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Managing Your Money

Life Goals & Milestones

Hello dear, 

Money management is a challenge for many. Setting and sticking to financial goals is essential, but the day-to-day is a struggle. While $7 coffees certainly add up (one coffee a day would add up to over $200 a month!), not making enough money is a genuine issue for many American families. 63% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, unable to save much over the month. Now that I've given some thoroughly depressing facts let's discuss what you can do. This blog will provide you with tips on money management, from adding more income to your pocket to planning to meet your financial goals.

Tip 1: Add More Income to Your Pocket

There's no way to meet your financial goals if you're living paycheck to check. Creating a "side gig" or multiple income streams is one way to add cash to your pocket – this isn't just a recommendation for struggling people either. Over half of the millionaires have three income streams. Now, having one or even two extra income streams *probably* won't make you a millionaire, but maybe you'll feel better about that $200 in coffee. Or buy a decent machine and make homemade lattes you can enjoy. 

There are two categories of income streams:

  1. Active: demands work and attention on your part
  2. Passive: makes money with little intervention. 

While active income tends to make more money, passive income streams mean you don't have to monitor them regularly like active ones. Once you have more money coming in, make sure you're saving money to meet those financial goals!

Tip 2: Saving Money for Goals

The more money you can save towards your goals, the faster you'll reach financial security. Another way to reduce your expenditures is food. Food prepping is a wallet (and belt loop) friendly way to eat. The basic premise is to create a multi-serving meal that gets packed away and re-heated when you're ready to eat. Single-meal food (like frozen meals) and takeout is more expensive per meal. Food prepping lets you control what goes into your food (have you ever looked at the sodium content in microwave meals? Hello, hypertension!). 

Prepping for multiple meals also means you can buy the ingredients in bulk. Eat healthier for cheaper. Food prepping also means you can set aside time when you have time. Few people have the time or energy to cook every night, never mind making lunch before work. Setting aside a few hours on Sunday (or your day off) to prepare meals can save time and money for your week. People with kids can make them feel involved by letting them 'help' with the cooking and packaging or fill the sink with soap so they can "wash" dishes - also known as play with bubbles while you work. Prep some meals for the week and stick them in the freezer. If you quickly get bored with food, bulk-cook protein that you can prepare in multiple ways throughout the week. Then, even if you have to buy a burrito bowl because you ran out of time to make your complete meal, you can toss in your chosen protein and turn one $11-15 dollar meal into two or three. 

Tip 3: Gamify Money

Money challenges and games are popular on social media, especially apps like TikTok. Gamification is the process of creating games or adding game-like elements to tasks. Adding engaging features to unpleasant jobs encourages people's natural competitiveness and even makes them fun. Use search engines and social media to find challenges that work for you. For most people, cash challenges are the most effective.

It's also a good idea to track your money challenges and create a time element to further increase the urgency and competition, even if you're only competing with yourself or with time. After you learn to manage your budget and money, you can focus on your financial goals. 

These tips are a great start. Consistency is critical, though. My AI will help you monitor your spending habits and meet your saving goals.

Whether you aim to pay off student loans, save for retirement, a vacation, or a large purchase, I can help you excel at your challenge. 

I look forward to working with you!

Diane Money

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