Did you know April is Financial Literacy Month?! Let’s be honest though – we should always be pushing financial literacy! Thankfully, that’s the mission of City Girl Savings. Money can literally make or break a person’s happiness. And no, money doesn’t actually buy happiness…but it gives you options. And the more options a person has, the more opportunities they have to leverage those options for happiness!
That’s not the rabbit hole I want to go down right now. The rabbit hole I’m currently interested in is the one that helps you easily (and quickly) level up your money! Everyone has a different experience with money.
Everyone is in a different situation with their money. But what everyone has in common is the fact that they can always get to the next level with their money. Keep reading for 5 easy steps to level up your money and start benefiting from those extra options!
5 Easy Steps to Level Up Your Money
#1 Get a budget plan in place
A common trend around the City Girl Savings community is the importance of a budget – and for good reason. A budget is like your road map. It guides you through the route you need to take to reach your financial goals. Without that map, you’d be lost.
One of the best ways to level up your money is by getting a solid, realistic budget plan in place. If you’re thinking “Raya, that doesn’t sound easy”, then hear me out! You can go about getting your budget plan a few different ways:
- You can make one yourself
- You can use an app or technology to make one for you
- You can have a person make one for you
Sure, options 2 and 3 may cost you, but they’re definitely an easy option to getting a budget plan in place! If you want to give creating a budget on your own a shot, we have so many Budgeting resources available. Also, CGS founder Raya Reaves creates budget plans for clients, consider letting her create a budget plan for you!
#2 Start consuming finance-related content
Have you heard the saying “you are what you think about?” Well, if you consume finance-related content, you’ll start thinking like a finance professional. If you’re thinking about being successful with money, then you’ll be successful with money! Okay, it’s not that simple, but my point is that the more finance-related content you consume, the better you’ll be with money.
You’ll learn tips, tricks, hacks and things NOT to do with your money. Then, you’ll start implementing everything you’ve learned and find what works best for you. It all starts with consuming the right content. Read finance books, listen to podcasts, follow financial influencers, take classes, courses or workshops.
The point is to start consuming finance-related content, so you can learn what it takes to actually level up your money.
#3 Understand your situation at a high-level by always knowing your net worth
Another easy way to level up your money is by understanding your financial situation at a high level. The best way to do that is by knowing your net worth. Your net worth is your total assets less your total debts. If you have more in debt than money in the bank, you have a negative net worth. I know it doesn’t sound good, but it’s more common than you think.
If you know whether your net worth is positive or negative, you can start moving in the direction of growth. You can slowly work to bring your debt balances down, your savings balances up or a combination of both.
A great way to start is by getting organized. Create an excel spreadsheet that lists all of your asset accounts (checking, savings, retirement, investment, etc.) and all of your debt accounts (credit cards, student loans, mortgages, etc.). Just list the type of the account, where the account is and the current balance. Try to update this document once a month.
#4 Set up an automatic savings transfer into a HYSA
At the time of me writing this article, my current interest rate on my high-yield savings account (HYSA) is 4.15%. That means, every month, I get an interest deposit that accumulates to 4.15% of my annual balance. With the stock market currently yielding negative returns, having your savings in an account that isn’t subject to negative returns is a huge win!
You should have a savings account. If you don’t, start with a high-yield savings account. Synchrony and American Express Bank are what I currently use. If you have a savings, consider transferring to a high-yield savings – especially if your interest is lower than current high-yield rates.
#5 Make sure you’re contributing to a retirement plan
Finally, you can easily level up your money by contributing to a retirement plan. If you’re already contributing, then pretend this tip is “make sure you increase your retirement plan contribution”! Contributing to a retirement plan is one of the best ways to secure your financial future in retirement.
Most companies offer some form of retirement plan matching. That means whatever you contribute, your employer will match (up to a certain amount). Basically, it’s free money. At minimum, you should be contributing what your employer will match.
If you’re not sure how to make it work, refer to your budget. See what you can cut back so that you can put more towards your retirement plan. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
Related: 6 Ways to Improve Your Financial Education
The list of ways you can level up your money is never-ending. However, when there are too many things to do, it’s easy to get nothing done. Start with this list of easy steps above, taking them one at a time. Once you’ve crushed this list, create (or find) another list of things you can do to take your financial situation to the next level.
What money moves are you currently focused on? What is your immediate next step to level up your money? Drop a comment below to share!