Every now and then it really pays to go back to the beginning. Even when we think we know something really well. Have you ever looked at a recipe you’ve been making from memory for years only to find out that there is an ingredient you’d forgotten or a different measure or…(this happens to me far more often than I care to admit).
Girlfriend guru and financial expert MIATA EDOGA has done the hard work of going back and explaining the basics of money. Whether you’re wondering where to start or need a refresher, this is the blog for you.
Someone the other day said, “Miata, I love your advice, but what about the basics?”
“The basics?” I repeated. “I think I cover those, don’t I?”
Unperturbed, she continued. “Why not have all the basics in one written piece?”
I’d never thought about that. So, if you’re wondering, “How do I start?” this one’s for you…and my friend.
1) Set up direct deposit. If there’s one mystery in life, it’s where money goes when you let it flow into your hand. To avoid this black hole, use direct deposit to a savings account, then have a portion moved every couple weeks to your checking account. Money should begin saving itself in your savings!
2) Start your 401k. Albert Einstein described compounding interest as the most powerful force in the universe. Ultimately, you should use online calculators to decide the right amount to save, but at least save enough to grab whatever your employer will match. That’s free money in your hands.
3) Open a Roth IRA…especially if you don’t have access to a 401k plan. Roth IRAs work the opposite of 401k plans. While the latter gives you tax breaks today, a Roth IRA provides tax free income during retirement. Need money for a house or education expenses down the road? In many cases, Roth IRA money can be used without penalty for these and other needs.
4) Evaluate your insurance needs. If you’re starting out, there’s a good chance that you need disability insurance to keep income coming in. Only buy life insurance if you have dependents that rely on your income, and then focus on “term insurance” coverage rather than more expensive whole life or universal policies.
5) Pay down student loans, but slowly. When paying down debt, start with your highest interest rates and work down. Financial guru Dave Ramsey recommends using a debt snowball approach of paying the smallest balances first. While I agree that starting with small balances can help you pick up steam, large interest payments can kill your overall strategy. By balancing your approach, you’ll pay off your debt in no time.
MIATA EDOGA is the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, a 10-year old company committed to utilizing humor, inspiration & lots of love to give individuals around the world the necessary tools to thrive financially, while keeping focus on the things they treasure most. Visit the Abundance Bound Facebook Page for your free copy of Financial Success for the Creative Soul!
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