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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My NYC Life: Happy New Year! Let's Get It Started 2015

Happy New Year guys! Hope everyone is off to a good start and not going too insane with their resolutions. New year resolutions aren't really my thing, I think you should start making the changes you want to improve your life the moment you're ready to better yourself. However....there is one thing I've been working on that I'm continuing to do this year, that would being helpful for everyone. And that's saving money! As hard as it might be, I found a simple method online that I did last year and my family decided to join in with me, which is the 52 Week Challenge... 

So, there's 52 weeks in a year and the simple task is to set aside the amount of money corresponding to the number of week you are in. Meaning week #1 you set a $1, week #2 then $2 and so on. I decide to go backwards because I always have more money to spare earlier in the year versus the holiday season. You can always put aside more when you have it in preparation for tighter checks or just to be done faster.

Right now my main focus has been to pay off my credit card and to save more. Although I love my roomies, I'm excited and anxious about moving into my own (potentially overpriced & small) NYC apart this summer! Knowing this goal, I started a (#1) payment plan to pay off my debt by summer and (#2) have money saved using the challenge guidelines for my spring trip to see my family in Morocco, and get my brother an awesome graduation gift. I started a personal savings account with American Express starting last year with $200 (it's helpful to use an account that's not connected to your checking, plus they have a higher interest rate of 0.85%), by the end of the yr I would have a little over $1500 and by going backwards you reach your goal sooner so by summer you've already saved an extra $1000 bucks! See below for deets on the 52 Week Challenge (in reverse)!

Living in NYC or any big city for that matter, its hard to save and not fall off course with brunches, dinners, drinks, shopping, night life, etc. The best way to start is to create the dreaded B word...budget. A helpful way and my preferred choice is joining a financial tracker that lets you know where your money is going. I use mint.com, its free and it keeps track of everything (bank account, credit cards, mortgage, investments, student loans; seriously, anything. You can set a budget for everything, see trends and set goals. Right now I have 2 goals set: Pay off Credit Card (payment plan) & Moving Expenses (savings plan). What's awesome about it is you put into the amount you plan to put aside and viola it tells you when your goal will be accomplish, how much interest you will pay and have saved. 

Stay strong and focused! We can do this! Extra money for emergencies to vacations is a great thing for anyone to have readily available.


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