In 2017 it’s time to step our financial IQ’s up and take control of our finances and create more streams of revenue. For whatever reason money and finances is something that most people are scared to fully tackle but once you start implementing a few new habits you’ll realize that being in control of your finances is no where near as hard as you once thought. Here are a few tips to get you headed to financial freedom below:
1. Create a Financial Calendar
If you don’t trust yourself to remember to pay your quarterly taxes or periodically pull a credit report, think about setting appointment reminders for these important money to-dos in the same way that you would an annual doctor’s visit or car tune-up. A good place to start? Our ultimate financial calendar.
2. Set a Budget, Period
This is the starting point for every other goal in your life. Here’s a checklist for building a knockout personal budget.
3. Consider an All-Cash Diet
If you’re consistently overspending, this will break you out of that rut. Don’t believe us? The cash diet changed the lives of these three people. And when this woman went all cash, she realized that it wasn’t as scary as she thought. Really.
4. Take a Daily Money Minute
This one comes straight from LearnVest Founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel, who swears by setting aside one minute each day to check on her financial transactions. This 60-second act helps identify problems immediately, keep track of goal progress—and set your spending tone for the rest of the day!
5. Allocate at Least 20% of Your Income Toward Financial Priorities
By priorities, we mean building up emergency savings, paying off debt, and padding your retirement nest egg. Seem like a big percentage? Here’s why we love this number.
6. Budget About 30% of Your Income for Lifestyle Spending
This includes movies, restaurants, and happy hours—basically, anything that doesn’t cover basic necessities. By abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
7. Draft a Financial Vision Board
You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals.
8. Set Specific Financial Goals
Use numbers and dates, not just words, to describe what you want to accomplish with your money. How much debt do you want to pay off—and when? How much do you want saved, and by what date?
9. Adopt a Spending Mantra
Pick out a positive phrase that acts like a mini rule of thumb for how you spend. For example, ask yourself, “Is this [fill in purchase here] better than Bali next year?” or “I only charge items that are $30 or more.”
10. Love Yourself
Sure, it may sound corny, but it works. Just ask this author, who paid off $20,000 of debt after realizing that taking control of her finances was a way to value herself.