Block Anything That Gets In The Way of Your Goals | Money Challenge Week 5

Hello Lovelies and welcome to Super Bowl weekend.  This folks, is a big deal for everyone from my hometown of Atlanta!  Since it is Super Bowl weekend, I will break down today’s money inspiration for you in sports terms. I want to inspire you to check your financial plan.  Is it current?  Does it reflect your current financial status and goals (gosh, the last time I posted mine was in 2013)?  If you’ve never created a financial plan that’s okay too because today is a great time to do so.  Your financial plan is like your game playbook.  Your money is the football and it is your job to block anything that gets in your way of getting to you getting to your goal.  To do so, you have to reference your financial playbook from time to time.  There will be setbacks (see How to Comeback from a Setback), people who will attempt to block your progress, and times you may have to go out of bounds.   Trust me, you can win at this debt game! Let’s turn your Xs and Os to dollar signs.  shemakescents-com-1The weekly habit of saving money with the She Makes Cents 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge will always be a part of my financial plan.  I saved $108.00 dollars for the month of January and today I have crossed off $21.00 putting me at a YTD of $129.00.  I can’t wait to see how many thousands of dollars I save again this year.   So many of you shared with me that your savings will be going toward vacations and paying down debt.  Let’s make sure that you have also included this money challenge into your financial plan so we can see your savings increase and your money challenge rewards materialize.  Everyone have a fantastic weekend and Atlanta Rise Up!shemakescents-com-2

{Time Management} How to Find More Time in Your Day

People are so into time management tips and tricks which is evident by one of our most popular posts, {Quick Tips} How to Be More Efficient.   If you had an extra 5 or 10 minutes in your day, how would you use it?  Would you hit the snooze one more time?  Spend it doing something you love?  How about 30 minutes? Would you try something new?  Work later?  I live my life according to an ever-changing color coded to-do list that keeps me organized in my 9 to 5, that helps organize 2 home renovations and of course, SheMakesCents.com.  With a day packed with things that have to get done, I sometimes find it difficult to schedule time to do things I want to do.

Time Management

Getty Images/ Digital Vision/PeopleImages.com  

Admittedly, I am one of those people who wishes for more time in the day to do the things that “feed my soul” or at least keeps me from losing my marbles.  Tuesday night Google launched “Google Goals” as a new calendar feature that finds unscheduled time in your schedule and devotes that time to work toward personal goals, such as pilates, updating your financial plan, reading the SheMakesCents Book selection, or girl’s dinner/date night with the boo.  I’m more of a traditionalist with my paper calendar; however, I am open to using Google Goals as a FREE life coach for time management.  It’s worth a try, especially for all of you whose phones are permanently attached to their hands.

Check out this video to see how it works!

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{SMC Journal} Why Youth Could Be Your Best Financial Strategy

I was talking the other day with a friend who just found a twenty-year-old document from a forgotten 401(k) plan. When he was twenty, he worked at what he called a “simple little job” and enrolled in a 401(k) plan. He didn’t max out his employer’s matching and contributed a modest amount putting aside what he could on his limited budget. He moved on to another job, his career blossomed, and somewhere along the way, he forgot about his 401(k) plan from his first real job. Imagine how surprised he was to find out that his forgotten money has compounded to over $25,000.

His story got me thinking about my finances, especially the poor financial decisions I made in my early twenties that I am still paying for. Interestingly enough, one of my biggest regrets has been not contributing to my 401(k) when I got my first real job at 19 years old. At the time, I was working for a company that offered dollar-for-dollar matching. I am still kicking myself for leaving FREE money on the table by not taking advantage of my youth and the company’s benefits.

she makes centsIt is one of those lessons I had to learn the hard way and my current financial portfolio is proof. I am embarrassed to admit the reason I didn’t enroll in a 401(k) then was because I was trying to save money for my sorority fees and dance team expenses. I was living and planning for the “right now” and not thinking about retirement or saving for a future nest egg. I thought to myself, I have plenty of time to do this, but little did I realize how quickly time flies.  Almost ten years later, I still wish someone had thoroughly explained to me that having youth and time on my side was one of the best methods to help build wealth and save for retirement. I look around and see so many people working way past their prime or even living in poverty because they do not have savings to fall back on. If I could go back in time and have one conversation with my younger self, I would tell her to spend cash not credit, pre-pay her student loans since there is now plenty for that, and enroll in a 401(k) program as soon as possible. If I had made those decisions then, I would be closer to my goal of living a debt-free life now!

This post was first published on the FeeX blog.

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Living in the Present or Saving for the Future

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{Financial Cents} Is Your Way of Thinking Making You Poor?

Just as slaves born into slavery can’t visualize freedom, we Americans don’t know what it would be like to wake up to NO debt.
Dave Ramsey, Total Money Makeover

Is Your Way of Thinking Making You Poor.pngYour alarm clock sounds, alerting you that a new day has come. You awake to find yourself owning a car without a car payment, a home without a mortgage, an education without student loans, and credit card(s) with a zero balance. How did you get to this financial freedom? Did you a) win the lottery, b) rob a bank Sugar & Spice style, or c) align your behaviors with your long-term financial goals? Well, the answer to the question depends on whom you ask.

I told a friend of mine that I was working to become debt free and she looked me right in my face and laughed. I mean laughed to the point of tears while telling me how unrealistic I was being. “Everyone has debt”, she alleged. If this were her outlook on financial freedom, I would guess that she could image a debt free life comes only as a result of a windfall. She will either rob the bank or win the lottery. I, however, understand how even the most minute  sacrifices will help me get closer to my financial goals. I have to think beyond the day-to-day and month-to-month if I want to build  generational wealth. Financial expert, Dave Ramsey adds, “We have been sold debt with such repetition […] that it’s hard for people to imagine what it would be like to have no payments”. Debt shouldn’t be the normal status quo and I am not comfortable adopting that mind-set. When the day comes when I wake up with no mortgage, no student loans, and no credit card balance, I know it will be a result of my financial plan and my commitment to it.

Is Debt Normal? Share Your Thoughts…