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When you look back on 2014 in 11 months, what will you think?
Will you be content with the financial progress you’ve made, or will this year just be another year of the same old, same old?
We want 2014 to be a life-changing year for you. But if you want to make that happen, you’ll need to commit to making smart decisions now.
One great way to do that is to think ahead to the end of the year. What are some questions you don’t want to be asking yourself when 2014 comes to a close?
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When will I be out of debt?
When you’re on top of things, you have a plan. And that plan should tell you exactly when you expect to make that last payment on your debt. If you just kinda, sorta want to get out of debt, then you’ll never put enough effort into actually doing it. You need a goal.
So, this year, make sure you know how much debt you have and how long it will take you to pay it off. That’s your finish line. Now run for it!
How much money will I need when I retire?
You might be 20 or you might be 60, but one thing is certain: You’re not getting any younger. Most Americans are terrible at determining how much money they’ll need to live on when they retire. But the great news is that you can change that—and help is readily available!
Make sure you’re putting at least 15% of your income into retirement. If you’re out of debt and a have a full emergency fund, then put even more than that. Connect with an investing pro in your area who Dave recommends. This professional can help you determine how much money you’ll need to live the retirement lifestyle you desire . . . and what it will take to get there. Don’t let another year go by without taking control of your (and your family’s) future.
How am I going to afford college for my kids?
If you have kids, then your kids will be one year closer to college by the end of 2014. Time flies, right?
Before you get all sentimental, make sure you have an idea of when you’ll start investing in your kids’ college fund. Or, if you have already started, take a little time to revisit the fund and make sure you are storing enough away.
Remember, you shouldn’t start on college savings until you’re out of debt. If you’re still working on the debt snowball, make an estimate on when you think you’ll be able to begin putting money in a college fund.
Where did this debt come from?
The last thing you want for 2014 is to look back on the year and ask yourself, “How did I get $5,000 more debt this year?”
When you make a monthly budget, you won’t find yourself in that situation. You’re like a football coach with a game plan. Then, you won’t show up to the game and get blown by about 30 points. Make a budget . . . and stick to it!
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Why am I still working this job?
Do you hate your job? If so, then you have 12 months to make a new plan for your career. If, at the end of this year, you haven’t found a new job—or at least created a plan to pursue work you love—then you only have yourself to blame.
Make 2014 the year you land your dream job!
Why does my spouse spend so much money?
The leading cause of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page about money, then you’ll have a difficult time avoiding arguments.
Could this be the year where you get honest with each other about your spending habits? Could this be the year in which you combine your separate checking accounts?
Don’t let another year go by without making the financial situation in your marriage a top priority.
Ask yourself all of these questions now.
If you don’t know the answers, then go out and find them using Dave’s common-sense money principles.
This could be a life-changing year for you and your family, and we’re here to help every step of the way. Don’t look back on 2014 wishing you had done things differently.