Are you hoping to create healthier money habits in 2020 but don’t know where to start?
Or are you stuck thinking that nothing you do makes a difference?
Then let’s give you a boost!
When it comes to your money, no one has all the answers. We’re all learning every day. But even small moments of positive action can bring you closer to your goals. And more importantly? Completing a healthy task to improve your money – even a micro one – gets you started, gives you that encouragement that you can be good with money and reinforces better money mindsets.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, let’s take a look at 9 mini money goals you can tackle right now.
Mini Money Goals to Boost Your Financial Confidence & Health
As you look at these 9 micro money goals, try not to get overwhelmed. You don’t have to do them all. Just focus on where you can feel comfortable taking action, then move forward.
Also, remember that none of these tasks should take more than an hour. Most will take you half an hour or less. You can do this.
1 – Calculate Your Net Worth so You Know Where You’re Starting
You won’t know how to get where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re starting. Calculating your net worth is a simple exercise that will help you take stock of your overall financial picture.
Net Worth = Total Assets – Total Liabilities
To calculate your net worth, simply add up all of your assets – checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, the value of your home, etc.
Then, add up all of your liabilities (debts) – mortgage, student loans, car payments, credit card debts.
Finally, subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. That’s your net worth.
Building wealth is all about growing your assets while shrinking your liabilities. Today, your net worth might be close to zero – or even negative! But as you calculate your net worth for the first time, think about what surprised you and places you may want to make changes.
Now that you know where you stand, you can create plans to make improvements with confidence. And see the results in black and white over time so you can celebrate your progress.
2 – Sell Unwanted Items in Your Home & Build an Emergency Fund
When we talk about having a solid emergency fund, you often hear people throw around big numbers – like 3 to 6 months of expenses. And that can be overwhelming. Especially when over 40% of American families can’t cover a $400 unexpected expense in cash.
That’s why I encourage you to focus on saving $400 to $500 first. This is enough to remove a great amount of financial anxiety from your life. All while building a solid foundation to move forward.
How do you build this mini emergency fund when the budget feels tight?
Do a quick review of what’s around your house that you no longer use. Then list it for sale on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, LetGo, or any other services that will let you turn your clutter into cash.
Wondering what you could possibly sell? Check out these 20 common items that may be around your house right now.
3 – Get Sufficient Life Insurance to Protect Your Family
If you have people who rely on you financially – like your kids! – then you probably need life insurance. How much you need depends on your family, but the standard rule of thumb is 7 to 10 times your income.
But there are so many myths about life insurance that hold us back from just going out and getting the coverage we need. You might think it’s too expensive or takes too long or that you’re too young to really need coverage.
Luckily, getting the life insurance coverage you need isn’t as hard as you think. I got coverage when I was pregnant with my oldest son. But my husband? We put off getting his policy for almost 3 years. Dragging our feet to avoid any hassle. And I’m supposed to know better!
Then, one day, I finally decided enough was enough. I visited Bestow and found term life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam. We secured his policy in less than 15 minutes. Now, he has a $500,000 policy that costs less than $27 a month and we all sleep easier at night.
Stop procrastinating and take the 15 minutes to get your policy today.
4 – Plan a No-Spend Family Activity
Am I the only one who feels like you can’t go anywhere these days without spending $50?
But it really isn’t true. Embracing all the incredible ways to build family memories and have fun – without spending money – is a great way to cut your spending and spend more quality time together.
My family loves playing board games, going for hikes, taking trips to the library, baking, hosting movie nights at home, and doing so many things together that don’t require a wallet.
Take a few minutes – maybe even together with your kids – to brainstorm activities you can do together without spending money. If you’re feeling stumped, we have 35 fantastic free activities to consider. Then, pick a day to do it!
5 – Increase Your Retirement Savings by 1%
Getting started investing or saving more for retirement can be as simple as logging into your company’s 401K or retirement plan and increasing your paycheck contributions by 1%.
Now, 1% more of your annual salary will go to your retirement savings without you even having to think about it. And, chances are, 1% is a small enough amount that you won’t even miss it in your paychecks.
Yet, despite this change being small, it can make a big difference over time.
Let’s say you’re 35-years-old and make $50,000 a year. Increasing your contributions 1% only means $500 more towards savings this year. But with 1% more coming out throughout your career, a relatively conservative 7% investment return, and 2% salary raises every year – that one small change that took you less than 15 minutes can mean an extra $22,600 in your retirement account when you’re 65.
Can you log in and make a small change to net thousands of dollars more for future you? I think you can.
6 – Update Your Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are an incredibly important detail in your financial life and one of the most commonly overlooked. When we set up our retirement plans or life insurance policies, we enter who want to receive that policy when we’re no longer around. But then, it’s out of sight, out of mind.
We forget to update those beneficiaries as our lives and family structures change. And there are way, way too many stories about life insurance policies or retirement accounts being left to ex-spouses, estranged family members, or kids who are too young to actually receive the funds.
Accounts with beneficiaries don’t go through probate, which means the named beneficiary isn’t overridden by a will. You need to remember to periodically check who you’ve named and update it if necessary.
Luckily, the process is easy. Life insurance products, like Bestow offers allow you to change beneficiaries right on your account page. Your retirement and investment accounts will work the same way. Simply log in, see who is listed, and if changes are necessary enter the new beneficiary’s name and Social Security number.
It’s a quick change but a crucially important one in case anything ever happened to you. Making that small update will mean you’re more organized and on top of your financial plan.
7 – Cancel a Recurring Expense & Redirect the Cost to Savings
Looking for an easy way to save a little extra money?
Comb through your last month’s budget or transaction history and find a recurring expense that you’re no longer getting use from. It could be your seventh streaming service or a membership you just don’t take advantage of.
Cancel that expense and then immediately go into your bank account and set up an automatic monthly transfer for that amount into your savings or investment account. You’ll never feel the change since the same amount of money will be going out. But now that money is working for you.
$7 a month for Hulu might not seem like a lot, but it’s still $84 dollars you could be saving this year.
8 – Create & Stick to a Meal Plan for the Week
Food is one of the biggest money drains from most family’s budgets. It’s one of the largest expense categories and one that feels so hard to cut because, obviously, we do need to eat.
But if creating a new plan for your food spending feels overwhelming, or you’re worried about drawing up a huge system that gets bungled by a last-minute science project, start small.
Sit down and create a meal plan for the next week. Or even just the next three to four days. Make a detailed shopping list of what you need. (Bonus points if your mini-plan uses some of the food already in your pantry and freezer.) Then only buy what you need and stick to that plan.
So often, we get paralyzed by thinking we need to make grand, permanent changes. Yet, by removing some of the pressure, you’re more likely to get the results you want.
9 – Create a Vision of Your Ideal Future Life
Finally, our last micro goal for you is to dream.
Not just of being debt-free or quitting a job you hate. But what you would do after that.
What do you want your life to look like? How would you spend your days? What would you accomplish in a week or a month?
It’s so, so easy to get stuck in a rut with our day-to-day routine as moms, employees, spouses, caretakers and forget to dream. We handle what is right in front of us and lose the skill of believing in ourselves and what life could be.
Shake it off. Give yourself permission to dream. Then take a step back and really think about what it would take to get you there. Because even the smallest, most seemingly boring steps will be so much more powerful when you know what they’re leading towards.
Ready to Set Meaningful Money Goals?
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Small Progress is Valuable Progress
Mama, you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. You don’t need to overhaul everything you’re doing or commit to a whole new life plan. You just need to take a step.
Commit to just a few days of meal planning, check out Bestow and get the life insurance you know you need but have been putting off, save a small emergency fund.
You can do this. You can make progress. We’re here cheering you on.
What are you doing to kick-off the new year with financial savvy? Drop a comment below and let us know! Or, better yet, share this post with friends and encourage them to take action with you!