YE$$$ ME: Your 2018 Money Guide


Intent on making 2018 your Best Year Ever? We can help with that, thanks to our Coach of the Month series. This January, Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck will upgrade your financial health, teaching you how to make more money — and make the most of the money you have. This week, Krawcheck sets out guidelines for the most important financial milestones — from knocking out student debt to opening a 401(k) — with research-backed tips on when, and how, to hit them.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

I know it’s that time of year when our minds turn toward New Year’s resolutions, but after a year like 2017, the time is past for wistful list-making about resolutions you might (or might not) keep. Instead, 2018 is the year to be a woman of action, and get serious about unleashing your financial feminist. This year? Work on building wealth.

That’s right: wealth, and all that it confers: security, a path to major life goals, and, most important, the ability to exit stage left on that job/boyfriend/girlfriend/situation that is holding you back. You deserve it. No reason you can’t have it. You work hard for your money, right? So make your money do more work for YOU.

There’s no instant formula to greatness here, no “four simple steps.” BUT follow the advice below, and in a year or three you’ll be reveling in what you’ve just made for yourself: financial confidence.

Don’t B*tch About Debt — Ditch It

Not all debt is bad debt—but whatever bad debt you DO have, you need to conquer, stat. I’ll tell you how, but first: What is “bad” debt? Bad debt is any high-interest debt that isn’t going toward an asset you will have in the future, such as an education that helps build a steady career (student loans), or a home, which you, you know, live in (a mortgage, the interest on which is also tax-deductible in a lot of states). A prime example of bad debt is credit cards. With interest rates as high as 22%, credit cards basically make any purchase you don’t immediately pay for an instant “un-sale”—and who needs that?

And listen: it doesn’t make sense to save money in the bank for an emergency fund — or have your money make money by investing — while any of your wealth is being eaten up by credit card interest. So: get focused on buying only what you need, make a payment plan that will pay off your cards in one year, if possible, two if not. And just remember this: what you are buying by getting out of credit card debt is CONTROL, i.e. a financial future YOU are in charge of. Not the credit card companies.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Yes, Take Free Money From Your Employer

This one is fast and easy: Does your company offer a 401(k) retirement fund, in which you can set aside part of your salary PRE-TAX (that earns you money right there) into a retirement fund? DO IT and GO BIG! But don’t stop there, sister! If your employer offers any kind of 401(k) match — where they basically give you free, untaxed money to match a percentage of the pre-tax dollars you put into your account — take full advantage! As in, absolutely, positively increase your 401(k) paycheck deductions to the maximum percentage that your company matches. Then sit back and watch all that free money have the potential to compound over time. Sweet!

Prepare for Life’s Little (and Not So Little) Surprises

Life is full of Things We Didn’t Plan, right? I know a 29-year-old woman who left her husband and her job in the same month. The kicker? She was also now going to be a single mom. Here’s how she avoided bankruptcy and bedlam: She had a year’s worth of take-home pay in cash. That’s not just F.U. money—that’s serious GO ME money! And this is why every single woman needs an emergency fund. You don’t have to have a full year—although hell yeah if you can!—but setting aside 3 to 6 months’ take-home pay, in cash, is a must. Not a plus. Not a bonus. A MUST.

But remember: do not start an emergency fund if you have credit card debt — pay that down first, always. Then do the math to figure out how much you need to set aside to make that cushion. Life is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared or even better than prepared. You can be free to do what you need to do to TAKE CARE OF YOU.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Next, Work on Building Wealth

So, now we get to the really good stuff, the part where you can start building toward making your dreams come true. Here’s the secret: you have to show up for yourself. “Wealth” may seem like an unattainable notion, but hey, guess what? Women think about wealth differently than men. We think about it as: goals. That first house. Or starting a business. But here’s the thing: saving money is not gonna get you there. Nope. Not at a less-than-1-percent return that you get from most banks. Historically the average annual return from investing in the stock market has exceeded saving money in the bank And if you “compound” your returns—meaning, leave what dividends and capital appreciation you earn in the account, so you have the potential to earn some more? Now you’re talking! Let’s look at those numbers: If you put $5,000 in a savings account, after 30 years you’ll have $6,739. Hmm, that “safe” bet doesn’t feel so good 30 years later. But, put that $5,000 in the stock market and don’t take any money out? How about $27,054. Much better. But here’s the kicker: If you add an additional $100 each month to this $5,000 to grow your nest egg? You’ll be looking at $125,839. Yes, please! So invest, invest, invest..

Don’t wait to do it. And don’t think you have to learn everything about it to do it! (The same way you shouldn’t wait to ask for a promotion until you know everything about how to do that bigger job!) You don’t have to play the market — in fact, you shouldn’t. Research shows that time and again, investing in professionally managed, low-cost index funds does better than buying and selling individual stocks. So check that worry off your list. And seek out a firm with a solid reputation that is a “fiduciary” — a word that means they are obligated by law to work in your best interest, instead of their own.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

How much should you invest? Look, we’re not going to patronize you with the “cut out a latte a day and see your money grow” advice. But I know it can be really hard when you’re first starting out — or during the lean times that happen in life — but a good formula to to follow is 50/30/20: fifty percent of your take-home pay toward basic expenses like housing and bills. 30 percent for the stuff that makes life rewarding: dinners out, clothes, annual vacations. The remaining 20 percent is what you should put toward investing, to build your wealth, to solidify and protect your future, and to give you all the F.U. money you need create the life (and, eventually, retirement) you’ll love—whether you’re an entrepreneur, or sending your children to college, or later investing in other women’s companies to get them going on their own path, now that you’ve done every single smart thing a bold, badass woman can with hers.


Disclosures

Forecasts or projections of investment outcomes in investment plans are estimates only, based upon numerous assumptions about future capital markets returns and economic factors. As estimates, they are imprecise and hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal, investment or tax advice.

Investing entails risk including the possible loss of principal and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.



Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Chrissy Teigen Maternity Fashion – Chrissy Teigen Style
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Health?
Victoria’s Secret Model Nina Agdal Criticizes Magazine Over Body Shaming
I Let a Life Coach Re-Do My Dating Profile
Big Little Lies Stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman Will Make $1 Million Per Episode in Season 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *