Tops About Money Ideas

My “awesome ideas” folder is piling up over here,  so I thought I’d release some of them on you today to help turbocharge your goals 😉 All these come from emails and comments that YOU ALL have sent over the months, so big thanks for dumping out your smarts on us! It all helps!

See if any of these ideas stick with you:

#1. The financial notebook

This one comes from Sarah who shared it on Millionaire Day this year:

“I started keeping a financial “notebook.” I write in it every time I do something that moves me closer to the FI mark. (Ok,  so I am rather liberal with what counts… reviewing the kids’ 529s counts, as much as paying an extra $100 to the debt monster.) Flipping through it helps keeps me motivated in the dry spells and reminds me when it’s time to review some bill or policy!”

So pretty much, a financial diary. Which is much more juicier than a normal one, if you ask me!

#2. An awesome way to charge your kids rent 😉

From Paul:

“I am going to provide my kids a (mostly) judgement free place to live when they are done schooling. My only Caveat is I will charge them rent, and that rent will be in the form of proof that they are maxing their 401(k) and IRA, and investing 50% of their net pay. As long as they do that they can live here ’till they get married.”

Another great benefit: they’ll be able to move out faster with all that money saved! 😉

#3. Chart your net worth progress against your goals!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this from Bill Furst:

“I wanted to pass along a neat little tracker I put together that I use monthly (now, and previously just yearly) with my own net worth updates.  It basically tells me that I am on track for my retirement goal ($$ and time) with a visual chart.  The larger the green section, the more ahead I am.  You just input in the grey boxes and the yellow parts calculate for you.

I filled this in with your stats dating all the way back from 2008… I did yearly from 2008-2015, and then monthly from 2016 on. Line 8 is your historical net worth amounts. I don’t know what your time line is for your cool $1M, but if it’s 2020, you’re ahead of the game.”

So smart, right? Looks like the first year and a half I was falling short of my goal of “a million,” but from there we took off and are set to hit it earlier than expected. I really like this because it gives you a super fast idea of how well you’re doing or not in relation to your OWN goals and not anyone else’s. And it’ll now be yet another addition to my sturdy spreadsheet I’ve been tweaking over the years – woo!

I’ll have to make a template of it one day for y’all, but for now here’s the spreadsheet Bill created above for any of you who’d like to copy/test it out yourself: Net Worth Comparison Chart

Thanks Bill! (And your wife is right – you totally need to share your thoughts online somewhere! Start a blog already so we can check out all your other ideas you’ve got brewing :))

#4. “How much freedom will this cost me?”

Great way to think about all your purchases, by Free-Range-Nation.com:

“I ask my clients to think carefully about every purchase, and ask themselves how much freedom do they have to give up to work for someone else for this item? 15 mins … ? One hour… ? One day… ? One week… ? One month… ? One year… ? And then, is it worth it? If it brings tremendous value or return on investment, go for it. If not, sit on it awhile. Then, when they decide not to make the purchase, I suggest putting that amount into their Freedom Fund, or FU fund, as many like to call it. How about the Middle Finger Fund to keep the fun there and the profanity out. 🙂

#5. Pay enough extra towards your mortgages to see a $1.00 decrease every month

Another interesting idea by Richard, in response to staying motivated paying off your debt:

“One of the things that made it simpler for me is focusing on a small detail. I call it my magic number: $310. That is the number (rounded up to next $1) at which the extra principle payment reduces my monthly interest by one dollar. It is great to know that by paying that extra amount, all my future payments will include $1 more principle, and $1 less interest. It’s a benefit I can see on paper. I can also see the compounded effects of making those extra payments over the years. It soothes the number crunching addiction I have.”

I used to love seeing the interest portion of the payments going down by a dollar too. I never calculated “my number” to make sure that happened every month, but I did round up to the nearest hundredthevery month – for both our mortgages – which sped up the debt killing immensely.