Published On: Wed, Jun 6th, 2018

Financial Goals Checklist to Hit By 40

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Last year I saw a post on Budgets Are Sexy titled, A Checklist to of 15 Financial Goals to Hit. It had fifteen different goals that people should think about reaching. J Money got the idea from Personal Finance Junkie. She was saying that these are goals that you should reach by 40. I have under six years before I get to that age, but I wanted to see where I stand. Here goes…

1. Build a starter emergency fund of $1,000.

Fail. I had an emergency fund a little over $1000 until I had to get some work done on my car this past weekend. I’ll be back at $1000 in no time. I just won’t put as much on my credit card debt month.

2. Organize your important financial information in a binder or eFile.

Fail. My financial information is scattered around in several places. I have to do better. I should create a Google file or store it somewhere that is secure.

3. Develop a monthly budget habit.

Pass…kinda. I do have a budget. I’m great with paying my bills on time and everything. I struggle with groceries sometimes. I $20 – $30 over my budget every other month. I have to do better. Also, when I have a good week with eBay, I spend a little more at happy hour than I should. I have to start putting that money in its designated account.

4. Pay off all of your debts

Fail. Ha! If you follow my blog, you know that I have over $59,000 worth of debt that I am paying off. My current debt consists of a little bit of credit card debt and student loan debt. If things go as planned, the credit card debt will be paid off by the end of summer. I still have a few years on the student loan debt.

5. Build a mid-level emergency fund of $10,000Financial Goals Checklist Jason Butler

Fail. My income is increasing, but a mid-level emergency fund is a few years away for me. I’m currently doing the debt snowball. Any extra money that I have is going towards my lowest debt. For me, that is working. I’ll eventually get to a mid-level emergency fund, once my debt is paid off.

6. Cut your expenses

Pass. My cell phone bill is $50, my internet is $41 and my cable is $70 (Yes, I still have cable. I love sports. I’m not interested in streaming it). All three are cheaper than what they were a few short years ago. I can remember my phone and cable both being over $100. I was wasting so much damn money back then. I’m glad I started researching and found better rates.

7. Be aware of your credit score.

Pass. I know my credit score. It’s the best that it’s ever been right now. Watching my spending habits and paying my bills on time really helped it grow. Check out this post on how I raised my credit score over 160 points in 8 months. There are a lot of tools out there to help you find your score. I love Credit Sesame. I’ve been using their site for years. Not only do they show you your credit score, but they also have suggestions to help you make it better.

8. Earn extra income.

Pass. I’ve been doing side hustles to make extra money for years. That money has helped me eliminate debt and do more things. I don’t see myself not earning extra income. It will help me get to financial freedom much quicker. If you are looking to make extra money, check out this post that features 20 different ways to earn extra income.

9. Read the top personal finance books.

Pass. I love reading. I think I’ve done more reading in my 30’s than I did in my 20’s. I read a lot of motivational and personal finance books. Some of the best personal finance books that I’ve read are Think and Grow Rich and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. There are hundreds of good books out there, but those are two good ones to start with

10. Automate your savings.

Pass. I have money going to several accounts different times each month. I don’t even miss that money each month from my paycheck. If you want to start automating your savings, you can start small. Five dollars each month will equal sixty per year. Each year, you can start adding more to the auto savings.

11. Automate your bills.

50/50. Some bills are automated, some aren’t. For me, it’s easier that way. Some of them fluctuate each month, so I like to pay them myself. One day I may get to a point where I want to automate all of my bills, but for right now I’m good.

12. Automate investing.

Pass. I guess that I can give this a pass grade because of my retirement account with my job. I plan to start doing auto payments with my Stockpile account once I pay off a little more debt.

Read: 5 Reasons You Should Be Investing With Stockpile

13. Write a 5-year financial plan.

Fail. I haven’t thought about this one at all. I really don’t know where to start. For me, a one-year financial plan would be a lot better for me. Who knows where I’ll be working or what side hustles I’ll be doing in five years. A yearly plan is easier for me to work on.

14. Start maxing out your retirement account every year.

Not sure. I’m not sure if the max is being taken out of my check each pay period. That’s something that I need to look at.

15. Complete your emergency fund so you have at least 6 months’ expenses saved.

Fail. See my previous answer for number 5. This is a major goal though. Hopefully, I can have that done by 40, but it damn sure isn’t happening at 34.

I passed 7.5 out of 15 on the financial goals checklist. That’s a whopping 50%. I’m not 40 years old yet, so I have time. I want to know how you did. Please share how many out of the 15 that you have passed.

The post Financial Goals Checklist to Hit By 40 appeared first on The Butler Journal.

Source: The Butler Journal

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Did you know?

African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study