So here’s the thing…I am not well. Fiscally or physically. Really, there is no joke here. I do well but there is room for improvement. I haven’t had that “oh my goodness, I have to do this THING or I am going to die” moment yet. It’s when you have hit rock bottom and need to make changes in order to be fit enough to bounce back. Get me?
I don’t really want to have the rock bottom moment in my life right now. I’d rather learn to do things differently so I don’t go insane. Those big, neon flashing lights are angrily telling me that there is danger ahead. Turn off now to fix it!
My goal for the coming year is to introduce you to my decision to make 2019 my year of Fiscal & Physical Wellness. It is a subject that is very close to my heart. Mostly because I suck at keeping myself well in any capacity.
In my case, Fiscal Wellness encompasses budgeting, saving, and investments. It will remind you of Dave Ramsey and that is because it is loosely based on his Seven Baby Steps. I had to tweek it a bit to fit my current situation. Such as, I’m not saving for anyone’s college education nor am I looking to purchase a home. With that in mind, here is what I have come up with and I call them milestones.
The first milestone is to have that magical fund called an Emergency Fund fully funded. No guess where that step came from. It is the basis for a good foundation for your finances. Right? You can be slow and steady with this or bring it up a notch and hit it hard. I am about half way to my goal of one thousand dollars. Whoohoo!
The second milestone, create a small savings plan for short-term goals. This is anything to save for that is around one to three hundred dollars. I have a tendency to feel deprived when I start setting limitations for my self. I can self sabotage with the best of them.
I wanted to create a way allows me to have something to look forward to. Ok, I know being debt free is a great thing to look forward to. I, however, think instant gratification takes too long. Creating something small to build up to allows me to feel I’m not depriving myself. Whatever works, right?
Milestone three is the big boom of this plan – paying off debt. The whole, in its entirety. No holds barred. Attack with vigor. Got it? This is where I will incorporate another one of Dave’s ingenious ideas of snowballing the debt.
The debt snowball premise is to pay the minimum on all debts, smallest to largest. Once the smallest debt is paid in full (and closed), you apply that minimum payment to the next debt on the list and so on. By the time you get to you largest debt, you will apply all minimums to pay down that debt quicker. More here if you want to explore this more.
Once we have defeated the debt monster, we go on to milestone four. This is where I will be having anywhere from three to six months expenses saved. One top of that, I will be creating a rolling expense of my current budget.
I am new to finance lingo so bear with me. Say I have $2000 in expenses in a given month. With a rolling expense, once I have paid that amount out, it is reviewed, corrected and then replenished for the next month. Trust me, I am learning this as I go along so we will learn this together.
Milestone five is all about investing in my future. I am one of those who has waited to that last-minute to consider what I will be relying on in my “retirement” years. At this point, with all things saved – I can implement investments to cover my expenses in the future.
I am not a fan of the any company’s 401(k). I have seen too many friends and family lose literally all of their “saved” money through their work’s plan. I know not everything in life is secure but I have discovered that there are many other options out there and I can’t wait to dive into it all.
I am so very excited about milestone six. If I was following the traditional seven steps by Dave, this is where I would be saving for a home down payment. I decided, no. I have no desire at this moment in life to own another home.
Rather, I want to travel. Everywhere. Literally. So my milestone will be saving for trips, travel expenses and airfare. Who wants to go to Ireland with me???
Lastly, and even more importantly is milestone seven. I am beginning and ending with the foundation that was laid by Mr. Ramsey. I am going to go with his last step of Giving Back.
I would like to think that in some way I am already doing that by writing this all out for others to see and maybe implement a couple of milestones for yourself.
This next year is not going to be easy. I know it isn’t. I expect growing pains, frustrations, and many temper tantrums. Work is hard, not matter what you do. Delving into your own mistakes and issues is never an easy road. But hey, we are in this together!
laters, lissy ~