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Financial Literacy Month – Tip #27

Set aside one minute per day to review your financial transactions for accuracy.

Taking just one minute to review accounts will help identify suspicious or erroneous charges and correct costly errors in a timely manner. It will also help track daily expenses, identify unnecessary spending habits and allow you to make adjustments to stay within your budget. 

Seeing a daily transaction for a morning latte, lunch or online purchase could help eliminate little daily spending habits that add up to costly annual expenses. 

For example, if you buy a $4.00 latte every day, over a year that morning jolt adds up to $1,460! Talk about a buzz kill!

One minute, 60 seconds, provides financial peace of mind!  Start your timer!

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #26

Set Bite-size Goals

When working on financial goals (actually, all goals) be sure to include bite-size goals. Either sprinkle in small goals that can be achieved in a short period of time or break down larger goals into bite-size portions. 

For example, if your goal is to purchase a home in two years and save money for a down payment. Determine the amount needed for the down payment, divide the down payment amount by 24 months and break the goal into 24 monthly bite-size goals. 

Or, if your goal is to pay down debt by $5,000 in one year, divide the goal by 12 and pay $417 per month to achieve the goal. This method can be used for all goals…. financial, personal, professional or health/fitness.

Big goals can be overwhelming. Breaking goals into smaller chunks builds momentum, allows you to track progress monthly and keeps you motivated to achieve the big picture goal(s). 

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #25

CREATE A VISION BOARD

Where focus goes….energy flows!

Craft a vision board with all of your financial, personal, and professional goals. A vision board can be made using a poster board, cork board, large frame or crafted using wood and chicken wire (chicken wire allows you to clip goals and remove easily). It can be as elaborate or as simple as your crafty heart desires.

Whichever style you choose, simply write each goal, pin each to the board and add visuals. For example, let’s say that your goal is to reduce debt. Print a thermometer, at the top note the amount of debt you want to reduce and the date you want to achieve the goal. Each month mark your progress on the thermometer. You can also use a thermometer to increase savings, fund college or camps for kids, or save for a home or vacation. If you need a thermometer, PM me and I will send you a printable copy.

If goals include a healthier lifestyle, buying a home, going on vacation, or a new car, add visuals for each. Search the web and print a photo of your dream home, vacation, car or fitness image.

Creating a vision board allows you to visually remain focused on your goals and measure results along the way. Happy crafting!

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #24

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. ~Tony Robbins

Financial goals are unique and personal to every individual and family. Regardless of what your goals are, take the time to write them down. Having written goals will help you stay focused, measure your progress and keep you motivated.

Below are a few financial goals to get you started:

  • Debt Reduction – pay down credit card, student loan or mortgage debt.
  • Increase Savings/Retirement – grow a savings/retirement account.
  • Kids Funds – save for future college expenses, summer camps, or sports activities.
  • Buying a Home – save for a down payment to purchase your dream home.
  • Plan a Vacation – save to go on vacation (versus charge & pay later).
  • Start a Business – build a reserve to pursue your passion and open a business.

Once the goals are written, review frequently. Visually seeing and reviewing your progress will help you maintain momentum to achieve each financial goal. Tomorrow, we will use your goals for a fun and creative exercise! 

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #23

Tired of filling your recycling bin with junk mail each and every week? Here are five steps to reduce junk mail, credit card offers and the temptation to spend.

OptOutPrescreen.com – The credit bureaus offer a website or toll-free number that allows you to opt out of having credit card offers mailed to you. You can choose to be removed for 5 years or permanently. Visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com or call allow you to opt out of 1-888-5-OPTOUT.

DMAchoice.org – For a fee of $3, DMA (Direct Marketing Association) allows you to reduce the amount of commercial advertising mail that you receive at home for 10 years.

CatalogChoice.org – allows you to set mail preferences one catalog at a time. There is no cost for this service, just enter the name of the catalog and opt out.

Unsubscribe to email offers – take the time to unsubscribe from unwanted retail offers in your online inbox.

DoNotCall.gov – register your home and/or cell phone to reduce pesky phone offers.

Taking the time to unsubscribe and remove your name from the various lists will not only save you hours of sorting and trashing mail, it will also remove the temptation to open new accounts and shop for items you do not need.