Excited for the weekend? I know I am. It can be difficult to find time during the week to make some extra money or handle your finances. Luckily for us its the weekend so I decided to share my top 4 tips to start building wealth this weekend.
1: Skip the Bar, Have a Party
Don’t get me wrong I love a night out down by the shore as much as the next guy but, it can be incredibly expensive with very little in ways of ‘memorable’ experiences. Think about the last 5 times you went to the bar and the highlights of those nights. Can you even recall? If you can do you think these will be moments you will be talking about or thinking fondly of next year? Probably not.
So why waste money on overpriced drinks and music that makes it impossible to hear your friend standing next to you? Why not host a party instead?
There is never a bad reason to invite some friends over and have a party. You can kick back and watch your favorite sport, television series, movie or even the cooking channel. One of my favorites is having a board game night(if your friendship can survive Monopoly it can survive anything.) No matter what you do make sure it is a pot luck and BYOB to keep your costs to a minimum. Not only will these nights be more memorable but you will be well on your way to building wealth this weekend.
2: Track your Expenses, Find ‘Lost’ Money
Do you ever check your bank account or credit card statement and have no idea where all the money went? I know I have. Often times the things we spend the most money on are small purchases for less than $20. We all remember going to the gas station and filling up the tank but we might not remember grabbing that pack of gum while we were there.
I personally use Personal Capital to track all my accounts. Not only will it evaluate your monthly cash flow and you can train it to recognize purchases in the categories it belongs in but they also track your net worth. If you’re like myself and have accounts across multiple institutions this is the best way to track each one in a clear and concise dashboard.
After you figure out where your money is going, come up with an action plan to plug any leaks. Are you buying lunch out every day at $10 a pop? Do you stop and get coffee every day from Starbucks costing you $5 a day? Do you pay for a gym membership that you haven’t been to in over a year?
I’ve done all those things.
It’s time to take action, cancel any reoccurring memberships that you are not actively using (I wish I could give up Netflix but I definitely get my money’s worth.) Make your lunch and coffee at home to help save some more money. Call your cable, phone and insurance companies and see if they can offer you any discounts or shop around with competitors. The best thing about reducing and eliminating reoccurring expenses are they happen every month. Turn those reoccurring expenses into reoccurring savings and start building wealth this weekend!
3: Rebalance your Investments, Balance your Retirement
Does your company offer a 401k? Are you contributing? If your company is offering a 401k with any form of match and you aren’t contributing you need to stop reading this article and change that right now. Go ahead, I promise it will still be here when you’re done.
If you were already contributing, great! Company match in a 401k is essentially a free raise for saving for retirement. If someone tells you they are going to give you a dollar for every dollar you save wouldn’t you save more? I think so!
Now if your company doesn’t offer a 401k(or 403b for my public sector friends) then you should be saving in an IRA. The reason to save in an IRA or 401k is because they are qualified retirement accounts which means they give you tax benefits for saving towards retirement. Awesome, right?
However, what you are investing in is just as important as how you are investing it. What good is saving money if you are investing in something that is going to lose value? That is why it is important to change your asset allocation as you go through changes in life. When you are young losses in your portfolio are easier to swallow because you don’t have a significant amount saved. As you get older you may find yourself becoming more conservative as your nest egg grows.
It is also important to take into considerations the fees you are being charged. I often value lower fees over historical performance because the fees are constant while performance can vary. If you see fees higher than 0.75% I would advise you stay very far away.
All these steps will allow you to be more confident on your road to retirement and it is an easy step to start building wealth this weekend.
Step 4: Work Hard, Play Harder
For our millennial generation it almost feels like if you don’t have side hustle that makes you part of the gig economy then you’re the abnormal one. I have friends that drive for both Uber and Life, friends that are nannies through Care, dog walkers through Rover and plenty of freelancers. It can be frustrating when they are always asking me to hang out during the day while I’m working at my traditional 9-5. I keep thinking to myself, maybe they are on to something.
There is something incredibly freeing about not having a boss you report to directly and being able to work the hours you want to work. However, the structure and stability of having a 9 to 5 has its benefits as well. So I have been working on taking a hybrid approach.
My 9 to 5 job isn’t something I particularly enjoy (as in I wouldn’t do it in my spare time for free) however, I am good at it and consistently a top performer in my district. So what I have been doing is finding side hustles that I enjoy doing to make some extra money on the side. I’ve sold trekking poles on amazon, prepared tax returns and now this blog. I don’t think they will necessarily replace my full time income but, if I continue to work at and grow these endeavors they may.
If you want to make more money you have two options, either work longer hours or get paid more per hour that you work. Getting paid more per hour in my opinion is more difficult. So do something you enjoy, or consider fun, and work longer hours doing it. That is the quickest way to make some extra money on the side.
Once you have that extra money coming in, start applying that towards your debt or invest that money into a business or investments. Watch your efforts compound and you’ve mastered building wealth this weekend.