We're creating a money game plan for you going into 2018. The game plan is bound to help you achieve FIRE or just ease financial problems going into the new year. Some folks might have different time spans to complete each goal, nonetheless, this should prove to be VERY effective... are you ready to take your first steps towards financial freedom?
1st quarter: Tackling on debt
We're being defensive for the first quarter. Truly, if we don't tackle debt from the start we're destined for a great loss going into the future as you will always pay interest on your credit card debt, student loans, personal loans, car payments, etc. and 2018 will be the year where interest pays you and not the other way around smfh.
Ways you can pay off your debt: aggressive method versus snowball method
You will collect every monthly bill you have and organize them by greatest to least in interest rate. Start allocating a good portion of cash into the bill with the largest interest rate, while also placing small amounts into the other bills with smaller interest rates, obviously all within budget. As soon as that first bill is paid off, move onto the next bill with the second highest amount of interest. Continue doing this until all debts are paid off.
Collect every monthly bill, this time, arrange them from least to greatest in the balance that you owe. Start paying off the smallest balance and work your way up to the highest balance. By paying off your smallest balance first, you feel accomplished, psychologically you want to feel the same sense of accomplishment by continuing going up the scale of bills. Continue doing this until all debts are paid off.
2nd quarter: Income
We're getting those bands, net worth, cake UP after paying all your debt in 2018. We're not taking up a second job, we're distancing ourselves from this employee mentality and start creating a more passive income, self-employed, business owner, entrepreneur mentality. We're not working for anyone else but ourselves or have people work for us going into 2018.
I have always preached for people to cash in on their passion, whatever it may be. How? Get creative with it, if you have expertise in something, teach it to others for a fee, talk to and seek with other influencers you look up to that can mentor you and help you along the way, work diligently, hard, but not too hard, but most importantly, work smarter. And like Mark Cuban once said, "if you have an exit strategy, then it's not a passion."
3rd quarter: Save money
After you've found your side hustle and have made some money, we'll allocate your extra cash in a high-interest online savings account. What are you doing with the cash? Glad you asked.
First and foremost, folks who find themselves in ANY emergency might immediately pull out a personal loan to fund their emergency or use a credit card. BUT NOT US. Not in 2018 we're not.
A quick personal story, I had a 5 figure emergency fund I built in a year. Pretty proud of myself as a 17-year-old brat. My ego was in space. Anyway, my dumbass convinced myself that I'm better off investing that cash in the market once I turn 18, thinking I was too young and healthy and too cautious for me to have an emergency. Losing (or not having any in the first place) all self-awareness and being inconsiderate. So, I grabbed every last cent and placed it in my personal portfolio. Come January I had bad acid reflux that needed my attention and was somewhat pricey. Although, my insurance did ease it a bit. Wait, there is more. 4 months ago, I decided it's time to fix my damn crooked teeth, apparently, I have a severe underbite and this would cost me well into the $10,000's of dollars. (Funny, I could have placed a large down payment or paid for this outright... but NOPE) By then, my money was already in stocks, where I refuse to sell any asset that I've held less than a year. Moral of the story, keep the cash on the sidelines JUST IN CASE. Even as a young individual, you could face ANY emergency.
Your emergency fund
We'll start small by creating a 4 figure emergency fund in the first 3 - 6 months. We'll then build a 5 figure emergency fund 6 - 12 months afterward. The best strategy is to place your cash in an online savings account as they offer higher interest rates compared to other savings accounts. Make saving easier by automating your savings. Every time you receive a paycheck, take a percentage of your check and have it go towards your savings account. That way you won't be tempted to spend the money. You certainly won't realize that it's gone if it's all automatic.
As soon as your emergency fund is built, have another savings account or what I like to call your "fun money" account. If you feel the urge to always purchase the latest iPhone every year, place some cash aside to purchase it. If you travel every 6 months, place some cash to the side for your travels. Dine often? Place some cash to the side. We need to quit being reliant on cash we find (or don't find) last minute and plan in advance.
Remember, inflation over time is our worst enemy. Our high-interest savings accounts, while they do provide a better yield than other savings accounts, won't outpace inflation, so therefore, we need to find investment vehicles that can outpace inflation, while also having gains over time. However, we need money to make money is true, so you will be in charge of placing an adequate amount on the sidelines to later use for investments. What can you invest in, you may ask?
4th quarter: Investing
I talk about investing in the stock market on this site, but you can go a completely different route and have your money work hard for you in any other way. It can be in Cryptos, Real Estate, or owning your own business(es). Do your research if you're unsure how you want to begin investing. Choose an outlet, try a little bit of everything if you're unsure, but always do your research beforehand. You should be able to amass phenomenal returns over time if you do plenty of research on the asset class you're investing in.
2018 and beyond will be your bitch and your year to achieve your money goals
Granted, some of you won't complete these goals THIS year, it's all a very time-consuming process, but the end results will be worth it :)