It’s All About Balance

Many of us have struggled to juggle our financial commitments and goals at some point. It’s all about how you adapt and balance it all. Balance is so important within your finances. You have to have a happy medium between spending and saving you money.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is one of my favorite things to do because I am a very goal driven person. Setting goals means discipline. You have to stick with your budget in order to meet your goals on time. Saving money tends to be easier when you have a certain purpose in mind. To develop a clear plan, these goals must have both a time frame and a dollar amount. Once you have listed and quantified your goals, you need to prioritize them. You may find, for example, that saving for a new home is more important than buying a new car. Be specific with your goals.

Pay Yourself

Save and invest 5-10% of your gross annual income. Of course, this can be much harder than it sounds. If you’re currently living from paycheck to paycheck, begin by creating a solid budget after tracking all monthly expenses. Once you figure out how you can control your discretionary spending, you can then redirect the money into a savings account. For many people, a good way to start saving regularly is to have a small amount transferred automatically from their paycheck to a savings account or mutual fund. The idea: If you don’t see it, you don’t miss it.

Have An Emergency Fund

Before you commit your savings to investments, make sure you have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund to see yourself through difficult times. Keeping it liquid will ensure that you don’t have to sell investments when their prices are down, and guarantee that you can always get to your money quickly. If you have trouble deciding how much you need to keep on hand, begin by considering the standard expenses you have in a month, and then estimate all the expenses you might have in the future (possible insurance deductibles and other emergencies).

Generally, if you spend a larger portion of your income on irregular expenses that you could cut easily in a financial crisis, the less money you need to keep on hand in your emergency account. If you have dependents, you’d want to keep more money in your emergency fund to offset the greater risk.

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Have a Debt Repayment Plan

If you’re trying to save while carrying a large credit card balance at, say, 19.8%, realize that paying off the debt is a guaranteed return of nearly 20%. Once you pay off your credit cards, use them only for convenience, and pay off the balance each month. If you tend to run up credit card charges, get rid of the plastic and go back to using cash. Don’t buy it unless you can pay with cash. You never want to increase your bad debt unless absolutely necessary. It’s easiest to create this plan after you have figured out your monthly expenses and how much you can potentially put towards your debt each month.

Utilize Tax-Deferred Investments

If your employer has a tax-deferred investment plan like a 401(k) or 403(b), use it. Often, employers will match your investment. Even if they don’t, no taxes are due on your contributions or earnings until you retire and begin withdrawing the funds. Tax-deferred savings means that your investments can grow much faster than they would otherwise.

The same is true of IRAs, although the maximum amount you can invest annually in an IRA is substantially less than what you can put in a 401(k) or 403(b). You should also consider diversifying your investments. All investments involve some trade-off between risk and return. Diversification reduces unnecessary risk by spreading your money among a variety of investments. Aside from diversification, the single most effective strategy is to invest continuously over time, with a long-term perspective.

Create a Will

The simplest way to ensure that your funds, property and personal effects will be distributed according to your wishes is to prepare a will. A will is a legal document that ensures that your assets will be given to family members or other beneficiaries you designate. Having a will is especially important if you have young children because it gives you the opportunity to designate a guardian for them in the event of your death. Although wills are simple to create, about half of all Americans die without a will. With no will to indicate your wishes, the court steps in and distributes your property according to the laws of your state. If you have no children and die without a will, it’s even possible that the state may claim your estate.

To begin, take an inventory of your assets, outline your objectives and determine to which friends and family you wish to distribute your belongings. Then, when drafting a will, be sure to include the following: name a guardian for your children, name an executor, specify an alternate beneficiary and use a residuary clause which typically reads “I give the remainder of my estate to …” Once your will is drafted, you won’t have to think about it again unless your wishes or your financial situation change substantially. I intend on re-evaluating my will every ten years.

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Magnetic Money Mentality

Are you struggling with sticking to your budget?

Did COVID mess up your emergency fund?

Do you want to get out of debt but you don’t know where to start?

Do you have goals you are trying to save for?

What Is Money Mindset? Your money mindset is your unique set of beliefs and your attitude about money. It drives the decisions you make about saving, spending and handling money. People who have a healthy money mindset believe things like: I have the freedom to spend, but I can also tell myself no to a purchase.

This is a do-it-yourself course where you have me guiding you through weeks of tough and challenging work to get you to where you need to be financially. If you can’t face the music and get right with yourself then you will always be where you currently are. Invest in yourself.

This next 6 months is going to fly by and also be a ton of work on your part. With balance, consistency and discipline this should be a breeze for you. I have set this course up so that you will receive an email at the beginning of each month with the next portion of your journey so it’s not so overwhelming. I will include a video for each month explaining all the things you will be tackling.


Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Stability is Everything

Real Goals: Being financially, mentally, academically, physically, spiritually, and emotionally stable.

Stability is everything.

Being it emotional or physical. You need a solid ground to build anything on. I tell my clients all the time that they need a solid foundation to build on and in financial terms that would be your budget. Your budget is that solid map that tells you what direction to go in. I fully believe that I am more stable in all areas of my life because I am so stable in my finances. Money connects to everything whether we like it or not. It is on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly into our own selves.

There are so many emotions around money that turn into blocks. Sometimes people don’t even realize that they are subconsciously blocking themselves from wealth. It is a mindset for sure. Diving into those blocks and negative feelings around money will only help you break through those barriers and into your new life. Stability in finances requires Balance, Consistency and Discipline which I say ALL THE TIME. When stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow. Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. The struggle is real when you are trying to stay disciplined and stick with your budget. I get it.

Stability is necessary for your future economic success. Finances are not stable by any means but you have the upper hand when you are in control of your finances. You want to make your money work for you. Investing is a great tool but way less stable than your average 9-5pm job. Investing is about trends and sadly politics/media but once you figure that out its so easy. I used to think there were major calculations that I had to do in order to figure out my best investing opportunity. WRONG. You just have to know the trends and current events plus be less attached to your money. Investing requires some gambling and you have to be OKAY with that.

Stability Within Your Finances 

It is almost year-end and you tend to reflect on how much you have been able to achieve in regards to your previously-set financial goals. Are you satisfied with the current state of your finances? 

Imagine a world where you don’t have to worry about money to live the kind of life you have always craved for. You have enough to enjoy that vacation, buy a new home, pay your bills consistently and on time, and live comfortably at retirement. Of course, these are possible, however, only with financial stability.

Financial stability is not only possible when you are stupendously rich. In fact, it is not measured by the amount of money you have. Rather, it is all about being confident that your everyday finances are enough to help you reach your financial goals involving zero-debt, savings, and insurance. Only individuals with stability within their finances can cover their basic needs as well as enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Achieving stability with your finances is, of course, possible, even in this ever-changing world. It isn’t rocket science. However, it is not as easy as being portrayed. You need to develop good financial habits including planning, organizing, commitment, discipline, and resilience. Financial stability leads to peace of mind, happiness, and long-term satisfaction.

How Do You Achieve Financial Stability?

Man meditating on abstract flying dollar banknote in sky

On the path to financial stability, accepting the addictions that often cause financial instability is a good way to start. These addictions include overspending or impulse spending, gambling, materialism, and paying bills late. With these taken care of, you are on track to making a good headway with your finances. 

It is important to note that there are no shortcuts to achieving financial stability. The steps involved require time, effort, and consistency. The following actions will help you achieve stability within your finances.

1. Create a Financial Plan

Every decision, especially involving finances, should be hinged on a plan. Otherwise, you tend to make the wrong financial decisions. A financial plan helps you gain control over your spending. Usually, a financial plan considers your income, spending, savings, debt, and insurance. In other words, a financial plan gives you an idea about what you earn as against what you owe, thus serving as a blueprint to help you develop a financial budget. 

2. Create a Financial Budget

Once you have good knowledge about your self-worth, then you need a personal budget to help you have absolute control over your spending. The way you spend has a great impact on other financial decisions you make. A budget is organized based on cash inflow (income) and cash outflow (expenses). You may also want to break down your expenses into needs and wants

Definitely, there are some basic expenses or fixed expenses you cannot avoid every month. Some of them include food, rent, and water or electricity bills. Others, such as cable subscriptions, can come under not-too-important bills or variable expenses, especially if your income cannot conveniently cater for it.

A financial budget, when you stick to it, helps you to prioritize spending and saving, reduce or eliminate expenses, spend wisely, and make wise financial decisions that can help you achieve financial stability. Nevertheless, a budget must be flexible to allow for modifications in case of unforeseen circumstances.

3. Control Your Impulse Spending

This is apparently a major problem that is common with almost everyone. Money has a way of controlling us so much that we get easily carried away when we have some funds in our wallet. We always want to show we can afford certain things. Impulse spending, especially on such activities as eating out and extensive shopping, drains our finances, thus resulting in financial instability. To avoid this, it is important to control and monitor our impulse spending. Have a second thought before deciding to make any purchase.

4. Spend and Live Frugally

One wrong financial decision is to live above one’s income. The result is often disastrous. Before making the decision to make any purchase or initiate any spending, you may have to ask yourself this question: How easy can I get back each dollar I spend? If you are able to think deeply about this, then you will be careful with your spending.

Do you need a new home or car now? Is that vacation important now or you can still have it some other time? Living or spending frugally doesn’t imply that you don’t want to enjoy the comfort life has got to offer. However, it helps you to be disciplined as well as identify spending areas that are not necessary, at least, at the moment.

5. Pay Off Your Debt On Time

If you have some debts to settle, it might be necessary for you to develop a debt payment plan. List out your debts (personal loans, credit cards, etc.) and organize them in either ascending or descending order. In your budget, make allocations for debt settlement, even if you have to deny yourself of certain benefits. Remember, late payment of debts can lead to increased interests, and this means more debts.

Once this process continues, you will be surprised at how “easy” it is to get out of debt. If you have credit card debt, you may have to consider using cash to make purchases. This prevents you from spending more than you have. Debt elimination process often takes a long time. However, it is a rewarding process. When you are out of debt, you will be able to make other financial decisions.

6. Create an Emergency Fund

Who ever thought they would get sick at a time they are down financially? Or get involved in an accident that will necessitate treatment? The reality is that life comes with unexpected occurrences that will require your attention. How do you factor this in your budget when you barely have enough money after your expenses?

Your best bet is to create an emergency fund. Emergencies could involve a major car repair or having to take an unplanned trip. An emergency fund not only serves as a backup plan, but it also helps you to navigate through a tough time with little or no financial stress.

7. Make Plans for Retirement

You are 25 and you feel you still have a whopping 35 years before you attain retirement. You will be surprised at how fast time flies. Remember that your salary will stop someday, as a salary earner. There is no better time to start saving or investing for your retirement than now. Otherwise, you may be jeopardizing your future with uncontrolled spending in the present. Little money snowballs into a large amount in no time.

Check if your company has a 401(k) plan for its employees. The plan becomes more necessary if your employer will match some of or all your contributions to your company retirement plan. You can also consider a Roth IRA.

Key Takeaway

The actions discussed above are the right steps towards achieving stability within your finances. You should have started yesterday. However, another opportunity is NOW. Remember, you shouldn’t get too focused on saving and investing that you forget to enjoy life. Sure, it costs money too. However, it also contributes to a healthy and happy life. You may only have to consider cheap options, such as going for a show, having a massage once in a while, or inviting a few friends for a game night.

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Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

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Hey there, I’m Jessica Durbin. I am the wife of a Navy Corpsman Veteran and the mother of two beautiful girls. I am also a third generation tax preparer, bookkeeper and financial wellness coach. I have been in and around the financial world my entire life. Whether it was filing paperwork, answering phones, greeting clients, payroll, bookkeeping, you name it. 

When I was 18, I started doing appointments for taxes but my confidence wasn’t there and I didn’t have that certain customer service vibe that you need when working face-to-face with tax clients. I made the decision that I didn’t want to do what my family does and I left for culinary school in San Francisco. I LOVE cooking but once it became a job that excitement went away. I was around 22 years old when I decided to move back home. Flash forward 5 years, I was working as a manager at Panera Bread when I realized I wanted to be my own boss and work smarter not harder. 

I started doing taxes and bookkeeping again on the side of my managing job and trained under my Granny all while I was pregnant with my first daughter. Then, I had an epiphany, I might be really good at this. This type of work comes very naturally to me plus all of my years in the culinary industry gave me that customer service that I needed. I was 8 months pregnant when I quit my regular job to become self-employed and it was the scariest thing I had ever done. I was giving up this guaranteed paycheck every two weeks for a business that might not work out. I was also motivated and ready to create something amazing but I wanted to do more than just taxes and bookkeeping. I came to the conclusion that we weren’t taught this type of finance in school and budgets came so easily to me. My goal was, and still is, to bring financial awareness and wellness to people’s lives. 

I launched my financial coaching service and it took off! It brings me so much joy helping people achieve their financial goals. I enable people to live their ideal lives by making the most of their assets and investing wisely for that future. I educate clients on the basics of personal finance and, as a team, create a spending plan that reflects the values and goals of the client. I empower my clients to take responsibility for their decisions, support their continual learning and growth, and serve as an accountability partner throughout the process. 

I have so much passion for leading people to financial wellness. It’s as if I have found this equation that works and now I want to show everyone the magic of financial wellness. Finances shouldn’t be scary or intimidating. I show my clients that managing their money can be easy and stress free if you have the right recipe. I have big dreams and I am always learning and growing so that I can provide value to my clients and conquer my goals. Since starting my business, I live my life feeling financially secure and I love what I do. It is a pleasure to bring financial wellness to my clients all over the world.

Jessica Durbin started in finances basically when she was in the womb. She is now a financial wellness coach for people who need help creating a budget, diving into their emotions surrounding money or figuring out where their money goes each month. She also helps people create better habits and routines around their finances. She believes finances connect to EVERYTHING. Jessica is here to help you figure out how the puzzle pieces of your finances fit together. She started out thinking she couldn’t do it all. That she couldn’t possibly have a thriving business where she could help people and love what she does for a living. She’s definitely making that happen. She says she is always growing and learning and she has even bigger goals now. Her motto is balance, consistency, & discipline leads to Financial Wellness which is key to a great lifestyle.

I am Jessica Durbin, a third generation tax preparer, bookkeeper and financial wellness coach. I have been in and around the financial world my entire life. Whether it was filing paperwork, answering phones, greeting clients, payroll, bookkeeping, you name it. My Granny paid me $5 an hour to help her file when I was around ten years old. My Mom paid me, I want to say $6.75 per hour to do payrolls and answer phones for her business when I was around 15 years old. I was taught good work ethic and the power of a dollar since day one. It is a major asset now for my own business. 

When I was 18, I started doing appointments for taxes for my mom’s business. My confidence wasn’t there and I didn’t have great customer service skills that you truly need when working face-to-face with tax clients. When preparing taxes you have to get to know the client on an extremely personal level. I made the decision that I didn’t want to do what my family does and I left for culinary school in San Francisco.

I worked at various restaurants and eventually moved to Fresno, CA where I was in a management position for two years doing budgets, inventory, menu creation, and schedules. At that two year mark, I received a job opportunity as a manager at Panera Bread. Flash forward 3 years, I was working as a manager at Panera Bread still doing inventories, scheduling and cost analysis when I realized I wanted to be my own boss and work smarter not harder. I LOVE cooking and those amazing work relationships but once it became a job that excitement went away.

I started doing taxes and bookkeeping on the side of my management position. I trained under my Granny all while I was pregnant with my first daughter. Then, I had an epiphany, I might be really good at this. This type of work comes very naturally to me plus all of my years in the culinary industry gave me those customer service skills that I needed. I was 8 months pregnant when I quit my hourly position to become self-employed and it was the scariest thing I had ever done. 

I then took the 60 hour tax exam required each year to prepare taxes and I got registered with CTEC and IRS. I was so motivated and ready to create something amazing but I wanted to do more than just taxes and bookkeeping. I came to the conclusion that we weren’t taught this type of finance in school and budgets came so easily to me. My goal was, and still is, to bring financial awareness and wellness to people’s lives. 

I recently launched my financial coaching service and it has taken off! It brings me so much joy helping people achieve their financial goals. I enable people to live their ideal lives by making the most of their assets and investing wisely for that future. I educate clients on the basics of personal finance and, as a team, create a spending plan that reflects the values and goals of the client. I empower my clients to take responsibility for their decisions, support their continual learning and growth, and serve as an accountability partner throughout the process. 

I have so much passion for leading people to financial wellness. It’s as if I have found this equation that works and now I want to show everyone the magic of financial wellness. Finances shouldn’t be scary or intimidating. I show my clients that managing their money can be easy and stress free if you have the right recipe. I have big dreams and I am always learning and growing so that I can provide value to my clients and conquer my goals. Since starting my business, I live my life feeling financially secure and I love what I do. It is a pleasure to bring financial wellness to my clients all over the world.

Business Financial Wellness Check

What should you know about your business’ financial wellness?

  • Financial statements are written records that convey the business activities and the financial performance of a company.
  • The balance sheet provides an overview of assets, liabilities, and stockholders’ equity as a snapshot in time.
  • The income statement primarily focuses on a company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. Once expenses are subtracted from revenues, the statement produces a company’s profit figure called net income.
  • The cash flow statement (CFS) measures how well a company generates cash to pay its debt obligations, fund its operating expenses, and fund investments.

Why do a financial wellness check-in on your business?

A company’s financial position tells investors about its general well-being. A financial analysis of a company’s financial statements—along with the footnotes in the annual report—is essential for any serious investor seeking to understand and value a company properly.

Financial statements are written records that convey the business activities and the financial performance of a company. Financial statements are often audited by government agencies, accountants, firms, etc. to ensure accuracy and for tax, financing, or investing purposes. Financial statements include:

Balance sheet
-Income statement
-Cash flow statement

It is wise to stay on top of these statements and your monthly bookkeeping so that you have everything organized not only for taxes but in the case you were to be audited.

Fill out this form and once you submit it I will send you some advice within 48 hours.

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Do you make excuses for your bad money habits?

Are you ready for financial freedom?

Do you want to stop stressing over your finances for good?

Are you ready for fool-proof methods and strategies for increasing income and getting out of debt?

Start TODAY for just $1!



This group is for the people out there who have real life financial struggles and need a little more accountability and hands on advice. I help my clients learn how to manage their money so that once they up-level their lives they can manage it at that level as well. This is a group coaching environment with a nonjudgmental vibe. I want to give you my financial coaching but at a slower pace and reasonably priced.


Hey there, I’m Jessica. I will empower YOU to live your ideal life by making the most of your assets and investing wisely for that future. I will educate YOU on the basics of personal finance and, as a team, create a spending plan that reflects your values and goals. I will give you the space to take responsibility for your decisions, support your continual learning and growth, and serve as an accountability partner throughout the process.

I will also help you create better habits and routines around your finances. Finances connect to EVERYTHING. I’m here to help you figure out how the puzzle pieces of your finances fit together.

This Fiercely Financial monthly membership is perfect for you if you are stressed about your finances, living paycheck to paycheck, want to learn more about finances, or you want to be financially free.

Balance, Consistency and Discipline are the keys to Financial Wellness.

P.S. This group comes with an hour long Zoom meeting with me every FRIDAY called Fiercely Financial Friday!

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Finances: Where to Start

Not knowing where to start is OKAY. Trust me, you are not alone. So many people struggle with those scary wandering around in the dark feelings when it comes to their money.

I grew up around the financial world. Budgeting and saving is like second nature to me. I have done my budget since I was 18 years old. Once I got my first real job outside of my family’s business and I LOVED shopping at Target. I had to figure out a way I could save money but also have fun and buy myself something I wanted.

Start With Your Budget

Start with your budget. Your budget is the road map or blueprint to guide you where ever you want to go. Budgets are LIFE. Every month I customize my own budget along with my monthly clients so we can see our areas of OPPORTUNITY. These are the categories you overspend in. Monthly adjustments are something that keep you in check with your goals whether short term or long term. It’s all about Balance, Consistency, and Discipline.

Setting a Realistic Budget

Setting a realistic budget means diving into those sticky areas of your life and seeing what type of spending you have been doing. What type of categories do you have within your budget? Do you have long term goals? Do you have debt? By answering these questions you can track these and make sure every dollar has a purpose. I have a great blog post about the foundation of a budget that you should check out called Budgets: Foundation for a Solid Budget.

Balance

Balance is key in life in general but especially within your finances. You need a balance between spending money and saving it. You should be spending money on bills plus any irregular expenses that pop up throughout the month, but you should also have a “Savings” & a “Retirement” category to toss money in each month as well. These categories being in your budget will ensure you add money to it if you are also consistent and disciplined.

Here are some ways to bring balance to your financial life:

  • Set some goals
  • If you are a small business owner, pay yourself on a schedule
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Create a debt payoff plan
  • Utilize tax-deferred investment plans
  • Create a Will

Consistency

Consistency is so important when it comes to your budget. You have to keep up with your budget to see results. REMEMBER, it is just a blueprint for you to follow. It should not feel like a restriction, but more like a structured guideline that helps you figure out what your areas of OPPORTUNITY are. Consistently checking in with your spending is like going to the doctor for a check up. It keeps you healthy and aware.

Here are some ways to stay consistent with your finances:

  • Increase your knowledge
  • Increase your income
  • Change your money habits
  • Be rich, don’t look rich

Discipline

Discipline is hard. I feel you. We all have trouble telling ourselves no. I love buying gifts for my family and friends. Something I have to constantly check in with is WHY I want to spend money. I used to shop A LOT and I racked up a huge credit card bill which took me about a year to pay off. I use that as an example when talking to myself about why it’s probably not a good idea to buy that $400 purse.

Since having kids though, I have transitioned my way of thinking. I now appreciate experiences more than “things” or “stuff.” I want to provide my children with life experiences and teach them to be kind humans rather than purchasing things trying to look “cool.” It is definitely a priorities game. Whatever is a priority to you will end up on your budget. It’s all about Balance, Consistency & Discipline.

Here are a few ways to stay disciplined in the new year:

  • Set some financial goals
  • Use automation for your bills
  • Give yourself a challenge
  • Change your money habits
  • Get an accountability partner or financial coach

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Debt Payoff Methods: 4 Strategies to Tackle Your Debt

Debt is a tricky thing and no one wants it but everyone has it because thats just what you have to do in order to have nice things. WRONG! First of all, we want to BE rich not LOOK rich so that mentality needs to check itself at the door. I’m a firm believer in saving for goals and paying in full. You need to have discipline in order to thrive. Saving is one way to reach for a goal and not acquire debt. Yes, saving may take a while to reach a major goal but in the end its worth it if you have zero debt. Your credit will be better and once you achieve that goal it will be so sweet. These two methods are just a couple examples of ways to tackle debt.

Snowball Method:

The snowball method is one way to pay off debt. You basically choose the loan or card with the smallest amount in debt and make the maximum payments you can. You will pay more in interest in the long run but if you thrive on accomplishing small goals then this is the method for you. This is my personal option because I am one of those people who really like crossing things off my list and when I can get the small debts out of the way first it makes me so excited. Financial stuff doesn’t have to be scary you just have to look for the positives in everything you do including your finances.

Avalanche Method:

The avalanche method is the second way to tackle debt. This is where you choose the loan or card with the highest interest rate and take that one down first. You will pay less in interest over time and its best for people who thrive on numbers over emotions. I see the benefits in using this method but like I said before, I enjoy small wins. This one definitely will make sense to a lot of people and its probably the smarter way to go if you want to pay less in the end.

Here are my 4 strategies to help you tackling debt:

  1. Make a budget and stick to it.

Creating a budget will change the game in regards to your financial wellness. A budget is an estimate of income and expenses for a set period of time. A budget allows you to gain feedback on areas of opportunity. It helps you check yourself and set up goals for short and long term. This is something that must be a priority. A budget is basically your financial plan for a defined period, often a month or one year. It may also include planned trips, major purchases, sales volumes and revenues, costs and expenses, assets, liabilities, and cash flows. This is a vital tool for any person who owns a small business.

2. Set realistic financial goals. If you can’t pay cash for it then don’t buy it.

Goals are everything. When dealing with money it’s smart to set short term and long term goals. Something to work towards is always a great motivator. When setting goals it’s a crucial thing to save money. Meaning, if you don’t have the money don’t spend the money. You’ll never reach your goals if you spend all the money you bring in each month. Budgets and financial goals go hand in hand. It lays the foundation to set you up for success. You will be able to crush your financial goals with a budget.

3. If you use a credit card, pay on time and more than the minimum payment.

Global credit card debt continues to rise. Make the minimum payment on every card, every month, but throw whatever extra money you have at the one with the lowest balance. When that one is paid off, take the money you were applying to it, add it to the minimum you were paying on the second card and pay it off. Keep going until all cards are paid. According to incharge.org, the average adult who doesn’t pay off the balance on credit cards each month, owes $7,527 on their credit cards. If there are two adults at home, that’s a little more than $15,000. If there are children in that house, there is usually an urgency to do something about it.

4. Always monitor your debt

Watch for a change in rates and fees and if possible contact the lender and see if you can lower your interest rates or if they would be willing to work with you. It never hurts to ask. The worst thing is they could say no. Checking in on your financial well-being should be a priority. Finances are very uncomfortable and a lot of people don’t like looking at that student loan payment or that debt that’s in collections. For me, its the dentist. I get that sick to my stomach feeling then I start shaking because I always think the worst is going to happen. When there is something that needs to get fixed I just don’t want to talk about it or know about it. Once I fix the issue though, I always feel better.

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Retirement Plans For the Self-Employed

I am self-employed and I thought other self-employed people might like this little spreadsheet I created. It breaks things down into regular lingo verses financial talk. I really like how much info it gives you and the categories each one are in.

I personally have a SEP IRA. I use Meryl Edge for my investments and I love their customer service. I am the type of person to question everything and every time I have had a question they are very prompt in returning my emails and very concise when explaining things to me. I am so happy with my choice.

 SEP IRASolo 401(k)/Solo Roth 401 (k)SIMPLE IRAPayroll Deduction IRAProfit Sharing
Best forSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employeesSelf-employed people with no employees other than a spouseSelf-employed people; businesses with up to 100 employeesSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employeesSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employees
Funded byEmployer; individual, if self-employedSelf or qualified spouseEmployee deferrals; employer contributionsEmployee, via payroll deductionEmployers, at their discretion; might be linked with employer’s workplace retirement plan
2018/2019 EMPLOYEE contribution limitsContributions for employees made solely by employer (or sole proprietor); limit of 25% of net self-employment income, to a maximum of $56,000 Lesser of $19,000 or $25,000 for those age 50 and older and 100% of earned income$13,000; $16,000 for those age 50 or older Based on employee’s IRA eligibility; maximum of $6,000; $7,000 for those age 50 and olderBased on employee’s IRA eligibility; maximum of $6,000, or $7,000 for those age 50 or older
2018/2019 EMPLOYER contributionsThe lesser of up to 25% of compensation or $56,000 As both an employee (of yourself) and employer, up to $56,000, or $62,000 with catchup contribution Mandatory matching contribution of up to 3% of an employee’s compensation or fixed contribution of 2%N/AThe lesser of up to 25% of employee compensation or $56,000
Taxes on contributions and earningsContributions and investment income are tax deferred; earnings grow tax-deferredContributions and investment income in a traditional Solo 401(k) are tax deferred; contributions to a Solo Roth 401(k) are taxable; earnings grow tax-freeContributions and investment income are tax-deferred; earnings grow tax-deferredContributions to a traditional IRA might be deductible; contributions to a Roth are taxable; earnings grow tax-deferredNo taxes on contributions; earnings grow tax-deferred
Taxes on withdrawals after age 59 1/2Taxed at ordinary ratesTraditional Solo 401(k) withdrawals are taxed at ordinary rates; Solo Roth 401(k) withdrawals aren’t taxedTaxed at ordinary ratesTraditional withdrawals are taxed at ordinary rates; Roth withdrawals aren’t taxedTaxed at ordinary rates
ProsSimpler for employers to set up than Solo 401(k)s; employers get tax deductions on contributionsAllows small business owners to make both employee and employer contributions for themselves; has higher contribution limits than some other plansEmployees can contribute up to 100% of compensation, up to limitEasy to set up and maintain; no minimum employee coverage requirementsEmployee might be able to borrow penalty-free from vested balance before retirement age (although borrowed amounts are subject to income tax)
ConsLower contribution limits for sole proprietor than a Solo 401(k); doesn’t allow catchup contributions; employer contributions are discretionaryMore complicated to set up than a SEP IRA; only allows withdrawals before age 59 1/2 for disability or plan termination25% penalty on distributions made before age 59 1/2 and within the first two years of the plan; no loans allowedEmployees subject to Roth and traditional IRA eligibility requirementsVesting period is generally required; no diversification, tied to employer earnings
Good to knowThere is a different calculation to determine allowable SEP contributions if you’re both the employer and employee   Employer contributions might be subject to vesting termsDistribution rules penalize rollovers to another account within the first two years of plan ownership; a SEP IRA or 401(k) might be better for the self-employedThe employer chooses the providerContributions are at employer’s discretion and can vary based on salary and job level

Wants vs Needs

With any budget, you have your categories that label what your spending your money on. Within those categories you’ll be able to see your areas of opportunity. I have an activity that I have all of my clients do at the very beginning of working together. This activity shows my clients how much they are spending just on their WANTS.

You need three months worth of bank statements. You will then highlight all of the “wants” you purchased. Add up all of those “wants.” The total is how much you spent on just things you WANT. This is to check in with yourself.

How much did you spend?

Does spending that money on random stuff you don’t really need make you feel a certain type of way? Would you rather spend it on something more responsible?

Are you in debt? Could you have paid off some debt with the amount you spent on “wants?”

Do you have short term or long term goals?

Do you have a retirement fund?

Do you like having “things” instead of going on trips for an experience seeing the world?

These questions are to help you see the difference between wants vs needs. Needs should be a priority and if they aren’t you need more discipline in your life. Money management is a mindset. If you are not in the proper money mindset, you can kiss all your extra money goodbye. Which ever type of person you are, whether you’re a money hoarder or an emotional spender, you need to have a balance with your finances. You can’t keep all the money in an account somewhere untouched and expect to have it grow or make you less stressed. You also can’t go around making it rain either. Balance, discipline, and consistency is key in financial wellness.

If you are in need of some financial advice check out my Taxes, Bookkeeping & Financial Wellness Facebook Group!