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Big things are in store for 2015. How do we know? Because those big things are coming from you!
From Dave’s Facebook page, we’ve received hundreds of comments from our readers about the top money goals they want to accomplish in 2015. Those goals include everything from getting out of debt to saving money to tithing to budgeting so one parent can stay home with the kids. Here are some of the answers as well as tips on how to pull them off.
Goal 1: Get out of debt and save an emergency fund
This was the overwhelming big goal for most people this year. Of course, there are many different situations. You may have income, debt or health issues. But rather than letting those things beat you down, ball up your fists and start swinging at them.
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Our advice: A quick way to send your financial situation in the right direction is to downgrade your lifestyle. Sell a car if it has a huge payment or get an extra job for a short time. Don’t go out to eat so much. When you learn to say no to excess spending, you stem the tide of wasted money. Use that cash to pay off debt, and, with each debt you ditch, you’ll free up even more money.
Take a step toward achieving this great goal of freeing yourself from debt.
Goal 2: Faithfully tithe every month
To tithe is to give away a tenth of your income to your local church. This can be a little bit difficult because, unlike paying an overdue electric bill, the church doesn’t call you at all hours or shut your utilities off if you don’t give them money.
If you choose to tithe, then it should be the first thing on your budget. This is because, until you get into the flow of budgeting, you’ll spend until the money runs out, which, of course, is when you discover that you haven’t set any money aside for giving or saving.
Our advice: When you bring your paycheck home, immediately write your tithe check and subtract it from your account—then forget about it. It’s gone. Whatever money you have left is your money to work from. Just about everyone can make their monthly budget work by prioritizing. Focus on grocery shopping instead of eating out. Pay the mortgage and utilities before the cable bill. By tithing first, you ensure it gets done.
Goal 3: Stay-at-home budgeting
Having kids is a tremendous blessing, and many families choose to have one of the parents stay home full time when the babies come. But going from a two-income household down to one is dangerous if the spending doesn’t change with it.
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Our advice: If one person decides to stay home, then immediately start budgeting and living off one income before you actually drop to one income. If you can make that budget work, then you know you can survive. Even better, by saving 100% of the earnings of the person who will stay home, you’ll have a pretty good chunk of change socked away by the time the stork arrives.
Goal 4: Getting through college without loans
Our society today has bought into the lie that you can’t be a student without a student loan. Yes, school is becoming more expensive. But a student loan is not the answer. Too often, college-goers take out more than they need for tuition and room/board so they can have a certain lifestyle during their university years—a lifestyle they could be paying for until their own kids are in college. That destroys the chance to build wealth, give, and enjoy the money you work so hard to bring home.
Our advice: Anything you can do to put a dent in the cost of school goes a long way. Apply for scholarships. Get a part-time job outside of class hours or during the summer. Downgrade your lifestyle. Don’t take out credit cards. There are tons of options. Dave’s daughter Rachel Cruze has a lot to say about this. Check out her website and all the ways you can follow her on social media.
No matter what your goal is for this year, making a budget and taking control of your spending are keys to making it happen. Don’t let a bunch of stupid payments shackle you and keep you away from all that life has to offer. Get started now!