Brittney Castro, Certified Financial Advisor™, entrepreneur and personal finance expert, believes achieving financial peace of mind is easier than you think. I help people define their ideal lives, and then support that with the structure of financial planning. I teach people how to love their money, understand their money and then use their money to live a life they actually love.
Many of my clients are often wondering how to pay down their debts fast and save even faster. So, if you are thinking the same, then you are definitely not alone.
Do you want to know the best way to pay down your debt faster and save faster?
Well, my friend, its called automation.
Automation is the easiest way of saving money because as soon as you set it up, you are not thinking about it. It takes no more effort or decision making. It is done. It’s like another bill that automatically is deducted from your checking account so that you don’t even need to think or worry.
The best part is when you check back in (during your Money Date of course) and your savings are rising and your debt is falling. It is going to keep you excited because you are achieving your financial goals, without even trying! You are paying yourself first.
I have many clients that have their det and/or savings contributions withdrawn two times a month a few days after their paycheck clears in their bank account. It’s as though the money never existed, so they never feel a missing.
To learn even more, check out this week’s episode on paying down debt and saving even faster.
Some more tips on reaching your goals more quickly...
Minimize Your Interest Rate
On average, the interest rate of most of the credit card debt is 20% or more. Contact your credit card company and see if they are willing to lower your interest rate or see if there are better offers with lower interest rates if you do a balance transfer. You want to get your interest rate as low as possible. This step is worth every effort as high interest rates are often what keeps you stuck in debt.
Review Your Contribution Every Few Months
A lot can change in just a short amount of time. Review what you are contributing to your debt payoff and/or savings account. Can you increase the amount even just a little bit? Anytime you can increase what you contribute - do it!
Reduce Food Expenses
Most of us eat at least three times a day... reducing food expense can be a fast and effective way to add more money to your savings and/or debt payoff. You may be surprised once you track the amount you spend on food. See where you can decrease spending on food, such as high-end coffees for a yummy french press at home or try eating out to dinner only one time per week.
After you’ve watched the video, I want to know:
What is your next move with automating your finances!? What are you committed to doingWhat else do you want to know about this topic?
Share the money love with your friends by taking a screen shot of this blog and tagging @brittneycastro in one of your stories on the Gram!
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It’s no secret that debt is on the rise in America. According to Northwestern Mutual, the number one cause of debt for ages 25-34 are credit card balances. For those ages 35 to 49, home mortgages are the number one source of debt.
One of the most common questions I get asked is “How much should I allocate toward extra debt payments AND still save every month into my cash cushion account?
It can be difficult to know where to start or what to do.
I’ll be the first to agree that holding debt makes saving that much more complicated. However, there are ways to make both paying off debt and saving for the future a possibility. I dive into this financial mystery in this episode. Enjoy...
SOME BONUS TIPS:
Which is More?
One of the first things you need to look at is the difference in what you're likely to pay in interest on the debt versus what you can earn on savings or investing. If your saving say $100 a month but paying $150 in interest on your debt the saving becomes a negative.
Prioritize Debt Reduction
Make a list of debts starting from highest to lowest interest rate. It is best in your favor to pay off highest interests first like credit cards and loans.
Take Steps Towards Saving
To start saving money, you need to think of reducing other expenses that you are paying for no reason. Cutting down all such expenses and making a list of things you need to pay for and how much you save in the end is one of the perfect things to review in your weekly money dates.
After you’ve watched the video, I want to know:
What is your next move with your debt and savings?What else do you want to know about this topic?
Share the money love with your friends by taking a screen shot of this blog and tagging @brittneycastro in one of your InstaStories!
If you haven’t noticed this month I’ve focused on the mindset, rituals, and statistics about the average millionaire so that we (myself included) can be more firmly on the road to creating wealth.
One key pattern I have seen is that millionaires are in it for the long-game.
It’s not a quick sprint, it’s a marathon.
MILLIONAIRES KNOW FOCUS NOW MEANS BIG BENEFITS LATER
Thomas Corley of Rich Habits, showed that 86 percent of wealthy people who work full time put in 50 hours or more each week at their career. Millionaires aren’t easily distracted by new trends, shiny objects, negative perceptions of them, etc. They stay in their lane, they stay focused on what their vision is and let the noise just be noise. They are willing to master their emotions and thoughts so they can put energy towards what is meaningful to them.
MILLIONAIRES THINK “BOTH”
Corley’s research showed that millionaires often pursue multiple streams of income, with 65 percent having at least three streams, thereby diversifying their dependence on any one stream. This concept don’t just stop with their income. Rather than coming from scarcity, millionaires think abundance now and long-term. Let me give an example. Rather than what you were most likely taught… you can have the toy OR you can have the ice cream. Millionaires think HOW can I have BOTH the toy AND the ice cream. They stay out of the confinement of limitation and figure out ways to create more money, abundance, resources so they can have both the ice cream and the toy. An adult version of this might be to save money and also take a vacation.
From Spectrem study, on a 100 point scale, millionaires rated the importance of having a regular saving program at 82, reflecting their strong belief of its importance to their wealth. They often automate their savings process and save on average 23% of their income. Don’t worry if 23% feels like a punch in the gut. START WHERE YOU CAN.
I believe in you. I am in it with you! Let’s keep empowering each other.
P.S. Want some extra motivation and clarity. Set up a discovery call with me by going here. We’ll discuss what your specific needs are and how to get you where you want to go!
I want to remind you that you always have a choice.
How you perceive your life and how you choose to live each day is 100% up to you.
I’ve been doing research on the mindset, statistics, and rituals of high-income earners and I want to share with you how they spend their time.
I know that without my daily rituals, I’d be one lost puppy. Here are some statistics I found:
MILLIONAIRES ARE ALWAYS LEARNING.
Thomas Corley of Rich Habits, showed that 88 percent of self-made millionaires read at least 30 minutes every day, focused on self education. I am always talking about mindset. What is going on between your ears is key to your ultimate success. Whether you think you can or you can’t you are right. What you decide is true is true… so why not choose a truth that supports you. One way to get positivity in motion is reading (or listening) to something that is uplifting and/or educational. I encourage you to find a book or start listening to a podcast at least 30 minutes a day and focus on your self-education.
MILLIONAIRES TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEIR HEALTH
76 percent of millionaires exercise 4 days a week. I love a good work out and when I leave with a sweat my endorphins soar. I always get more done and feel more relaxed when I am consistently working out. Knowing that millionaires have a daily ritual of exercise inspires me even more to get moving.
Exercise has been proven to…
Boost your happiness levelsHelps you sleep betterIncreases your energyIncrease your self confidenceHelps you perform better at workHelps you live longer.
MILLIONAIRES CONSUME LESS TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Well, Game of Thrones is over so this will be easier for all of us! 67 percent of wealthy people watch less than one hour of television daily, and 63 percent spend less than one hour daily surfing the internet/social media. Where can you cut back? Consuming doesn’t just happen with food. Be sensitive to what media and communication is around you. Unless it’s uplifting and/or benefits what you really want, see if you can reduce your television and internet intake.
MILLIONAIRES ARE OBSESSED
53 percent of self-made millionaires were obsessed with become rich before they were rich. Now, I don’t advocate obsession but a laser focus and bringing a totality to whatever you do is key. If you want to make something happen you must be focused and not let setbacks, challenges, obstacles, or nay-sayers get in you way. Take time each day to focus on your vision and take action every day to make it a reality.
These all seem pretty harmless, no? I am going to deepen my own dedication to all of these practices. I hope you join me. Let me know what your favorite one is by replying to this email.
Cheers to your wealth,
P.S. Want to get to millionaire status more quickly? Set up a discovery call with me here. We’ll discuss what your specific plan is.
If you feel pressure of any kind around your money. I want to reassure you that building wealth takes time.
How long does it take for the average rich person to become rich?
Ten years? 20 years? 30 years?
According to Business Insider*, it takes an average of 32 years to become a self-made millionaire.
So drop the pressure and the questioning of “why hasn’t it happened yet?”
Keep going! Growth overtime is key!
Also, don’t think that all millionaires were born into wealth.
According to the 2016 US Trust’s Insights on Wealth and Worth, 78 percent of millionaires started out as middle class or poor. This dispels the idea that most millionaires inherit their money from a prior generation. They took action over time and were disciplined with their financial plans.
This is a perfect example of small progress over time making a big impact.
Key learning: If you want to grow your savings and investments, start anywhere (even if it seems REALLY small) and build over time. As it grows, so will your net worth.
Discipline, determination, and hard work are your best tools in your journey to become wealthy. You will thank yourself for starting NOW.
I’m routing for you!
P.S. Do you have any specific questions you want me to answer? Email me at email@example.com and I will add the answer to your question in one of our future blogs.
Maybe it’s the sunshine that’s gotten into my veins but I am extra happy these days.
Can I just tell you that there is nothing wrong with wanting more for your life? As many times as you may write a journal entry or daydream about what you want, there is a reason you thought it up in the first place.
Never settle for anything less than what you know you are capable of (and then go beyond even that). I am not saying that exactly where you are isn’t GREAT... because it is. AND just like the Springtime, there are times for blossoming.
Let the sunshine in and grow.
Why am I saying all this? Because I know if you are reading this you have some sort or hankering to make your money game stronger. I get it. I do too. Each and every day.
However, the one question I get more than probably any other question is:
“Why would I pay money to hire a financial planner when I could put that money towards my debt... my savings... my investments?”
A 100% reasonable question and I think you are smart for asking it.
But this is the same as saying, “Why would I hire a web designer when I could probably figure out how to do it myself?” or “Why would I hire a person to re-tile my bathroom, when I could probably figure it out myself?”
Just because I use the internet, doesn’t mean I know how to code a website. Just because my feet touch the tile of my floor, doesn’t mean I know how to lay that tile down.
Working with an expert around your finances can end up saving you money, time, and a whole bunch of headaches.
So now I ask... “What is it costing you NOT TO work with a financial planner?
I ask you not to settle for the way things have been. Take a leap and put time and energy towards things that matter. Whether its with Financially Wise or another firm. The sooner you start the better off you will be.
Schedule a free Discovery Call today HERE and gain clarity on what your financial goals are and some clear steps on how to get there.
I hope you are gathering that debt reduction is possible in your lifetime.
One last method my client used was perhaps a little unconventional for most but nevertheless it helped her a great deal.
The last method my client used was tithing. Simply, she gave a portion of her earnings to an organization she believed in. This may seem crazy considering she was trying to reduce her “spending” but for her it created a sense of non-attachment to her money.
It made her feel a sense of freedom and deep trust with her money.
This method may or may not work for you. Only you can decide.
If you are not into the idea of tithing. I would still recommend that you continue to examine your money story and the language you use around money to keep creating a better relationship with your finances.
In fact, if you start to think of your money as a genuine relationship and put attention and care towards it as you would any person you care deeply about, things can begin to shift dramatically.
Act as though money is your best friend: talk about it lovingly, treat it with respect, and give it the energy it deserves.
Against traditional belief, I may be a bit of a rebel as I believe 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. If you put positive energy in one area, it might create a totally unexpected positive result completely unrelated area in your life.
Regardless, stay the course, don’t give up, and know I am always cheering you on in your financial journey.
Lots of love,
P.S. If you are ready to take the next steps on your financial journey, schedule a free discovery call with Financially Wise by going here.
Watching your spending but not depriving yourself.Look at your income and expenses and follow the 50/20/30 rule. Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions and ask utility and mobile/cable services if they have any promotions to reduce your monthly bill.Take mini vacations instead of big trips and enjoy little treats instead of major shopping sprees or spa days.Increase your rates or ask for a raise.Eliminate employees or service providers if they are not 100% satisfactory and research less expensive solutions.Know yourself and stay away from situations that will create unnecessary spending. Have an alternative activity ready if you use spending to avoid emotions.
Whew! Those are some good ones... I want to know which tips you are already using. Respond to this email and let me know!
Now onto the 3rd method my client used to reduce debt.
She sold things she didn’t need or want.
I know Marie Kondo is... well... sparking joy everywhere right now, but she is really onto something.
My client ended up selling a piece of jewelry she had wanted to sell for over two years. With knowing that debt reduction was part of the goal. This task became much easier.
Now you might be saying, “But Brittney, I have nothing to sell!”
Okay, this might be true at first glance, but be willing to be unattached for just a moment? Maybe there are some old handbags or jewelry or clothes or electronics that you can sell online. There are all kinds of consignment websites and apps out there.
Not to mention that a clear and clutter free environment tends to “spark” creativity and abundance.
So even if you have nothing to sell... clean out your space anyway. You might find things you didn’t know you had and then you won’t have to purchase them.
BONUS: My client didn’t implement this one method, but you might find it beneficial.
You can start a side hustle.
Many of my clients and colleagues have side hustles. Whether it’s tutoring, dog walking, freelance writing, or something you love to do, pick up a side hustle and have that money go towards your debt. It might just be 2 days a month but it could help dramatically over time.
Tell me what steps you are putting into action. Respond to this email, comment on the gram, let me know!
One more episode of the debt reduction saga coming at you next week.
P.S. If you are ready to take the next steps on your financial journey, schedule a free discovery call with Financially Wise by going here.
I’d like to tell you a little story about a client of mine.
4 years ago she had $60,000 in debt. This woman is a good person, hard working, and she didn't have crazy spending habits.
How’d she get into so much debt? Her debt had accumulated from a business venture that didn’t work out.
Over the first year she struggled valiantly to reduce the debt and even though she made payment after payment... it never felt like she was really getting anywhere.
You know how that feels?
You’re running but your debt is running faster and it feels like a battle you just cannot win.
Through hard work and effort after 2 years - she got it down to $10,000.
But kind of like losing the last 10 pounds ina weight loss mission... She just couldn’t seem to pay off the last bit. She ran into what I like to call debt reduction fatigue.
You know, when you’ve been chipping away at something for so long you just want to take a break and go a little crazy? Can you relate?
I want to share with you some of the strategies we used to help her get down to ZERO debt. That’s right. She is now 100% debt free and working on building her six-month cash cushion and saving for a home down payment.
The first strategy:
She watched her spending but didn’t deprive herself.
First, we looked at her list of income and expenses. A basic budget formula to start from is the 50/20/30 budget breakdown. Simply put, your net income every month should be broken out as follows:
If your expenses do not currently line up to this, then the best first step is to see what you can eliminate and reduce expenses in both fixed and variable categories.My client got rid of subscriptions she didn’t need. She called her utility and mobile company and asked them to reduce her monthly bill. She reviewed her accounts. She stuck to her budget.My client still took mini vacations. Instead of maybe two weeks in Europe it was 4 days in Laguna Beach. She kept in mind that it was temporary so that she could be free to travel without the weight of debt after she paid it off. She let this inspire her.She still bought clothes and got massages - she still took care of herself, but only spent what her budget would allow.
All of these added up to the first step she took.
I will be sharing the other 3 steps she took throughout all of April.
I made these bite size so if you’re dealing with debt reduction you can do these things for yourself as well.
So start with reviewing where your money is going and see where you can reduce spending.
The key is to take that freed up money and AUTOMATICALLY have it pay your credit card bill.
Will power is a limited resource. So don’t rely on it. Make your debt payments automatic and watch that number fall!
Comment YES below if you plan on taking action this week to reduce your debt.