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If you want to speed up debt repayment efforts, you have to put some thought into it. There are certain things you’ll want to do to make sure you are making the most of paying off your debt. Not only does carrying debt put a strain on your mental health, but it can cost you a lot more than it should, thanks to interest. I’m sharing 5 money moves to speed up debt repayment so you can get out of debt as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind that debt repayment is not an overnight process. Unfortunately, it will take some time to completely rid yourself of debt. Brace yourself and be prepared to stay disciplined. It’s not always easy to stay motivated and continue with your efforts to speed up debt repayment, but it will all be worth it when you are officially debt free!

Money moves to speed up debt repayment #1 Start with your budget

The first money move that will help you get towards a debt free life, is creating a budget. You will want to outline your income, your expenses, and your debts on a monthly basis. How much are you bringing home? How much is going to living expenses? How much goes to discretionary spending? What are your minimum debt payments? Having all of this information handy is going to help you determine what you can reasonably afford to put towards your debt.

Make sure you answer those questions I listed above. This will essentially be your budget. If you notice that your living expenses are more than your income, you must cut back or make more money. If your income covers your living expenses and some discretionary spending, then you are in good shape. Once you have all these numbers down on paper, you can move on to the next money move.

#2 Have $1000 tucked away before diving in

At minimum, you will want to make sure that you have $1,000 in a close-by savings account in case of an emergency. Imagine this… you skip this step and just dive right into paying off debt. All your extra income goes towards your debt payment. Then, your car brakes down. You have nothing saved, and therefore have no choice but to use a credit card to get it fixed. You just set yourself back a couple of months.

If you had your $1,000 saved, you could leverage that money to fix your car and wouldn’t need to rely on using credit to bail yourself out. When you have a lot of debt, saving $1,000 could seem like a heavy feat, but trust me, it’s worth it. Before you dive into paying off your debts, make sure you have a short-term emergency fund handy. You may never need it, which would be awesome, but if you do need it, at least you have it.

What happens if you need to use your $1,000 while in the midst of paying down debt? If you need to use all or a portion of that savings, you should put a hold on your debt repayment efforts to build that savings back up. If you needed it once, you may need it again. Don’t worry about feeling like your efforts are put on hold while building it back up. If you didn’t take the time to build it back up, you may set yourself back if another emergency popped up.

#3 Cut back your budget categories

Once you have your $1,000 saved, you are ready to dive head first into debt repayment efforts. Wuhoo! At this stage, you will want to revisit your budget. Is there any area you can cut back to help you put more towards debt? Maybe you don’t need $100 a month for going out to eat. An extra $50 can make a huge difference when putting it towards your debt payments.

Check out the article 10 Budget Categories You Can Do Without for a list of places to start cutting back. Also keep in mind that this money move is “cut back”, not “cut out”. You don’t need to deprive yourself, but you do need to make a valid attempt to put more towards your debt payments.

#4 Leverage the snowball method

One of the most effective strategies for paying off debt is the snowball method. Essentially, the snowball method means you pay the minimum on all debts except the one with the lowest balance or the highest interest rate. For the card with the lowest balance or highest interest rate, you pay the minimum plus whatever else you can afford to put towards it.

Once that particular debt is paid off, you take what you were paying on it, add that amount to the minimum payment of the next debt, then pay that one off. You do that for each debt you have. I recommend starting with the debt with the lowest balance. The lowest balance means it will be the quickest to pay off, and will help you stay motivated to keep fighting through.

#5 Any extra income must go to debt repayments

The last money move to help you speed up debt repayment efforts will be to bring in more money. This could be through working overtime, driving for Uber, getting a second job, selling old stuff, or any other means of bringing in more money. I’ve written plenty of articles on making more money, so do your research and get creative!

Any extra money you bring in through extra work should go straight to debt repayments, leveraging the snowball method. This is going to help you pay your debts off even faster! The best thing you can do for yourself is make more money, and put that more money towards debts. Don’t spend it! Act like you don’t really have it – essentially you don’t, because it should go straight to debt anyways!

Related: How to Tackle Your Debt Head On

Congratulations on taking the proper steps to become debt free! Let me tell you, it took me two instances of being in debt, then getting out of debt, to appreciate how great life is without debt. It’s not easy, but then again, nothing worth having is! Stay focused and always remember what you are working towards. Have you started implementing any of the money moves above to get out of debt? What strategies help you become debt free? Leave a comment below to share!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post 5 Money Moves to Speed Up Debt Repayment appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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As hard as it is for me to believe, another year is almost over. 2018 was by far the best year in my life, my business, and my relationship. Not only did I work very hard this year, but I planned my 2018 goals in October of 2017. I truly believe that planning that far in advance made a true impact in how my year went and how much progress I made with my goals. Now, I'm excited to plan next year's goals earlier!

While there is over a month and a half left of this year, right now is the time to start planning your next year goals. I’m going to walk you through a few reasons why you should plan your next year’s goals a couple months early, as well as the strategy I use to plan my next year goals.

Before we dive in, I want to share how important setting goals is. Whether you are setting goals for your finances, health, career, business, or any other reason, doing so is critical to your personal and professional development. The ability to set goals, then work to achieve them, is what life is all about. Striving to obtain things you never had, being disciplined with your actions to get to a new level, and seeing success from your efforts is an amazing feeling.

I’ve been setting goals and resolutions for myself and my business for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a motivated person, and setting goals is right up my alley. Even if you aren’t as disciplined, setting goals can be powerful to help you work hard towards something. You should never be 100% content with where you currently are, but should always reach for more.

Past City Girl Savings’ Goals

If you are curious about some of the goals I set for City Girl Savings, check out the articles below. Every year I set goals for the following year, and recap my goal progress in the current year. Not only does this help me and my business stay accountable, but it makes the aspirations real.

City Girl Savings Goals for 2018

CGS 2017 Year End Goals Recap

City Girl Savings Goals for 2017

CGS 2016 Year End Goals Recap

As I’ve had more experience with setting goals, I can more easily pinpoint when a goal was too unrealistic. If you follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria when setting goals, you will know that unrealistic goals are not a good thing. It’s always great to dream big, but not to the point where you can’t achieve the goal you set.

If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of things you want to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with this, but when you have too many things taking your time and focus, it’s easy for other things to fall by the way side. This means you set too many goals for yourself than you have time or energy to work for. So, what’s the magic number of goals you should have in each category? I would keep it to one or two, and make sure they are realistic. This is in addition to any business or company goals you may have. The business is a body of its own, so it needs it’s one goals and respective goal categories.

3 reasons why you should plan next year's goals now

#1 Planning your next year goals a month or two in advance gives you time to think through your action items and to-do tasks BEFORE the new year starts.

#2 The earlier you think about what you want to achieve in the next year, the more time you have to prioritize your goals and focus on the things that are most important.

#3 Poor planning usually leads to poor performance. Giving yourself ample time to plan, write, and execute before it’s time to start working on your goals is a recipe for success.

Make goal-setting a fun part of your year’s fourth quarter by getting a cute planner or calendar, writing out your dream life, and creating a vision board. All of these things will help you keep working towards your goals during the year. You don’t want to forget about what you’re working towards! You also need that constant reminder to keep fighting through. For my personal goals, I have a daily planner. For my business goals, I use Asana. I love both resources!

My goal setting strategy

Prior to the start of 2018, I did a lot of research on goal-setting. In my research, I found a strategy that had seemed to work for most.

The strategy is:

  • Think about what you want to achieve in the next year (so, what you want to achieve for 2019). Focusing on 2-4 main goals for your personal development, and 2-4 main goals for your business.
  • Break those 2-4 main goals down into 90-day milestones. So, one major milestone per quarter to help you achieve that main goal.
  • Break the 90-day milestones into daily/weekly tasks.
  • Track the daily/weekly tasks to ensure completion.

This strategy can work for any goal. Here's an example:

  • Primary goal for 2018: Save $5,000 extra.
  • To save $5,000 for the entire year, that means $1,250 per quarter.
  • $1,250 per quarter means saving about $417 a month. This can be done through a lot of different ways each day/week/month:
    • Avoid excess going out to eat for a quarter
    • Pick up a small part-time job to earn extra money
    • Create/adjust your budget to account for this extra savings

I also found that getting S.M.A.R.T with your goals is the best way to go. (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific). I also share a few tips on effectively setting your new year intentions in an article and Facebook live video!

Related: 8 Ways to Get Inspired about Your Goals

It doesn’t matter which area you want to focus on the most when it comes to your goals, but it does matter how well you plan for those goals. Don’t be the person that doesn’t hold themselves accountable. When you make the decision to focus on a particular goal or milestone, keep working until you achieve it. Maybe the timing isn’t 100% right, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Just be smarter when setting goals for the next year!

Are you the type of person who sets goals at the start of a new year? Do you have any tips on planning or timing out your goals? Share some of your goals and experiences with goal setting by posting a comment in the box below.

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post Why You Should Plan Next Year’s Goals Now appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is not every day that people find the same beauty trends equally awesome. If you consider a certain look to be beautiful, and you would like to enhance your natural beauty then you should. There are so many treatments out nowadays we have lost count! However, I’ve created a list of the most popular beauty treatments around. Therefore, if you have wanted to try any of the beauty treatments on the list, I suggest you start saving now instead of waiting until the last minute.

Laser Hair Removal

The worst thing about puberty is having to deal with the body hair that came with it. Body hair, in some instances, puts off an unpleasant aroma, regardless of where it is on your body. It provides a surface for bacteria to stay which creates that nasty stench. Laser hair removal removes the hair for a long time, nearly permanent.  Smaller areas such as upper lip and under arms can cost a person between $100-200 per treatment. For larger areas, the cost of laser hair remold can range between $350-900 per treatment. If this beauty treatment is up your alley, then you can say farewell to waxing and shaving!

Eyelash Extensions

Long, fluttery lashes is a trend that is taking the beauty world by storm. They vary in prices and can cost anywhere from $150-200, and $50 for touchups. Many times, lashes cannot grow long, or they just won’t curl no matter what mascara application is used.

The false lashes are glued onto your real lashes so it is important to do your research and see if lash extensions are the best option for you. There’s no turning back after application! With lash extensions, you will not have to apply mascara to your lashes because your lashes are already flawless! A typical lash extension set can last you for as long as three weeks without having to get a fill.

Cellfina: The Treatment That Gets Rid of Cellulite

Cellulite can take a blind eye to most people, but for some it is appalling to say the least. Cellfina is a beauty treatment that helps minimize the appearance of cellulite. According to studies, 80% of women over the age of 20 develop cellulite naturally at some point in their life.

Regular exercise and dieting can reduce some of the appearance of cellulite, but it will not clear away everything. The best candidate for this treatment has dimpled cellulite compared to wavy or uneven skin. The dimples respond the best to the treatment, especially when located on the thighs and butt area. This beauty treatment start as low as $2,000, and can last for at least two years.

Removal of Varicose Vein

Using Varicose vein removal to permanently eliminate the large veins can cost a person between $950-3,000.  Varicose veins not life threatening, just annoying to look at. They are usually are bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin.

According to WebMD, “They almost always affect legs and feet. Visible swollen and twisted veins -- sometimes surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins.” Just one varicose vein stripping treatment will get rid of all your varicose veins. The beauty treatment lasts forever, and with minimal discomfort during and after pre-op. The doctor uses anesthetic around the area and makes a tiny incision and actually removes the vein altogether.

Lived-In Hair Color

Most women aren’t afraid to change their hair color on a consistent basis, but then there are some of us who actually like to keep a look longer than the normal six weeks. The lived-in hair color treatment is for the folks that hate going to salon to get touch ups when their hair color starts to fade out.

The lived-in hair color treatment lasts between six to eight months and can cost as low as $350. The treatment is well worth it if you prefer to get your color touched up twice a year compared to every six weeks. In addition, the treatment application can take up to five or more hours so be sure to bring your favorite snacks and reading material.

Beauty treatments can be beneficial if you do them correctly. Not to mention, you get what you pay for. Be willing to invest in your beauty! It is vital to check with your physician before indulging into beauty treatments that you have never tried before. What may work for someone else may not work for you. Results vary; therefore do your research before trying a treatment. Have you ever tried a treatment that you were so pleased you kept getting it done? Leave a comment below to share your stories!

-Taelor
The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor
 

The post 5 Beauty Treatments to Save Up For appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Typically, when our bodies are in pain, there is something to show for it. However, when our bodies, and specifically our hormones, seem to be out of whack and the issue is internal, it could be a lot harder to pinpoint. In many cases, when we seem more restless than usual, it can usually relate to our hormones being off. Check out these six signs your hormones may be out of whack.

You’re going to the bathroom more

Yes, it’s a known fact the liquids you drink, the more often you’ll have to use the restroom. However, keep note that if you aren’t drinking extra fluids and you’re going to the bathroom more frequently, it could be a sign of hormones being imbalanced. Your kidneys are working overtime to expel the excess sugar, making you have to tinkle more often. When you’re using the restroom more than normal it could also mean your pancreas is not functioning properly. Make an appointment with your doctor to get some lab tests done to check your vitals, blood count, and hormone balance. 

Eyes are bigger

It may not be something you notice every day, but it’s something that can be detected by the naked eye. If you’re eyes are slightly larger than normal, do not hesitate to see your primary care physician. In one instance, your eyes can appear larger because your eyelids are elevated, since tissues behind the eye are inflamed. When eyes are bigger it may be a sign of the most common form of hyperthyroidism, the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. It’s important to not get defensive if someone makes a comment about your appearance, instead make a mental note and see if your eye size changes.

You forget things

We all know how difficult it can be to remember almost everything, especially when it’s during a busy work week. Make a grocery list, attend your favorite cycle class, and don’t forget to RSVP to your friend’s birthday party! Of course, things we need to do can slip our mind, but if you’re getting brain fog more than normal it could be due to your hormones being out of whack.

According to medical studies, brain fog is also a well-known symptom of hypothyroidism, which is a  short-term memory loss that can also be a warning sign for your hormones not being great. Low thyroid hormone levels control the brain’s metabolism—and slower brain function affects your ability to pay attention in the moment and make memories. 

Hair stops growing

Hair not growing could be a variety of things. Diet, genetics, and even your hormones being out of whack. It’s important to tackle hair loss step by step. Rule out things so you can determine what is the main factor for why your hair isn’t flourishing like it should. Sometimes the texture of our hair can give us all the information we need. If your hair feels brittle and coarse, it could be because your hormones are imbalanced. Thinner hair anywhere on your body could be a sign of hypothyroidism.

Getting a lot of yeast infections

If you are a person who is considered more on the healthy side and notice you’re getting a lot more yeast infections, it can be a major sign that your hormones are off. Experiencing high levels of yeast infections may be related to diabetes, which messes with your levels of the hormone insulin. A yeast infection is a fungal infection typically on the skin or mucous membranes caused by candida.

Although there are several factors that can cause yeast infections, one factor in particular is the imbalance of hormones near your menstrual cycle. Mild yeast infections can go away on their own, but if you notice you aren’t feeling better, treatments are available at your nearest drug store. If infections are not treated properly, the chances of it returning are higher than normal, so be sure to treat as directed.

Dry skin

Dry skin can be an easy indicator that your hormones are out of whack. When you’re producing less of the thyroid hormone, it slows down your skin’s metabolism. It’s important to stay hydrated and keep your skin moisturized to rule out those reasons. If you notice your skin begins to flake and not taking to the moisturizer when applied, it can be a sign of your hormones needing to be checked. When your skin is drier than usual, your thyroid glands aren’t producing enough thyroid hormones for your body.

Although hormones aren’t seen by the naked eye, they do exist! It’s important to check your hormones regularly to ensure the rest of your body can function as normal. If you have noticed one or more of these signs have been bothering you lately, now you may know why! Have you ever noticed these signs before? If so, what advice would you give someone to keep their hormones in check? Check us out on our Instagram and Twitter accounts! Also, be sure to stay connected with us via Facebook by commenting and liking our CGS page.

-Taelor
The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor
 

The post 6 Signs Your Hormones are Out of Whack appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Good old health care. It is an absolute necessity, more so when something goes wrong than when you’re healthy, but that’s another conversation! Ensuring that you have proper health insurance and take care of yourself can save you a lot of money in the long run. While health insurance is designed to ease the financial burden of health care costs, it’s not always foolproof. Sometimes you will need to shell out your own money on health-related expenses. You can get the most bang for your buck with a little knowledge. Check out some simple ways to save on health costs, so you don’t break the budget for medical needs.

Before we get into ways you can save money on health-related expenses, you’ll want to make sure you are contributing to an FSA or HSA, if that is an option. Both of these accounts allow you to put pre-tax funds into them to spend on health-related costs. Take advantage if you can. They typically are available with specific health insurance plans. Read Health Benefits Basics for more details.

Ways to save on health costs #1 Do your research

Long gone are the days of visiting your doctor for every little thing. There are plenty of stores that offer a variety of services at low costs. Walgreens and CVS offer complimentary or very cheap flu shots. Target does eye exams. Local fairs may give complementary screenings and shots. The point is that there are plenty of affordable health care options out there, you simply need to do your research.

#2 Shop around for medication

Just like you aren’t limited in where you can go for medical services, you aren’t limited in where you can go for your prescriptions. Not all pharmacies charge the same for a particular prescription. You could be saving a lot of money by being knowledgeable about normal prescription costs, searching for coupons, and comparing pharmacies. GoodRX is a great resource for pinpointing the lowest-priced prescriptions, so you can save a little more money.

#3 Ask for prices upfront

I love this tip from Disease Called Debt, “You should call your doctor or hospital if you want to know the price of a certain procedure upfront. Moreover, some hospitals will give you a discount if you choose to pay in cash. All you have to do is ask whether the discounts are available before paying with a credit card.”

Not only can you save money by asking for prices and discounts up front, but you can plan your budget accordingly. Instead of waiting until you get the bill to see what you owe, be proactive and ask before your visit. If the cost is too high for this month, even with the discount, at least you can postpone the visit until a more financially appropriate time.

#4 Always review your bills and statements

Anytime you receive a medical bill or doctor’s visit statement, review it with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure there are no added fees or expenses. Also, keep an eye out for what amount was covered by your insurance company. If the amount seems too low, or is $0, pulse check with your insurance company. Get an understanding of why the specific cost wasn’t covered, and make sure you know for next time.

#5 Understand your current medical coverage

Did you know that by law, Affordable Care Act- compliant insurance plans offer a variety of different screenings without co-pay requirements from the insured.  This means you can get specific doctor visits covered by your insurance plan. You will want to make sure you understand everything that is included in your medical insurance plan. You may be surprised at some of the services and treatments that are covered. Read 4 Surprising Expenses Insurance May Cover for additional ideas.

In addition to understanding your insurance plan, do your research to confirm if your employer offers any medical or health benefits to employees. Some companies may provide free therapy sessions, contribute to an HRA or FSA on your behalf, or offer many other forms of health care savings.

Related: 7 Things You Can Buy with an HSA

Keeping yourself healthy can save you a lot of money, but if you do need to put your money towards health-related expenses, make sure they are cost-efficient ones! Be smart about your medical costs, and don’t forget to budget in medical expenses if they are recurring. Do you have any hacks or tips for saving money on health costs? Do you contribute to an FSA or HSA? Post a comment below to share your tips and tricks with other CGS readers!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post Simple Ways to Save on Health Costs appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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You manage your time wisely at the office. You finish all of your projects and responsibilities on time and to the best of your abilities. You maximize any downtime at the office to learn and grow. You are a super star employee and you’re ready to grow in your career. You may be doing all of the right things to get a promotion, but maybe you didn’t put two and two together to realize you are ready for a promotion. To help, the CGS Team is sharing 5 signs you are ready for a promotion, so you can start pursuing one!

Signs you’re ready for a promotion #1 Your current job is no longer a challenge

If your output in your current position is always 100%, requires minimal time and effort than it used to, and never fails to impress, it could be time for the next level. You have proven that you can deliver the results your boss and company need at your current position. Imagine the results you can deliver in a promoted position. To feel we are making the most of our days, we need to feel the challenge. If your current job is no longer a challenge, because of your excellence in the role, it’s a clear sign you’re ready for a promotion.

#2 Your peers respect and support you

When you have the respect and support from your teammates, departments that work with your team on a regular basis, and senior leaders, you are in a great place of power. The only obvious next move is to move up in your position. A promotion will solidify your influence, and may cultivate further work relationships.

While respect and support from your peers is not a necessity to get promoted, it will make your next role a lot easier. You have that network to leverage when you need it. To ensure you are always viewed as a professional teammate, make sure you avoid office gossip, and socialize wisely with your current peers and teammates.

#3 You are the office go-to for questions and assistance

Does your manager always come to you with requests for assistance? Do your peers come to you with questions before they go to their managers? Do people refer your name to others to assist with questions or projects? If you answer yes to these questions, you may be ready for a promotion. When you are seen as an asset to the people you work with, it validates your importance. Important people are the ones who get promoted.

#4 You know you can make a bigger impact for the company in a higher role

You have proven yourself from a responsibility standpoint, and now you’re ready to take your ideas to the next level. If you know you can make a bigger impact for your company being in a higher role, then you may be ready for a promotion. If you can bring ideas to the table that will save your company time and money, you have the mindset necessary to grow in the company.

#5 You are willing to put in the extra man hours

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but the more money you make and the higher position you have in a company, the more time you will need to spend on the job. Are you willing to take that sacrifice? With a promotion comes more money and more responsibility. This will likely require you to log more hours, stay late when you may not want to, and even work weekends.

If you are up to the challenge of putting more time into your job, then you are likely ready for a promotion. The higher up you go, the more time and muscle memory you will need to devote to your new role. It’s a lot easier to put in the man hours when you’re younger, single or don’t have kids. If that’s your situation, take advantage and get that promotion!

Related: 7 Ways to Get Promoted at Work

Don’t sell yourself short. If you are performing at a high caliber level in your job and you’re ready for the next challenge, put your name out there for a promotion. Make it known that you are looking to advance in your career. Start networking and connecting with more people who can help you get where you’re trying to go. Do you have any of the signs above that you’re ready for a promotion? Are you currently working to grow in your career? Post a comment below to share!

-The CGS Team

 

The post 5 Signs You’re Ready for a Promotion appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress study, 21% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement, and about 33% only have $5000 saved. This basically means that 31% of U.S. adults would not have enough money to retire. Do you want to be in that boat? Imagine wanting to retire but because you failed to save, you have no choice but to keep working. Wouldn’t you rather be on track to retire timely?

The good thing about saving for retirement is that the younger you are when you start, the less you have to save with. Ultimately, what gets you the best return is time. The longer your money has to grow and earn money on top of itself, the more money you will have when you are ready to retire. So, how do you know if you are on track?

Target retirement savings

The chart above shows what you should have saved at every age of your career, starting with 30. By the time you are 30 years old, you will want to have the equivalent of one year’s worth of salary. Keep in mind, the salary amount is determined by the amount of money you were making when you actually started saving for retirement.

For example, if you entered the workforce at 21 with an annual salary of $35,000, but you didn’t start saving for retirement until 25 when you had an annual salary of $40,000, then you would want to have $40,000 saved by 30. This is a good guide to follow to determine if you have enough money saved for retirement.

One thing to keep in mind is that these numbers could vary by person. If someone plans on having multiple properties, will run a business, or may have extensive debt throughout their life, then they may want to have more saved for retirement. If you plan on having your house paid off before retirement, and don’t need much to live on, then the chart above is a great path to follow.

Late starters

If you are coming to the retirement saving party late, don’t panic. It may not be feasible for you to save one year’s worth of salary by age 30, especially if you’re making big bucks. Try to save as much as you can afford to. A few ideas:

  • Contribute up to the annual cap for 401k ($18,500), set by the IRS
  • If you reach the 401k cap, save an additional $5000 in an IRA (also the cap)
  • If you can’t reach either cap amount, contribute what your employer will match, at minimum.

I’m not going to tell you that starting late means you can save more and that will make up the difference, because that’s not the case. When it comes to retirement savings, the more time you have to save significantly beats the amount of which you plan to save. Once again, this is thanks to compounding growth. Check out the chart below, from the 8 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Financial Success article:

You can clearly see that saving in your 20s results in a much larger retirement nest egg, come age 67. If you are not saving for retirement, start right now. Don’t procrastinate because the longer you wait to start saving, the less you will have to use during your retirement. Trust me, relying on Social Security and Medicare is not a sure bet.

Related: How Much Should I Save for Retirement

I don’t want this article to scare you or make you feel bad for where you are with your retirement savings, but I do want it to motivate you to start saving more. You have the target savings amounts by each age above, print it out and reference it. Use it as your reminder to save as much as you can. Based on the chart above, are you on track to retire? How much are you currently putting into a retirement savings? Leave a comment below to share.

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post Are You On Track to Retire? appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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When it comes to your financial situation, it's important to set goals and keep tabs on your progress along the way. If you aren't setting goals, then what are you really working towards? And, if you aren't keeping tabs on your progress, how do you know if you will actually reach your goals? The ability to pulse check your money at the end of each month will help!

I am a firm believer in pulse checking your money and progress at the end of each month. I do month end money pulse checks myself, I help clients complete their month end money pulse checks, and this past January, I started to go live at the end of each month to share my results.

Every month, I quickly break down exactly how to pulse check your money, and share my month end money pulse check results. If you want a more in-depth overview of how to pulse check your month, watch the How to Pulse Check Your Money video. I hope this encourages you to start pulse checking your money each month. It's a great way to pinpoint areas of opportunity, celebrate wins, and make sure you are on track to reach your goals.

Here is a quick recap on how to pulse check your money:
  • Refer to your budget
  • Refer to your spending
  • Refer to your goals
Then, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Did anything unexpected come up to throw off my budget? Should I budget for it moving forward?
  • What areas did I overspend in? What areas did I under spend in?
  • Did I spend more money than I made this month?
  • How much did I contribute to my goals? Am I on track to reach my goal savings amount by my deadline?

Your answers will help you plan your budget better for next month! You may even realize spending patterns you didn't know you had. This will allow you to make changes to help you save more and manage your money better.

October Money Pulse Check - YouTube
My October month end money pulse check results:
  • Negative net worth month - I spent more than I made, which meant I tapped into my savings account.
  • Moved into my condo, which meant a lot of one-off costs for moving and furnishing the place.
  • Overspent in the "Food/Drinks" category. It was a busy month and I didn't keep it as tight as I could have.
  • I saved $150 more than budgeted. I am also on track with the Frugal Fall Savings Challenge. This means I'll have my Christmas shopping money ready.
  • No need for extensive spending in November and December, everything should be accounted for.
  • Not my best month, but a lot happened.

Like I mentioned earlier, I hope my pulse check tutorial and results helps you to start this habit on your own! I will be going live at the end of each month on the City Girl Savings Facebook group to recap how to pulse check and sharing my results for the month. More money pulse checks are coming!

-Raya

 

The post October 2018 Money Pulse Check appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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