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!