Healthy WealthWise Habits
Good habits are tricky, and they take a while to stick - ask anyone who has ever started a diet, exercise program or journal. The more we automate good habits and make them fun, the easier they align with your daily regimen. This week, we are sharing our top 10 healthy habits – and the best part is, although some may be uncomfortable at first, technology now enables many of these tasks to be automated to better serve you the information and create healthy habits.
10 Healthy Habits
This first task will seem the most Herculean—we suggest that you carve out three hours, light candles, bring in beautiful soothing music and promise yourself a treat right afterwards (wine? Soaking bath?) Organization is the foundation for our healthy habits ahead.
Organize your financial information and records (you should have gathered items from action item in week 2 – “The Cleanup”).
Devise a plan on what to keep and what to toss – Keep fundamentals such as birth certificates, tax returns, deeds, titles, paystubs, and investment statements.
Don’t just pile, FILE.
Keep the most up to date copy of your information (insurance policy, bills, etc).
Consider going electronic and scanning your documents to a secure cloud provider. Save a tree, save space.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Automate savings and investing to make it seamless.
Contact your bank and setup automatic transfer from your checking to your savings every pay period, alternatively you may be able to ask your employer to have a portion of your pay direct deposited into your savings account. Set your online bank account to automatically send an amount of money to your investment account each month. Bypasses you altogether!
Only purchase with cash. Budget a certain amount and once it’s gone, that’s it!
Remove your credit card information from your online shopping profiles; make it harder to “click”.
Freeze your credit cards – LITERALLY put them in the freezer.
Remove yourself from the “daily deal” distribution lists/emails.
Bring food to work, have coffee at home (when we did the math, this equates to over $100 a week!).
Limit your exposure to malls or other sources of temptation.
CREATE A BUDGET AND TRACK IT
We will get into budgeting in Module 5, but a few important points are as follows: Create a budget, set goals, and track spending.
THE BIG PICTURE
What are your goals for the quarter, the year, or the next five years? Break down that goal into bite sized pieces and make sure you are tracking your progress. For example, if your goal is to buy a house, how much do you need for a down payment? If you need $50K, where is that coming from— can you save $2000 a month for the next 25 months?
Pay down debt on time – avoid needless late fees, pay more than the minimums. We suggest you DO NOT forego savings while paying down debt. We will cover debt in Module #6.
Analyze savings and debt on a regular basis – Always be in the know. Things constantly change. Shoot for analyzing once a quarter. Treat yourself after each session!
Many of us get nervous and don’t want to even see what their credit report says—don’t buy into that shame and fear! Remember, keeping yourself ignorant helps no one.
Your credit score can affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, apartment requests and even job applications. You can also stop identity theft early! Federal law requires that all three of the credit bureaus provide a free report annually. Annualcreditreport.com gives you access to all 3 (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) of your reports. Credit Karma is a free credit monitoring service that shows your score and offers recommendations based on your credit profile and more. We suggest you check your score at least quarterly.
OPEN YOUR MAIL (THAT INCLUDES EMAIL)
Review your bills and statements as you get them – check for any errors. Banks and creditors make mistakes. They’ll also charge you for whatever they can get away with---check your medical bills, check your statements, and look for unusual activity. You may want to automate as much of this as possible and set up alerts.
Save for your future; set up a brokerage account and a special savings account and send a set amount each month that auto invests in three to five long term investment ideas. What are the long term trends you believe in—the baby boomers are retiring at record rates, medicine is becoming individualized rather than one size fits all and the “internet of things” is increasing the need for bandwidth and big data.
Let’s start on healthy habits today! Now is when you can really start organizing those documents you gathered in week 2. Let’s work on #1, #2, and #3 on this list. It may not happen overnight, but we want PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.
DIVINE ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC
39 Broadway, 36th Floor, NY, NY 10006
tel 212 344 5867 fax 212 509 5867
Dani Hughes & Valerie Sanchez
Co-Creators of Divine WealthWise Exchange