My Personal Finance Goals For the New Year

My Personal Finance Goals For The New Year - Chic and Domestic
My Personal Finance Goals For The New Year – Chic and Domestic

With 2018 coming to end, I think that now is the perfect time to discuss personal finance goals for the future. Everyone makes all sort of goals for the New Year, and trust me I have a longgg list of things I want to accomplish. I’ll spare you some time though, and only bore you with a few of my personal finance goals for 2019.

1. Invest
Investing has been heavy on my mind, and it’s something that I want to do a lot more of in the New Year. I personally believe that if you can’t stop thinking about a goal, then it’s time to take action and make it come to life. I’ve invested in a stock investing course that I’ve been working my way through the last month or so and it has been extremely helpful for me.

Another way that I plan to invest in 2019 is by getting into real estate. As you might know, my husband and I purchased our first home just in time for the holidays, but I also have my own personal goals to invest in real estate as a business. Now, for a more realistic take on things, I might not necessarily purchase more real estate this year, but I do plan to invest in myself, so that I can invest in my wealth, and be that much closer to reaching my other investing goals.

2. Raise My Credit Score
My credit score has been doing lovely the last few months. I feel like I’ve been making the right moves to get where I’m trying to go, but I want a 780 or above in the New Year and I don’t plan on stopping until I get there.

Be sure to check out my post “How To Build and Boost Your Credit” or Credit Building Hacks For The New Year” here!

3. Pay down my student loan debt
Now, I can’t say that I’m in some crazy amount of student loan debt. It’s not 6 figures, it’s not pushing it at $90,000 and it’s honestly not even $50,000 worth of debt, but to me it’s all just debt that I don’t want to keep holding on to. I’ve done a very good job of planning my future educational and career goals around avoiding too much debt, or preferable any at all, and that’s the plan I want to stick to.

4. Pay Down My Mortgage
This is obviously a new goal for me. A very exciting one at that. When we got our keys I was cray excited, but the extreme number cruncher in me was like, “I can’t wait to start paying this thing OFF!” This obviously (clearly) won’t be happening in 2019, but I can accomplish a smaller goal of consistently paying it down on time, and at a more aggressive rate than required.

Be sure to subscribe and look out for more of my home buying and new homeowner tips!

5. Cut My Household Expenses
Cutting my household expenses will always be a personal finance goal of mine. Not just for a new year, but all year long. I’m always looking for ways to cut expenses, and increase the amount of money that I could possibly be saving. I redo our family budget when I feel like it’s needed, but a new year is a great time to look over things when you’re feeling fresh and positive for a financial change.

6. SAAAAVE
I will be saving saving saving all year long. Be sure to look out for my upcoming post on “A Few Easy Ways To Save” for inspiration to do some saving for your own family, and a little bit of how I personally plan to juggle our money to make sure it’s tucked away right where I want it. Also once again, be sure to subscribe for all of the great saving, budgeting, and personal finance content that I have coming your way.

Check out my post “5 Money Challenges to Try in 2019” here!

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Credit Building Hacks for the New Year

Credit Building Hacks For the New Year - Chic and Domestic
Credit Building Hacks For the New Year – Chic and Domestic

*This post contains referral links. I may be compensated for your clicks!*

My self lender account has been nothing short of a success for my credit. I was able to talk about just how helpful it was for my credit in my How To Build and Boost Your Credit post from my Purchasing Your Family Home series. With so many people gearing up to face their finances head on in the New Year, I’m getting more and more questions about not only savings and budgeting, but also ways to increase credit scores.

I don’t always get to talk about the importance of good credit and your credit scores, but because I’ve been blogging through our family home buying process the topic has actually come up a lot. I know that so many of my lovely subscribers (Are you one? Because you should beee!) are interested in purchasing their own family home in the future, so why not talk about it!?

Check out my post “7 Steps to Purchase Your Family Home” here!

So, a few things for the people who don’t know …

Self Lender is an online credit building CD account. It helps with boosting your credit score by reporting on time payments (as long as your payments are ON TIME) but the best part about it is how it holds your monthly payments for savings and distributes it back to you at the end! You essentially get a credit boost for an installment loan, but you’re really just paying yourself monthly, and tucking away your own money for savings. That’s a WIN.

You also don’t get a ding on your credit report for an inquiry, and it starts reporting almost immediately. I personally saw a credit increase of 50 points within the first 30 days of reporting, and 5 or 10 point raises after that. They have a few “loan” options depending on how much you can afford to save every month, and how quickly you plan to reach your savings goal. One is for as little as $25 a month.

A few more things to be aware of …

Now, because self lender reports as a (hopefully positive) installment loan on your credit report, if you are planning to make a big purchase sometime soon, like a house or a car, this “loan” will be viewed as a positive revolving debt on your credit report. No problem though, I would just recommend doing this and completing the CD before running your credit for your big purchase. You do have the option to pay in full at any time and close out your self lender account.

Overall, I can’t recommend self lender enough! I’ve been working really hard on my credit over the last year or so and seeing that big jump that simply trying out self lender has given me was well worth it. I chose to do the $25 option this time, but I actually plan to open another Self Lender CD with a larger monthly payment once this one is completed. You can honestly never have enough savings, and any boost on my credit report is a winner for me.

If Self Lender sounds like something that you’d be interested in trying in the New Year, check out my referral code and receive $10 towards your personal savings here!

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52 Week Money Challenge Hacks

52 Week Money Challenge Hacks - Chic and Domestic
52 Week Money Challenge Hacks – Chic and Domestic

With the 52 week money challenge being one of the more popular challenges for New Year’s savings, who would I be to not address all of the many many ways to hack the challenge to make it work for you!

Let’s be honest, all of our personal finances are not created equal. Our budgets vary slightly, drastically, and everything in between. Some of us are paid monthly, weekly, biweekly, often, and hardly ever. Yes, even inconsistent paychecks don’t disqualify you from a savings challenge.

Before we get to how to hack the 52 week challenge, let’s first discuss how the original 52 week challenge even works. It’s an incremental savings challenge so your weekly savings will vary. You’ll start week one by saving $1, continue on to week 2 by saving $2, week 3 you will save another $3, all the way through week 52 when you’ll be saving $52 and finishing out with a grand total of $1378 in savings. It’s just that easy.

If you happened to read How To Save a $1000 Emergency Fund, then you’ll know that I love the Qapital app for easy, pain free saving. They even offer the option to set a 52 week challenge rule that will easily transfer your funds for you. I swear by the app, especially if you’re serious about your savings goals. If you try it out today with my referral code you’ll be able to receive $5 FREE towards your first savings goal. Check it out here.

Be sure to check out my post “5 Money Challenges to Try in 2019” for more savings ideas!

Modified 52 week challenges
1. Reverse 52 Week Challenge
Maybe around the new year is when you have a little bit more cash to put aside for savings. The Reverse 52 Week Challenge would probably be right for you. You can still tuck away your weekly commitment, only you will start off by saving your $52 payment first, and end the challenge with your last payment of $1 towards your savings.

2. Modified 52 Week Challenge
The easiest way to modify the challenge to make it work for you is by saving your weekly payments the way you want to! Every week you will make a payment of $1, $10, $42, or $52, whichever one of your 52 payments you can afford that week. Maybe this week you have some extra money so you decide to save $52, but maybe next week you only have $10 to put aside.The easiest way to get this done is by keeping a detailed record and crossing off which one of your payments you’ve already made.

3. 52 Week Biweekly Money Challenge
For the people who get paid biweekly, maybe it will just be easier for you to make one large payment when you get paid rather than making an extra payment between paydays. You can essentially turn the 52 week challenge into a 26 payment, biweekly challenge by making 2 weeks worth of payments at one time. Week one you would be saving $3, and then $7, and then move on to $11, all the way up until week 26 when you put $103 into savings.

4. 52 Week Mini Money Challenge
Maybe you have a tighter budget but you’re still looking to get in on this 52 weeks of savings. No problem at all, you can easily modify the challenge to fit your financial situation. With the 52 Week Mini Money Challenge you can easily save smaller increments of money, and still be working towards a savings goal. You would start week one by saving 50 cents, and gradually increasing that amount by 50 cents every week. Your final 52 week payment should be $26, and you will still end up with $689 in savings by the end of the year.

5. 52 Week Double Money Challenge
Say your financial situation is great right now and you can afford to put a little bit more into savings every week. You can easily double your weekly savings by starting week 1 off at $2, week 2 would be $4, week 3 would be $6, and at week 52 you would be putting aside $104, and ending up with a grand total of $2756 at the end of the year. Look at those savingsss!

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5 Money Challenges to Try in 2019

5 Money Challenges to Try in 2019 - Chic and Domestic
5 Money Challenges to Try in 2019 – Chic and Domestic

With the New Year literally right around the corner, I always see people making goals to save more money. It’s great to finally, or continuously put your finances in plain sight, and start and finish the year off strong. I always like to commit to some sort of money challenge, or make an actual commitment to myself to stay consistent when I’m talking about savings, but let’s be honest, calling it a challenge makes it that much more fun!

This year I figured I would share a few of the many many options there are out there to try out to reach your 2019 savings goals.

1. $5 Challenge
I see people rave about this challenge all the time. It doesn’t personally work for me because I’m not someone who carries around cash too often, but if you are, this could definitely work for you. You essentially save every 5 dollar bill you receive, whether it be from cash purchases, or cash back, and tuck it away for safe keeping until the year is over. Once the year comes to an end, you get to break the bank (and no, I don’t mean crazy spending) and see just how much you managed to save over time.

2. Change Jar

This is one of those oldie but goodies, and perfect for someone who carries cash. You simple transfer all of your loose change from the bottom of your purse, car cup holders, and pants pockets and actually give it a designated spot to be saved until the year is over. Money that we all know you just keep sitting around. See, savings doesn’t have to be complicated at all.

3. 52 week savings challenge
One of the more well known savings challenges would have to be the 52 week savings challenge. It’s an incremental savings challenge, so you start week one by saving $1, continue on to week 2 by saving $2, week 3 you will save another $3, all the way through week 52 when you’ll be saving $52 and finishing out with $1378 in savings.

Be sure to check out my 52 Week Money Challenge hacks for a few modified options here!

4. 365 Penny Challenge
For someone with a tighter budget, all of these larger numbers in savings might be a little bit intimidating. The biggest savings challenge of all is being able to stay consistent. So, the 365 penny challenge might just be right for you. Like the 52 week savings challenge, the penny challenge is also incremental. Every day, (365 days to be exact) you’ll add to your total savings by saving enough pennies to correspond to what day you’re on. Day 1 you’ll save 1 penny, Day 2 you’ll save 2 pennies. By day 365 you should be putting $3.65 into savings, and at the end of the year you will have a grand total of 667.95 in savings.

Savings Hack: If keeping up with daily savings is too hard to remember, just add up the weekly totals and save it that way.

5. Round Up Challenge
I LOVE the round up challenge. If you’ve seen my previous post about How to Save a $1000 Emergency Fund, you’ll know that I utilized the Qapital app and it made it extremely easy for me to set this rule up to make my transfers for me. This is great for someone like me who doesn’t carry cash often, but also wants an easy savings option. All you’re doing is essentially rounding up to the nearest $2 and tucking the change away as savings.

If you try it out today with my referral code you’ll be able to receive $5 FREE towards your first savings goal. Check it out here.


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