FinancialFriday: Mixing it up and trying something new!

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I don’t really talk about what I do for work because honestly, I like to keep that part of me private.. I work with seniors and juniors at a local high school, and I really do like to keep my “work life” and “home life” separate.
I consider running a part of my “home life” and plus—My blog is called “the girl who ran everywhere” not “the girl who financially educates kids”. Oh, wait, did I already tell you I teach financial education? Yes, yes. A brief overview of what I do: Kids take my class and leave with the skills of balancing a checkbook, importance’s of saving money, why you need to have good credit, insurance, and even a lesson on investing. They also learn how to handle cash and balance a teller drawer. Everything they learn in the class is a transferable life skill they can take with them in any future endeavor. So that brings me to the next section of today’s post…

Monday was a good day…Yes, I know it’s Friday, but I have been planning this post since Monday because I like the idea of giving financial tips on a Friday- the day you embark on a two day spending spree (I don’t know about you, but that is definitely when I spend the majority of my money.) Anyways, back to Monday: A former student came in to see me…I just love that.
I, of course, cried when I saw him. He was home on military leave for the Christmas Break, and nobody had seen him since August. No one knew he was coming home and he managed to surprise literally EVERY SINGLE person in his life-including me! It was such an honor and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He let me know that he is handling his squadron’s financials-from soup to nuts-this 18 year old kid is doing it all. Can you imagine? Grown men much older than him couldn’t handle it-and he can. And you know why? Because of the skills he learned this class, and in his ROTC program. (I can’t take ALL the credit!) SO moral of the story kids: #schooliscool

In honor of the new year, I have decided to do a new type of post called “Financial Fridays”. Since this is the first one, I’m not sure yet what its consistency will be-whether it will be weekly, biweekly, or monthly. (or if it will even generate one shard of interest at ALL. So you may never see it again. Please Don’t unfollow me, friends!!
At the top of (nearly) everyone’s resolution list are frequent goals such as save more money, pay off all my debt, and increase my credit score. According to statisticbrain.com, the 3rd highest resolution that people set is to Spend Less, Save More. (Can you guess what #1 is?) Now, I’m not claiming that I am an expert-but I think that a few tips here and there serve as reminders to everyone in keeping your finances healthy.

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First Topic for Financial Friday:Let’s talk GOALS. This is one of the main lessons that I cover in my course, and by now, you know that I REALLY LOVE to set goals. Why not set a financial goal for yourself?

So how do you set a financial goal?
You make it S.M.A.R.T.

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S-Specific. Be SPECIFIC with your goal. Set clear, concise goals. You have to first figure out your goal. We’ll use the most basic example: “I want to save money.” Ask yourself the most basic Questions:
What are you saving for and why?
What will your goal cost?
When do you want to achieve it by?
Ways to make it easy on yourself: Goals that MEAN something to you are easier to reach. Figuring out what will keep you motivated is key!

M-Measurable. Is it a reachable goal? If your goal is to save $10,000. in 2014, but you only make $15,000.- it’s probably not going to be that easy to reach. But planning to save $100, every week in a savings account that you can’t touch could be possible. Breaking it down to a weekly amount helps-A LOT. You can figure out how long it will take you to save that $10,000 by planning out short term(less than 3 months), medium term(3 months-1 year) and long term(more than a year) goals for yourself.
Ways to make it easy: How can you make it even easier for yourself to save? Set up a direct deposit into an interest bearing savings account for yourself.

A-Attainable. How are you going to reach your goal? What steps will you take to get there? Figuring out how to take your dream and turn it into a goal is important. Goals that you set should be within reach and do-able for you, your lifestyle & budget.
Ways to make it easy for yourself: Experts say it takes 21 days http://www.d13d.org/students/21_days.html to break a bad habit. Break one bad financial habit and contribute the extra dough towards your savings goal 🙂

R-Realistic– Making a workable plan will help you get there. It should be a realistic amount that you are saving. Remember, you don’t want to “binge spend”. You still want to be able to enjoy your life, too.
Ways to make it easy for yourself: baby Steps. Don’t try to do it all at once. Cut out little “bad” spending habits one at a time to make the plan realistically work for you.

T-Timely-Knowing the end date of when you would like to accomplish your goal is HUGE. That way you can really map out your plan. If its your 2014 Resolution for the year-Your end date is 2015.
Ways to make it easy for yourself: Revisit your goals quarterly and adjust as needed.

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I hope these little tips help you out in your financial planning endeavors. Once you have your goal, it’s easy to create a working plan to keep you on track. Start small and you will end up saving big.

My “financial goal” for 2014 is to save all of my $5.00 bills in a jar. I got this idea from a friend of mine and thought it was so much fun- At the end of 2014, I hope to have enough in “5’s” to book a cruise or an awesome beach house for my husband and I.
My challenge is this: Every $5 bill I receive will go straight into the jar. No ifs, and or butts. There is NO COUNTING of the $5’s over the year. You want to surprise yourself with how much is in there. I am not setting an actual goal with an amount that I want to save up, since I already do save money on a weekly basis. This will be a “fun” financial goal for me for the year. 🙂

I have “regular” financial goals that I follow too…I make sure I invest in my 401k at every paycheck, and save a certain amount every week.

Anybody else have financial goals that they set for the year?

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2 thoughts on “FinancialFriday: Mixing it up and trying something new!

  1. What an awesome surprise visit! I wish we had had a class like that when I was in school. I usually feel lost on that kind of stuff. I didn’t set any specific financial goals for the year, but I always aim to pay down our debt each year with the taxes we get back so I can’t wait until we have our appt next month to get those done. I also use my bank’s feature that rounds all of my debit transactions to the nearest highest dollar and puts the change directly into my savings account. It’s surprising what that adds up to over a year.

    I think the $5 jar is a great idea. I might have to try that!

    • Thank you!! I was trying something different, I think I’ll keep it up!:)
      I like that idea that your bank does of transferring the change over-that’s good to know
      That it DOES add up-I’ve never known
      Anyone who has had it before
      And I’ve always thought it was a cool concept.
      I always set out to moat down debt too with taxes…. This year it will probably go to registering for a few marathons 😉
      I’m so excited for the $5 jar! My friend Julie gave me the idea.. I hope I can stick to it!

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