A Fidelity survey revealed that two-thirds of Americans made financial New Year's resolutions. A majority of those surveyed cited "saving more" and "paying down debt" among their primary goals.
Here at Mahogany Money, we believe that the first 100 days of the New Year are critical for establishing the tone for the rest of the year.
As such, we will be doing a weekly series of steps that you can take to ensure that your money also has a Happy New Year.
A majority of the people who make financial New Year's resolutions then struggle to follow through with them because they struggle with the "How" of accomplishing their goals.
In 2019, only 45% of Americans actually stuck to their financial objectives for 3 months. For many, it isn't enough to simply have the "want-to", it is also necessary to have a plan, as well as a way to quantify their progress.
Our First 100 Days Money Challenge will help participants establish their financial goals, as well as take specific actions to achieve them.
Day 1: Set Your Resolutions
This seems like it should be the easiest goal to accomplish, but it is sometimes the most difficult. For many, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to actually get started with their financial journey.
Mahogany Money has been founded on 10 Money Pillars:
In order for your financial resolutions to be actionable, they first have to be well-defined. So, instead of "Saving money" being a resolution, a well-defined resolution would be "I plan to save $5,000 this year."
A resolution that is specific can be quantified. And a resolution that is quantified can be measured, and it's progress can be tracked.
So take 10 minutes and put your top 3 specific financial New Year's resolutions on a piece of paper.
Day 2: Establish Your Baselines - Credit Report
Maya Angelou once said, "You can't really know where you are going until you know where you have been."
So it is with your personal finances.
Before you can chart your course, you have to identify where you currently stand.
For a lot of people, starting is the hardest part, because most would rather remain in the dark about their situation than to actually face it head on.
But in order to actually make the progress necessary, it will be crucial that each aspect of your personal finances be confronted before it can be dealt with.
Today, we are going to start with your credit report. It is possible to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the major bureaus once a year, for free. Go to Annual Credit Report and request a copy of your credit file from Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
Once you receive your file, make sure to go through each section to get an understanding of the information that is reported.
You should be looking for any inaccurate or outdated information. Credit bureaus are required to ensure that the information they report is accurate.
Make a note of all of the negative entries on your report. We will be dealing with these over the next several weeks.
Day 3: Establish Your Baselines - Income
A huge part of getting your finances in order is understanding how much money you have coming in.
In 2018, nearly 59% of all workers were paid hourly. Increasingly, a steady check isn't enough to cover bills and still have something left over to put aside.
A Bankrate survey revealed that nearly 4 in 10 American adults also have a side hustle to supplement their regular paycheck.
When establishing your baselines, it is necessary to understand exactly how much money you have coming in. It isn't enough to only count the biweekly paycheck. You also have to record any additional income that you earn from additional sources.
Make a note of your income at the top of your sheet. We'll be returning to that number later on.
Day 4: Establish Your Baselines - Expenses
According to Robert Kiyosaki, the key to wealth was, “It's not how much money you make, but how much money you keep."
For a lot of people, even those who know how much they make struggle with getting a handle on their monthly finances because they don't understand how exactly where their money goes.
A critical mistake that most people make is that they put their major bills, but they don't account for the small purchases that create leaks in their budget.
In order to gain control of your finances, it going to be necessary to write down all of your regular monthly expenses. It is also necessary to account for your other miscellaneous expenses that generally go unaccounted for.
Write your itemized expenses on the right hand column of your worksheet, and total them up at the bottom.
About the Movement
There's no other way to describe it: we're obsessed with Black wealth.