I used to be a financial advisor and I have a difficult time finding the time. So here are 8 Financial Hacks you can do today that will pay dividends (no pun intended) in the future.
1) Ask for a Raise
The best way to improve your financial health is to make more money…right now. And the easiest way to do that is to ask for a raise. It may sound intimidating, but 95% of employees never ask for a raise…so you might as well.
If you are nervous about it, then I suggest you read Ramit Sethi’s blog, I Will Teach You to be Rich. Here is a link to a great post about asking for a raise.
2) Set Some Goals
If you don’t know where you’re going, then you don’t know how to get there. Determine how much money you want to save for retirement, when you want to be debt free, and how much money you want to make. When you start setting goals, everything becomes more clear.
3) Get Your Long-Term Money Out of Money Market Accounts and Into Stock Mutual Funds
If your long-term money is in money market accounts then you are an idiot. That may seem harsh, but as parents you need to have exposure to stocks.
Over the last 10 years (ending December 31, 2013) the S&P 500 averaged nearly 11%. A money market account during that same time averaged less than 3%. Remember more is always better.
4) Stop Looking at Your Investments
The reason so many people suck at investing is because they are always looking at their portfolios. When they see their money decrease then they get nervous and pull out. Then they miss out on all the gains.
Only look at your investments once a year. That way you won’t even notice the down turns.
5) Take Advantage of the Company Match
Many companies match 401(k) plans. That means if you contribute one dollar then they will contribute one dollar. That is a 100% return. Lots of times companies will do this on the first 3-5% you contribute!
Always try to contribute the max your company will match. That is FREE money.
6) Get Your Own Life Insurance Policy
Chances are you need extra life insurance, so get your own policy. This is important because if you ever leave your job when your health is bad then it will be almost impossible to qualify.
If you unfortunately pass away, your family may struggle if you don’t have any.
7) Roll Over that Old 401(k)
Please, don’t cash out of an old 401(k). It costs you a 10% penalty in addition to ordinary income taxes.
When I was working at the bank, I saw a young couple cash out over $16,000 from their 401(k) because they wanted to buy living room furniture. Since they did this they missed out on over $120,000 in future growth assuming a 9% return over the next 25 years.
On a positive note, they had a really nice plasma television.
8) Get a Side Income
In today’s economy, I think it is just as important to diversify your income as it is to diversify your portfolio.
If you are looking for ideas, then I suggest checking out Nick Loper’s site www.SideHustleNation.com. He has an awesome podcast and blog where he discusses all things about side hustling. Additionally, check out my Amazon course on how I make money on the side.
What are some things you can think of to improve your financial health?