You’ve probably noticed that the small things you do or don’t do every day really add up in many cases, your micro habits make difference between success and failure in different areas of your.
Life, such as health relationships, career, and finances. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. The micro money habits you can and should develop that will allow you to take control of your finances, feel secure and know that you can reach any realistic financial goal you want. Hey everyone. And welcome back to the money girl podcast. I’m Laura Adams, a leading personal finance and small business expert. And award-winning author. I’ve been writing and hosting this show since 2008. Money girl has been a top podcast for so long because of you wherever you are in the world. I love connecting with you and serving you here week after week. So thank you for subscribing, downloading the show, sharing it with your friends and being very loyal listeners. Like you. I’m a huge podcast lover and I have been since so 2005. I literally can’t make it through the day without my favorite shows, keeping me company, while I’m exercising, taking a beach, walk, cooking, and just chilling.
They really are an anchor to my day. And in a previous show, I mentioned that my 13th year of hosting money girl and the seven hundreds show are going to drop in early fall. So we’re planning a pretty special anniversary show, and I love to feature your voices, your questions, your comments. So if you want to participate, please leave a voicemail by calling 3 0 2 3 6 4 0 3 0 8 before July 15th, 2021, maybe you’ve been a long-time listener. And you just want to say hi, or you have a specific money or business question that you want me to cover on the anniversary. Show the sky’s the limit. I love to hear from you and add your message to the show, but don’t wait again. We’re going to need to receive your message before July 15th. If you’ve been listening for a while, you already know that this show is all about delivering financial education tips and advice, and I hope it will be inspiring and maybe a little entertaining if you don’t know how money works or the exact next steps to take, it can be next to impossible to make the right decisions and improve your financial life.
So let’s get started with today’s show, which is episode number 687 called eight micro money habits for guaranteed success. But first off, I want to quickly cover a couple of your questions. I got a note from Ashley. You who says I’ve been wanting to start a small business. My question is, do I have to register it immediately? What are my options? Thanks, Ashley. This is actually a very common question and I cover it in serious detail in my recent book, money, smart solopreneur, but I’ll give you the short answer here, which is no, you don’t have to do anything to start a business and create self-employment income. By default, you’re going to have a sole proprietorship and you’ll include your business income on your personal tax return, easy peasy. However, depending on the type of work you want to do or your trade or business you might consider incorporating, which means that you create a legal entity, it could be an S corporation, an LLC, or a C corporation by registering it with your state.
And again, I go into a lot of detail about legal entities in money, smart, solo preneur. You might want to incorporate if your work puts you at risk for potential lawsuits, but if not, and maybe you’re not going to earn that much right away being a sole proprietor is fine. My recommendation is just to start, get your venture going. And once you earn $10,000, that’s a really good point when you should examine your legal banking and accounting needs more seriously. So Ashley, I hope that helps and good luck with your business. Another question comes from Diana H and her dog Chapo, who says I listened to your podcast and I’m really interested in learning more about investing, but it seems overwhelming. I just really don’t know how to even begin swimming in that ocean. I’m also interested in retirement planning and opening an IRA through my bank.
I want to know which is better for me, a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. I’m 27 years old. And I live in Chicago. I wasn’t raised in a financially literate family, but I went to college and I got a BA in politics and government, but in all my schooling, I didn’t learn one single thing about personal finances. I feel very overwhelmed about money and financial stability just seems so unattainable. I work three jobs, two part-time and one full-time. And I’m waiting to hear back on whether I got into graduate school. Diana, I really appreciate your question. Believe me, 99% of Americans got zero education in high school or college about how to manage their personal finances. You are not alone. This is a big problem in our country, but you’re in the right place because you’re listening to this show. You’re asking questions, you’re being proactive.
That is fantastic. And you’re obviously a very hard worker as well. My recommendation is for you to open up a Roth IRA through your bank today, you want to set recurring monthly or even biweekly transfers from your checking for an amount that challenges you, but that you can afford and you’ll need to choose how you want your contributions to be invested from a menu of available options that your bank is going to give you for that IRA. I would choose a growth fund. That’s made up of many underlying investments, which makes it highly diversified. It might be called a mutual fund, an index fund, or even an exchange traded fund. Again, just depending on the menu of options that you have at 27 years old, you should have mostly stocks in that fund. And if you’re not sure what to select your bank can help you.
That is their job. So you want to ask for an investment representative to help you. If you have any questions, when you’re setting up that IRA slowly increase your IRA contributions over time until you max it out right now, that maximum is $6,000 a year at your age, but that could go up in future years. So you want to make sure that you’re maxing it out at the annual allowable level Dianna. I hope that helps. Thanks again for those questions. Let’s get onto today’s topic. All right. As I mentioned, we’re going to cover eight micro money habits for guaranteed success. The first habit, number one is review your financial priorities frequently. It doesn’t matter if you’re a college graduate. Who’s just starting out a parent who wants to pay for college for their kids or a pre-retiree dreaming of traveling the world. You need to identify your unique financial priorities.
That’s where it all starts. Your financial goals don’t have to be complicated, but they do require an action plan. The action plan is simply breaking them down into manageable, smaller targets that you hit over short periods of time. For example, let’s say you want to save $60,000 for a house down payment over the next five years with that goal, you’re going to need to put aside $12,000 a year or $1,000 a month. Let’s say you want to retire in 30 years with a million dollars. In that case, you will need to invest about $800 a month. So backing into that goal is really the plan that you create for yourself. You got to know what you’re working and saving for, because that helps you stay focused on the long-term and also tolerate any short-term sacrifices that you may need to make. One trick to achieving goals is simple.
It’s just remembering them. If you don’t frequently review your financial priorities and goals, it’s just very easy to forget them. So a wise micro habit is setting a daily or weekly calendar reminder to review your goals. You might use a handwritten journal, a Google doc, or a digital note pad, or even a yellow sticky note to remind yourself of what your goals are on a daily basis. Getting clear about what you want to accomplish with your money is the first step to success and reminding yourself about what that goal is. As frequently as you can, a simple tool that I created to help you monitor your goals and your financial progress is called the personal financial statement. This tracks your net worth, which is a really crucial indicator of your overall financial health. You can download it right now by texting the phrase net worth N E T w O R T H net worth with no space to the number 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, and get started on it today.
And if you’re not sure what your financial priorities should be, you know, I’ve got lots of ideas on that. And the first box that I’d like you to check is having an emergency fund that keeps you safe no matter what, if you’re not building a cash reserve right now, maybe you’ve got nothing or you just have, you know, a really small amount, ask yourself why maybe you need to cut out frivolous spending, stop making impulse purchases, create a realistic spending plan or create a second source of income. All of those things can help you free up more money so that you can have your emergency fund. And then once you’ve got some money in your emergency fund, then it’s time to really get aggressive with your retirement investing. All right, our second micro money habit is automate your money goals. Since it’s so easy to forget about your financial priorities or even to lose motivation, I recommend that you outsmart yourself by creating systems that help keep good behaviors, financially healthy people protect their goals.
By using the micro habit of automation. I have been doing this for decades. Here’s some ways you could put your money goals on autopilot. You might participate in a retirement plan at work, such as a 401k, which takes your elected contributions right out of your paycheck. Before you even get the chance to see them or spend them, you might set up recurring transfers from your bank account to a savings or to a retirement account, such as an IRA or a SEP IRA, which is an account for the self-employed. You could have a portion of each paycheck or even a tax refund sent to your savings account. So you can quickly build that emergency fund. All you have to do is ask your employer to give you a second direct deposit. You might contribute to a 5 29 college savings plan to pay future college expenses for you, a child or other family members.
The bottom line is the sooner you automate, saving and investing the more financial security you and your family will have. And speaking of family, did you know that there’s no age restriction for contributing to a traditional or a Roth IRA, even teenagers who get their first job can have a retirement account and put it on autopilot. Let’s say your teenager earns $3,000 working a summer job that qualifies them to contribute up to $3,000 to an IRA. And by the way, your team can put that money in the IRA, or you as the parent can put it in the IRA on their behalf. As long as they actually earned the money they qualify. So consider this. If your 15 year old child invested $3,000 per year or $250 per month until they reach age 65, and they get an average moderate, 6% return on their investments, they would have a million dollars to spend in retirement.
So investing even small amounts pay off when you start early and you make automation, a micro habit, habit, number three, increase your savings rate slowly, another micro money habit that won’t disrupt your lifestyle, but will give you a considerable return is to boost your savings rate each year slowly. For instance, if you’re saving 1% of your income to build an emergency fund, make a goal to save 2% next year, or if you’re contributing 5% to a retirement plan at work enroll in your plans, auto escalation feature. This is a feature that most plans have, and it allows you to schedule when, and by how much your elected contributions will increase such as every January. First, you contribute 1% more than you did the prior year. The idea is to slowly increase your retirement contributions until you hit the maximum amount allowed for 2021, you can put up to $19,500 or $26,000.
If you’re over age 50 to a workplace retirement plan with IRAs, you can contribute up to $6,000 or 7,000 after your 50th birthday. And if you’re self-employed, you can use various accounts such as an IRA or even other types that come with higher annual contribution limits, such as a solo 401k, or a SEP IRA. And I’ve done many podcasts about retirement plans for the self-employed. So if that’s something that interests you, you can go to the money girl firstname.lastname@example.org and just do a search there with the weather warming up. This time of year. Many of us are ready for a new spring wardrobe. I know I am. If that sounds familiar, show your closet and your wallet. Some love by shopping at thread up an online thrift store with over 35,000 brands all up to 90% off retail value. Thrifting is good for the earth, and it’s never been easier.
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That’s T H R E D U p.com/money for 30% off your first order thread up.com/money for an extra 30% off today terms apply. Today’s episode is supported by hello, fresh. Hello, fresh delivers fresh pre-measured ingredients for mouthwatering seasonal recipes, right to your door. So you can enjoy cooking and get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less for even quicker options. Try hello. Fresh is quick and easy meals, 15 to 20 minute dinners or breakfast on the go each week. Choose from 50 options ranging from gourmet style entrees like pork chops with mashed potatoes to a ready to eat super sandwich. I’m in love with hello, fresh meal delivery, because it truly brings fun back into the kitchen. It’s just so exciting to get fresh, colorful veggies out of the box and have clear instructions for how to cook them later in the week.
Plus recipes are simple, quick and totally worth the effort. Go to hello, fresh.com/money girl 14, and use code money, girl 14 for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping that’s hellofresh.com/money girl 14 and code money girl 14 for up to 14 free meals plus free habit. Number four, check your credit regularly. Checking your credit is a micro money habit that only takes a few minutes. You can use the official credit reporting site, annual credit report.com or other tools. When you review your credit report, you’re looking for errors that could be hurting your scores, or even indicate that you’ve been the victim of identity theft. And that includes incorrect payment information such as showing a late payment. When you know, you paid on time, any errors in your account balances or errors in your available credit limits or even accounts that are not yours, that’s a very serious and is an indicator of identity theft that you need to get cleared up immediately.
Correcting mistakes can quickly increase your credit scores, helping you pay less for credit cards, loans, insurance, and most states utilities, and a lot more. So make a habit of reviewing your credit reports at least once a year, and ideally more regularly, such as once a month or once a quarter habit, number five, spend money consciously. Most people have limited financial resources, which means that every cent is valuable and how you spend them matters. If I reviewed your spending over the past 30 days, I could tell a lot. I could tell you precisely what you value such as clothes, dining out or saving money values or the things you believe are most important. And they influence how you live, work and relate to other people. Every action you take, including your spending either builds up or breaks down your values. So identify your values and closely align your financial life with them by making conscious spending a daily micro habit.
In other words, cut back in areas that don’t give you lasting fulfillment that will leave you with more money to achieve your most meaningful goals. Also, if you’re a compulsive shopper or you tend to make impulse purchases be aware of your triggers financially healthy people have those counter-productive impulses too, but they’re just more aware of them and have found ways to resist them. Here are some effective strategies to control impulse spending, create a spending plan that accounts for your expenses and your financial goals don’t shop in person or online for entertainment, unless you can genuinely afford it unsubscribed from a retail newsletters that offer promotions and sales that you just can’t resist. Wait, at least 24 hours before buying anything over a certain amount. Maybe you set $50 or a hundred dollars as your limit. You do this so that your impulse settles down and then you can clearly decide if you truly need that item.
Go on a spending freeze where you don’t buy anything except dire necessities for a period such as a week or even a month calculate what an item costs you in time. This is really revealing. For instance, let’s say you earned $25 an hour after taxes. If that’s the case buying a $250 pair of shoes cost you 10 hours of work only, you know, if those shoes are worth a long work day and lastly, shop secondhand sites such as thread up the real, real eBay and Craigslist to find new or slightly used items at massive discounts. I love doing that habit. Number six, observe your money mindset, your ability to build wealth and have financial success does not depend on your education or earning power. You’ve heard about pop stars and fashion models who ended up going bankrupt, even though they’ve made millions of dollars, focusing on your money mindset might seem frivolous to some people.
However, I would argue that it’s a critical micro habit to develop because it’s the precursor to your behavior. None of your actions or behaviors happen in a vacuum. They all spring from your thoughts or your mindset. If you make a big financial mistake and who hasn’t, you want to learn from it and never let it happen again, failure can teach us important financial lessons. If we allow it, if you stay focused on what’s most important to you, you can set yourself up for a rewarding and secure financial future habit. Number seven, ignore the financial markets for most investors. What’s happening in the financial markets, such as the Dow or the NASDAQ is irrelevant daily or weekly changes. Only matter if you need to sell or liquidate your investments in the short term. And by the way, that’s why you should never invest money that you might need in the next few years, the value could plummet at the precise moment.
You need to spend it instead, make a micro habit of ignoring the financial markets and owning a diversified portfolio for longterm growth. Diversification means you own various investments that don’t all move together. That allows you to reduce investment risk because when some investments lose value, others may go up the easiest way to diversify your investments is what I mentioned earlier. Own one or more low cost funds, such as a mutual fund index fund or exchange traded fund. These are made up of hundreds or thousands of underlying assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies, and cash giving you instant diversification, habit. Number eight, leverage the right money pros. The last micro habit to adopt is to be sure to use the right financial professionals consulting with money. Experts can help you make giant leaps forward in your financial life, depending on your personal and business situations, you might benefit from hiring an expert that could include a financial planner tax accountant attorney, or an estate specialist who can help you navigate hardships, answer questions, and manage complex life events that you’re facing.
For instance, if you want to get all the tax benefits you’re entitled to for your small business, definitely hire a certified public accountant or CPA. If you don’t have the best insurance for your family or business, seek an insurance agent or broker who can help you get the best coverage at the lowest price. And if you have retirement questions, many investment firms offer free advice. That’s why I recommended Diana get help from her bank or wherever she ends up opening her Roth. IRA for guidance. Take advantage of help from your financial advisor, financial institution, your company’s benefit administrator, et cetera, and take control of your financial future. I hope these micro habits give you a little something to think about. Maybe even adopting one of them could make a huge difference in your future. Be sure to stay in touch with me one way is to follow on Instagram at Laura D. Adams.
You might also think about joining my private Facebook group called dominate your dollars. You can send me a quick text to get your invitation to the group. Just text the word dollars. D O L L a R S to the number 3, 3, 4 4 4. Also. I’d love you to visit Laura D adams.com. You can sign up for my weekly newsletter and learn more about me, my books and online courses. That’s all for now. I’ll talk to you next week until then here’s to living a richer life. Money girl is produced by the audio wizard, Steve Ricky Berg with editorial support from Biana Centura. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please take
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