Go through your home and find things you no longer use or haven't used in 6 months. This includes clothes, furniture, shoes, decorations, anything you can find, you can sell and earn cash for. I like to use Facebook marketplace and stick to local pickup so you don't have to worry about shipping.
The other way to increase your income and beef up your emergency fund is by cancelling subscriptions. This is where you can evaluate whether a subscription is a need or a want. For example, I had an Audible subscription at $15 a month. I found that I could cancel it, join my local library and listen to audiobooks for free! Check your tv subscriptions, gym or anything else you pay for monthly and really evaluate how much you use it and whether it is something that is necessary for you to live. I usually say anything that makes me money, puts food on my table, or gets me to my job is necessary, everything else might not be. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions and put that cash right into your emergency fund.
Last but not least I recommend taking on extra hours at work or using your skills to work a side job. Everyone has strengths, what is something you can do that can bring in extra income? With the holiday season approaching, lots of jobs are looking for extra help and hours to fill. Any extra money you bring in can go right into your emergency fund.
My recommendation is to start with opening up an investment account if you don't already have one. My favorites are Vanguard or Fidelity or Charles Schwab. Each has different pros and cons depending on your lifestyle. If you have one with your employer and they match your investment, make sure you are maximizing that by putting in the percent they require to match. For example, if you start investing $200 every month for 10 years and you earn 6% yearly, at the end of 10 years you'll have $33,300. Of that though, only $24,200 is money you've put in. The other $9,100 is interest you have earned on your investments. The more that grows, the more your investments grow.
The amount you invest monthly will depend on your age and when you aim to retire. The younger you are, the less money you'll have to start investing monthly to reach your goals. Use Google to find a retirement calculator and calculate how much you should be investing. If you can't meet that minimum, that's ok! You can work your way up. Any amount of money you can invest is better than not investing at all. My suggestion, automate your investments so you can set it and forget it. Just be sure that you're money is being put to work inside your investment accounts and not just sitting in your investment company waiting to be applied to a specific investment.
Now list your debts from smallest to largest. Let's be honest, paying down debt isn't exactly the most fun but if you can give yourself quick wins you're much more likely to stick with it. That's why we start with the smallest debt you have. I recommend calculating your monthly expenses and monthly income to arrive at your "green gap" amount. This is the money you have leftover after paying all of your bills. Once you have that amount, you can delegate 45% of it to paying off debt, 45% to investments and then take 10% and put it into a fun account.
The key here is to continue paying the minimum payments on all of your debts and take that 45% extra to put on your smallest debt. Watch how fast that debt disappears and see how good you feel about your accomplishments. Now keep going!
Set a holiday budget for yourself and stick to it. One way I like to do this is to set up a "holiday fund" at my bank. This is just an extra account where I can put money for the holidays. If you have to lessen the amount you pay towards investments these next three months, you can choose to do that so that you don't go into additional debt just for the holidays. Know how good this will feel going into 2022 with less debt.
More than 50% of the U.S. Population lives paycheck to paycheck and over 62% don't have enough savings to cover an emergency. Sometimes we think “gosh, how did this happen?” but the truth is, we know how.
Education is a business. Banks are a business. Marketing is a business. And it’s so easy to get caught up in keeping up with the Joneses, right?
So let’s talk about how to get yourself out of this rut. I'm going to show you how to solve it in three easy steps.
Step one, unsubscribe.
Raise your hand if you have Netflix. Now raise another hand if you have Hulu. And another...oh wait...no more hands! But how about Disney plus? Amazon Prime? HBO?
I know, I know one show is on Netflix and the other show you watch is on Amazon and so how could you possibly pick just ONE to keep?
Well, when you're in financial stress, you're going to have to differentiate need versus want. So pick one and put the others to rest. We can sit here all day and say “but Netflix is only this amount of money, or Disney plus us only this much.” Ok yeah but how does it feel every month to squeeze by on paying your bills? The ones that keep you driving, or keep a roof over your head or food on the table? Let’s prioritize.
Step two, create a budget.
This is where most people say “I’m out!” and it’s because we already know our situation, we’re just scared to see it on paper. But this is where you get clarity on your income versus your expenses. Because when we tell our money where to go, we are in control, rather than our finances having control over us.
Trust me - this works.
Step three, stop spending.
Yup, I said it. Have you ever looked at your bank account and wondered where all of your money goes? When you start to look at the nitty-gritty details of your expenses. We have coffees out here, we have dinners out there, online subscriptions yadda yadda.
If you have money leftover at the end of the month, that's where you can take 10% of that and put it towards a “fun” account. Forty-five percent of it and put it towards your debts, and another 45% towards your savings or investments.
This is being in control of your money, not your money controlling you. This is opening your bank accounts and knowing, BELIEVING that you are abundant and will always have enough.
If you want more tips on creating your best life, which includes your financial wellness, click the link below and join our free community where women just like you, are working on designing a life that they are truly in love with.
http://www.inspiredandready.com ← I’ll see you in there!