’t view the 7-Steps to Financial Freedom, click here to see what step you’re on.
Then, pick one that matches your situation.
- The Envelope Budgeting Method
- The 50/30/20 Method
- The Zero-Based Balance Budget
- The Pay Yourself First Budget
Pay Off Your Debt
When I first graduated college, I had almost 25 loans come due all at once with 4 different credit cards. That’s 25 different loan payments on top of 4 different credit card minimums. I also bought a used truck adding a truck and insurance payment. To say there was too much month left at the end of the money is an understatement.
Let’s pay off your debt.
Where to Start
The first thing I did was consolidate the student loans into one low payment. That was easier than I thought, and my new payment was lower than I thought ($141 per month). You could apply with Super Money by clicking here and looking for the student loan refinancing. You could also do the snowball method and start tackling the smaller loans & applying the extra money until each loan is paid in full.
Now, if you’re in credit card debt then you could use the snowball method above or you could do combine all the payments into one just like the student loans. For the credit card, you could use Payoff which combines all your high-interest payments into one low-rate monthly payment.
Payoff is easy:
- Step 1: Check Your Rate
- Step 2: Choose Your Terms
- Step 3: Verify & eSign
- Step 4: Receive Your Funds
- Step 5: Payoff & Cut Up Your Cards
- Click Here to Check Your Rate
This is one of the most important days and goals you can set for yourself. Ten years later, I have no debt, houses are paid in full, student loans are paid off, cars are paid off and there’s more money now than month. I want that for you as well.
Related Articles About Debt:
- Featured Debt Training on I Love Making Money
- How to Get Out of Debt Guide
- Complete Guide to Debt Consolidation
- 7 Steps to Financial Freedom
Start a Business or a Side Hustle
One of the best things you can do to generate cash is to use your spare time to start a side hustle or start a business. Now more than ever, it’s easy to get on TikTok and search for side hustle or business ideas to see what others are doing to generate extra money.
We’re dedicating 2021 to the year of the side hustle, and we’ll be launching our Podcast soon sharing every side hustle idea to help you make more money in 2021.
I’m shocked at some of the easy ways people are generating six figures. Yesterday, I dueted a TikTok of one guy who bought (mortgaged) three cabins in Tennessee and pockets $14,000 per month with vacation rentals on Air BNB. (see our TikTok below)
But what other side hustles are there. Here are a few you may not know about:
##duet with @melefante6 Passive income alert. Buying vacation rentals. Check this out!♬ original sound – Michael Elefante
- How to Start a Print On Demand Clothing Store
- How to Start a Vacation Rental Side Hustle
- 7 Side Hustle Ideas
But if you’re ever confused about starting a business, we have your covered. Check out our training and join us every month as we kickoff “Business Week” where we help you get unstuck in any part of the process.
Recent Start a Business Training:
- How to Make a Business Plan w/ Investor’s Template
- Is Your Business Name Available? Check Here
- When to Use a Trademark or Patent
- How to Setup LLC for Small Business & Save Money
- How to Apply for a Free EIN for Your Business
- How to File a Fictitious Business Name
- Recommended Marketing Tools & Free Resources
Would you rather have $100,000 or a penny that doubles every month? If you’ll recall from Day #2, you’ll have over 5 million dollars if you take the penny that doubles. This is a very simplistic view of “compounding returns”. As new interest & dividends gets added to your nest egg, then it starts compounding.
Early investments lead to compounding returns, and the time value of money increases over a period of time. That’s why index fund investing typically does better than “picking stocks”. An Index Fund is a bundle of investments like stocks and bonds.
Each stock is weighted in the “bundle” usually based on its market value. That means the larger companies’ stock price affect the value of the index fund more than the smaller companies’ stock. I like that you can invest in index funds within certain sectors.
Advantages of an Index Fund
- Low Cost
- Performs Better
- Consistent Returns
The performance of these different stocks will fluctuate over time, but when your money is spread out among so many assets, the ups and downs become smaller. On the other hand, if you invest in a few stocks then the ups and downs could decimate your portfolio.
How to Get Started
The first step is to setup your investment account. Make sure you review these two trainings:
The first one is a TikTok that will match your investment goals to the platform that you want to use, and the second one is a list of online brokerages that we use and recommend.
Then, if you’re looking for a simple index fund investing strategy, these are the top performing index funds:
- Vanguard Index 500 – VFINX
- Vanguard Total Stock Market Index – VTSMX
- Powershares – QQQ
- Invesco NASDAQ Next Gen – QQQJ (more breakout tech)
- iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market – AGG
- Vanguarad Total International Stock Market ETF – VXUS
- iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index – EEM
If you can invest just a little of your paycheck every month, then you’ll be surprised how fast it adds up, how fast it grows and how much money you’ll have in 5 to 10 years.
Related Investing Articles:
- Featured Investing Portal at I Love Making Money
- Webull Review – Everything You Need to Know About Webull
- Robinhood Review
- Best Investment Books for Every Investor
- The Best Quotes from Warren Buffett
This way, you can stop listening to the “condescending experts” telling you to stop drinking your Starbucks or stop ordering a pizza every now and then. Just put it in the budget.
Contribute to Your IRA’s
This month, make sure you take advantage of all the contributions that will help lower your taxes next year. You can contribute up to $6,000 to your traditional IRA’s and Roth IRA’s. If you’re over 50, the limit is $7,000.
Now that you have a headstart on the new year, I recommend setting this up on auto-savings, auto-pilot. $500 per month or $125 per week auto-deposited into your IRA. Easy win.
If you already have an IRA and you’re looking to copy some of the top performing IRA’s, then you could go with a Blooom account. They don’t make money off the funds in your account. They have a robo advising that allows them to make recommendations that benefit you and they place the trades on your behalf. If you need a minimal maintenance plan, then I would go the Blooom route. Click Here for More Details about Starting an IRA with Blooom.
If you’re looking to actively trade your IRA, then you could go with a Webull account. Yes, you can actively trade your IRA. I like Webull because they have better alerts and more in-depth analysis tools. And you get four free stock when you create your account and fund it with $100. Click here to take advantage of that offer.
Consult with your financial advisor. While we provide educational, up to the minute information, this is no way to be taken as advice. We want to bring you high quality information so you can make educated decisions.