So, it goes without saying, I’m broke. Or at least, I try to spend like I’m broke that way I don’t actually go broke. See where I’m going with this?
After I finished re-reading the Harry Potter series earlier this year, I switched to reading as many personal finance books as I could. Here are my top 3 that I read this year:
- I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
I’d recommend picking up some personal finance books to read up on the information yourself. My takeaway, so far, is:
- Most millionaires earn their money over time, it rarely comes from hitting the lottery, and anyone can be a millionaire as long as they focus on their goals.
- Save before you spend. Spend less than you earn.
- Pay off your debt. There are many strategies you can employ here. Dave Ramsey recommends using the snowball effect. Pay off the smallest debts first. This way you get the satisfaction of getting rid of debt. Or, you can pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first to save the most money. Pick the strategy that will help you stick to your plan.
- Establish an emergency fund. Start small with $1,000. Then, work your way up to 3-6 month’s worth of living expenses.
- Once you are debt-free and have established your savings, invest your money.
So, after reading up on personal finance, I have taken my money into my own hands and intend to have control over it. Living in Florida will be the perfect test run.
- I established a $1,000 emergency fund that will not be touched unless an emergency expense arises.
- I opened a high-yield savings account through American Express. I chose them because they had the best interest rate and mobile app rating together. A lot of the online savings accounts have great rates but terrible apps. Since I will be making most of my transfers through the app, I needed a bank with a good app, otherwise, I would end up not using it. The interest rate is 1.15%, which is great compared to my old savings account that was literally 0.01%. Yeah. So now, as I put money away to my savings, it can grow a bit more than it was growing before. Every little bit helps.
- I haven’t decided what percentage of my checks will go to my savings (since I do not know what my paychecks will look like yet) but after deducting for savings and expenses, the money left-over will be my guilt-free spending money.
- I’ve been using cash for everything that isn’t ordered online or gas for my car. This helps to keep me from spending more than I budget for.
That’s my plan for Disney as well as the next few years. Once I’ve graduated and started receiving my student loan bills, I will reevaluate my strategy. But let’s not cross that bridge until we have to.