We’re getting ready to turn the corner into a new year and a new decade! Are you ready?!? I hope so!
In preparation for the new decade, I’ve prepared a list of 20 Money Moves to Make in 2020.
Let’s dive in…
1. Develop a plan to pay down debt.
It’s not enough to have the desire to get out of debt, you have to have a plan of action.
2. Live the budget.
Creating the budget is one thing, but living the budget day-to-day is a different story. One of the biggest budgeting mistakes is having a ‘set it and forget it’ attitude. Putting the budget on paper is great, but in order for it to work, we have to track expenses throughout the month, reconcile, and revise. You can even budget if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
3. Start a year long-savings challenge.
Saving is a habit that most of us have to develop over time. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. In the coming year, commit to saving a specific dollar amount every paycheck so that you can have a stockpile of cash at the start of next year.
4. Create a money journal.
Our behaviors with money (avoidance, hoarding, overspending) are often linked to issues from childhood that haven’t been addressed. Journaling about your relationship with money will better equip you to deal with the emotional side of money.
5. Get an accountability partner.
Find a friend or family member on a similar financial journey and lean on each other for support.
If you don’t have anyone IRL (in real life) that you can partner up with then look to online communities for the support and encouragement that you need.
6. Review your credit report and score at least once per quarter.
There are tons of resources online like Credit Karma, that you can use totally for free.
7. Stack the emergency fund.
Set a goal to ultimately save 3-6 months of expenses. There’s talk of a 2020 recession, but regardless, now is always the best time to shore up the financial house.
8. Start a Life Happens Fund.
I refer to it as an emergency fund for my emergency fund. This buffer account is a great way to protect your actual emergency fund and reserve it for ‘real’ emergencies.
9. Increase contributions to your workplace retirement account.
It’s not sexy but it works. Start with a 1-2% increase if your budget allows. If you received a raise, market increase or bonus this year, increasing your 401k contributions is a great way to hold onto more of your cash and avoid lifestyle creep.
10. Increase your savings rate.
The advice to save just 10% is outdated especially for those of us that want to reach financial independence, retire early, or leave money to your heirs someday.
11. Start paying yourself like you pay a bill.
I don’t like owing people money so I always feel an urgency to pay my bills in a hurry. While it’s honorable to repay what we owe, it is also important to pay ourselves. Paying yourself like you pay a bill means that we prioritize saving money for the future by creating an actual line item in our budget each month for savings.
Recommended Video:Pay Yourself Like You Pay a Bill
12. Read more!
This is one of the habits of self-made millionaires so there must be some validity to it!
13. Adjust your withholdings at work and give yourself a raise.
If you’re getting a big income tax refund each year then you’re likely having too much money taken out for payroll taxes. Why give the government a free loan? They certainly won’t return the favor!
Recommended Video:How to Give Yourself a Raise
14. Get a side hustle.
I call side hustling the secret weapon in your financial arsenal. A side hustle will allow you to create more income to save, invest, and pay down debt faster. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone has skills, talents, and abilities that can be monetized.
15. Research life insurance and short-term disability insurance.
If you have a family that depends on your income this is a must. Nobody likes to think about this stuff unfortunately until it’s too late. Life insurance doesn’t have to break the bank either.
16. Take your lunch to work on most days.
This frugal living hack has saved me thousands of dollars over the years! My $8 lunch box from Walmart has saved me so much money!
17. Start dating your money!
Prioritizing the time to spend with your money is critical. I like to call this ‘dating your money’. When we’re dating someone that we like, we spend a lot of time together in deep conversation, sharing meals together, and gazing into each other’s eyes. Now, I fully realize that money is an object, not a person, but I hope you catch my drift. To get better with our money we must be intimately acquainted with it. We need dedicated time to create and review the budget, to track expenses, and to craft short and long-term goals.
18. Open a Roth IRA.
Roth IRA contributions grow tax-free and your distributions in retirement will also be tax free! The Roth IRA is one of my favorite types of accounts to build wealth because there is so much flexibility built into it. Roth IRA contributions are made with post-tax dollars, so there are no immediate tax breaks. However, contributions grow tax-free and can be withdrawn in retirement tax-free. The Roth IRA is a great account to have in your arsenal, especially for those that desire an early retirement. Unlike 401k or 403b funds, Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn before age 59.5, without penalty. This lovely benefit positions the Roth IRA as an ideal account to fund a portion of your early retirement lifestyle. And then, at age 59.5 and beyond, you can rely upon the funds from the 401k or 403b to cover your expenses during the more traditional phase of retirement.
19. Give yourself a monthly spending allowance.
Personal spending money helps you to avoid deprivation as you are budgeting. I often use my personal money to indulge in the occasional smoothie or mani-pedi. To keep the money separate from my household money, I transfer it to my CHIME debit card.
20. Open a 529 plan for your kids.
It’s a great way to save for college.
What goals will you be working on in 2020?