Far From Basic Finance Rules

Hola bellas! Let’s use finance rules to empower ourselves to become financially independent.  Think about it. You won’t have to rely on anyone financially! Isn’t that a great feeling? It’s a feeling of FREEDOM!

In addition, it’s also a great feeling when you can buy yourself those designer shoes you’ve been wanting.  Or when you can travel to any part of the world, without incurring any debt.  You could viajar por el mundo (travel the world) if you wanted to.  But how can we make it happen when it seems like the odds are against us as Hispanics?  According to the Federal Reserve, “the median Hispanic income in 2016 was $38,500”. That’s not going to take you very far if you want to be a wanderluster.

To have a better shot, you need to apply personal finance rules to your everyday life.  If you start doing so, you would be ahead of the game.  According to the TIAA Institute, “Personal finance knowledge among Hispanics is lower than that of the U.S. adult population as a whole.” Esto tiene que cambiar! (This has to change)

Here are some easy, but very impactful, personal finance rules that you can start applying today!

• Start with setting a budget. One that tells your money exactly where to go each paycheck.  Be very detailed and include all your expenses, along with a savings category.  If you want to get started today, click here for the Hispana Bella budget template.

• This one sounds like a no brainer but no gastes mas de lo que ganas (don’t spend more than you earn). If you spend more than you make, then you will quickly go into debt and won’t be able to achieve your long-term goals.   You want to live your best life, and that’s without any debt!

• Make sure to save for emergencies! It is crucial because life is so unexpected.  Be prepared when unplanned expenses come your way.  Ideally, it would be great to save 3-6 months’ worth of pay.

• If you have debt, make a plan to get rid of it ASAP! Set money aside every month to pay off your debt, and take a break from spending while you’re at it.  Pay off your debts by making a few sacrifices for some time.  You can start by getting rid of the highest interest debt, or start tackling your smallest debts and keep going thereafter.

• From an early age, start saving for retirement. If the company you work for has a 401(k) plan, make sure to start making contributions.  The more you’re able to contribute at a young age, the better.  It is especially important if your company matches a percentage of your contribution.  Making contributions to a 401(k) is something that no one emphasized to me, but I would do that differently if I could go back in time.  If I had contributed more from an early age, my net worth would have been higher.

• If you want to start investing, avoid buying individual stocks. It’s very risky and requires a lot of research. It’s better to consider other investment options, like the ones listed here.

• Make sure to write your goals down and keep working towards them. What is it that you want?  Do you want to live on your own? Travel? Do you want to buy a home one day? Start a business?  Help your family? Keep reminding yourself of what you’re working hard to achieve.  Also, make specific $ contributions every paycheck.

If you start applying these finance rules to your life, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish!

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