Tax Refund? What are you going to do with it?

We have some suggestions if you want to create a feeling of financial freedom.

(1) Pay debts – Use the refund to pay debts that are from consumption or non-appreciating assets like credit card debt, student loans, car loans, medical debts, etc.

(2) Fund expected and unexpected expense saving accounts – Creating these reserves to draw from when necessary can avoid you from creating debt when life events occur.

(3) Invest it – There are so many opportunities to grow your money. We generally suggest the stock market, real estate, or businesses.

(4) Create a fun fund – If you have all your debts paid off, fully funded expected and unexpected saving accounts, and you are investing consistently a percentage of your income regularly, it is time to have some fun! You can save it up for something big or use it for some special occasions.

If your refund is large, you may want to look at adjusting your withholding or your estimated tax payments.

Above all else, always consider using your refund to improve your financial situation.

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 7

Savings will grow

The next thing to consider is what you plan on spending in the future and start saving for your future. Since we want to eliminate debt, we want to make sure that there is cash ready in savings for the things that you will want to do, see, and have.

If you have completed the Focus On Income from Day 5 and Calculate Your Monthly Expenses from Day 6, you should have dollar amounts at the top of the worksheet for Monthly Income and Spending Plan Total. The amount currently in your Spending Plan Total should be only your monthly bills or expenses.  Take the monthly Spending Plan Total and multiply it by 6, this is the amount you want to ultimately save in an account for your emergency fund of six months worth of expenses.

We recommend setting up individual savings accounts for each category of savings such as an emergency fund, health care fund, house fund, car replacement fund, school fund, travel fund, tax fund, investment fund, and retirement fund for any of the categories that are not being funded sufficiently elsewhere.

The very first savings account it is important to fund is an emergency account that contains at least six months of your expenses. As for the other accounts start to consider the future and what you will need your savings to be to support it.

Save the Spending Plan Worksheet and have it ready for tomorrow!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 6

Calculate your monthly expenses

Pull out all the bills that you owe. The next step is to fill out the expense sections of the Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet. It is set up to calculate your monthly spending plan, so for quarterly payments, divide the quarterly payment by 3 to get a monthly payment and for annual payments, divide the payment by 12 to get the monthly payment.

Then starting with your housing costs enter your monthly payments for all of the items in that category.

Put the amounts of all monthly payments in each of the items in the following categories: utilities, food, auto, insurance and health, personal, recreation, and debt payments.

Then save the worksheet in a handy place where you can add your planned spending for the future to it tomorrow!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 5

The next step in the process will be to count up all of the income that you receive on a monthly basis. This information will be entered into a Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet. Go to: http://www.financialfreedomclassroom.com/resources/money-management/ and download the worksheet.
 
This will include any pay you receive from an employer, rental income, business income, dividend, interest, social security, retirement, or other income that you receive. If there is only one source of income right now, don’t worry. We encourage you to start thinking about how you might start to add at least one other income stream to increase your income.
 
Save the Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet with your Net Worth Worksheet for us to use tomorrow. Stick with these small daily steps for an amazing future!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 4

Net Worth Analysis
 
All your assets and liabilities should now have been entered into the Net Worth Worksheet and at the bottom of each column, there will be totals. Hopefully, your total assets are greater than the total liabilities. If not, we will create a plan to turn it around!
 
At the top of the worksheet, you will also find a debt ratio calculation. This provides a percentage of your assets to your liabilities. Generally, the lower the debt ratio is the healthier you are financially.
 
Part of reaching financial freedom is to focus on a consistent increase in your assets and a consistent decrease in your liabilities which will result in a lower debt ratio and an increase in your net worth. To track that you will want to periodically complete the Net Worth Worksheet to gauge your progress. We recommend completing it on a quarterly basis when you are just starting out.
 
How can you increase your net worth? By making a plan. We call it a spending plan. The next step is to create a spending plan by breaking down your income and expenses. As well as what you want in your future.
 
As part of the analysis of your net worth, start to consider what you would like the worksheet to look like next year. Then dream further out to five years. What will it look like then? What will it look like in 10 years? Once you have your future plan, we can incorporate that into our spending plan. So start dreaming!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 3

Total What You Owe

Many people think in terms of monthly payments instead of the total debt they have accumulated. This is a quick way for you find yourself deeply in debt. To find out your net worth, you must take the total of all your debts to give you a true picture. Grab your current credit card statements, auto loans, mortgages, school loans, medical debts, and any other money you own. Then enter the totals owed in each category into the right liabilities columns to get a total of your debts.

Be sure to save this worksheet because the next step will be to analyze the information to begin to formulate your financial freedom plan!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 2

Count up your assets! This is the first step in creating a net worth statement. In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you are starting from. Click here and download the Net Worth Blank Worksheet from our website.  You will need to list out all the things that you own. Gather up your current bank statements, whole life policy statements, count your cash, any stocks, bonds, annuities, real estate, auto, recreational vehicles, any businesses that you own, retirement account statement, pensions, social security, or simplified employee pension (SEP) statements.

Next, you will list the value of each item into the spreadsheet which will total all of the assets you entered at the bottom of the right-hand column.

Please save this spreadsheet with the asset totals somewhere handy. We will be using it again and again!

Financial Freedom Kickstart For 2019 – Day 1

Let’s start off by getting your mind focused positively on your finances. There can be a lot of negative emotions around money so it is very important to instill positive thoughts by reciting at least 10 positive affirmations about money like:

  1. I am worthy of making more money
  2. I welcome an unlimited source of income and wealth in my life.
  3. I use money to better my life and the lives of others.
  4. My actions create constant prosperity
  5. I am the master of my wealth
  6. Money expands my life’s opportunities and experiences.
  7. Money creates a positive impact in my life.
  8. Money comes to me in expected and unexpected ways.
  9. I am always searching for additional streams of income.
  10. I constantly attract opportunities to create more money.

Recite these affirmations every morning out loud every day for the next 30 days to help train your brain that money is something that is good for you.

6 TIPS FOR UNWANTED CHRISTMAS GIFTS 6. TO REGIFT OR NOT TO REGIFT?

Did you ever open a gift and just stare in disbelief? That this person would see this item and think of you? When you opened it you immediately thought of a friend or family member it would be PERFECT for. Consider re-gifting it to someone who would LOVE it. Isn’t that what gift giving is all about? To give something to someone that is right for them and makes them smile. Some people may feel funny about re-gifting an item. Although it really doesn’t matter where it came from, especially if you would’ve bought them the same gift if you had seen it.

 

6 TIPS FOR UNWANTED CHRISTMAS GIFTS 5. What To Bring To Store For Returns

Whether you have your receipt or not you should be sure to have a government-issued ID like a driver’s license or a passport. This is a requirement so no ID, no return. Of course, if you have the receipt for the item bring it. It is important to have the items together in a condition as close to the original packaging as possible. Also, patience, kindness, and a smile is a must. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of people trying to return unwanted gifts and the work can become monotonous. Help the store clerk to turn that frown, upside down. Give them a big dose of kindheartedness and chances are you will receive the same.