financial goals to hit before 30

9 Financial Goals To Hit Before 30

financial goals to hit

Setting goals is  the best way to ensure a successful life. 

We set goals for everything from everything from grade-point averages to relationships.

In high school, they don’t stress that importance of setting financial goals, which is why so many people have no idea what’s going on when it comes to personal finance.

Full disclosure some of you will discover this list after 30...Don’t panic, it’s never too late to start achieving financial goals.

Here is a list of financial goals to hit before 30

1. Get a job or consistent side hustle – There’s no short cut here. The only way to achieve your financial goals is by having a source of income. 

I honestly believe that when you start out young, it doesn’t matter what kind of job you have. With a clear financial plan it’s possible to achieve your financial goals. This is much easier to do when your young but anyone can do it. Don’t let the inability to find a job stop you, here are 26 side hustles that you can start today.

2. Learn financial discipline – This is a difficult task for some people. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so it wasn’t hard for me to live frugal. This is one of those things that can be hard depending on what your used to. Make a list of your expenses go over them and see what you can weed out to save you money where you can. It can suck to get store brand potato chips, but over the course of a year savings can really add up. I have friends that always need all the newest clothes, the newest shoes, designer everything. Don’t get me wrong I like fancy shit too, but as an outsider looking in I see it’s causing slow financial death for them.

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with having nice things, I like them too, but there is a time when you can afford it.

Instead of buying the newest pair of $200 designer jeans every month, consider spending half the amount and putting the remainder into a savings amount.

You will have accumulated enough to start making investments sooner than later.

It’s a cruel irony that most of the crap that you want to blow money on when you’re young matters less when you’re older.

3. Pay off debts – I know people that went to high school with me that’s are constantly dodging Sally Mae. Pay off your student loans. Don’t be the person who’s still dodging creditor calls in their mid-30s. Be proactive in your 20s so that you aren’t paying off student debt into your thirties. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment and look into consolidating and refinancing to better terms. But only consolidate if you don’t need income-based repayment or if you are working towards forgiveness. Know what delinquencies are on your credit report. Dispute negative remarks first and see what you can get to fall off, then pay off the rest!

4. Pay off credit cardsPay off your credit cards, and stop maxing them out.  Your credit to debt ratio is a high impact factor on your credit score so it’s a good practice to keep this ratio under 30%.

5. Buy an affordable house – This is one is crucial. I don’t know what about human nature causes this, but when people start making decent money, they feel compelled to go out and get the most expensive house they can afford. It actually makes me cringe when people do this. Unfortunately when people budget for their homes, they don’t factor investment savings into the mix. If possible, duplexes make great first investments.

6. Pay off your first house – Because you have exercised financial responsibility and you lived frugally, bought an affordable house that allowed you to save weekly, you have probably built up a nice little savings. Once you have enough pay off your house. The average person will be paying off their first house for 30 years.

Paying off your house is the first small but powerful step to financial freedom.

Your living arrangements are usually your biggest expense, and aside from your insurance and taxes you have completely relinquished that burden from your financial responsibilities.

Paying off your home unlocks approximately another 30% of your income that you have access to, but before you get to too excited and head off to the Louis Vuitton store, Consider that extra cash as part of your new savings for our next financial goal.

7. Purchase rental property – You’ve paid off your first home, you have extra savings rolling in now what? Now it’s time to start making some additional income. Your not worried about trying to figure out which activities you will have to eliminate to cram in a second job because you’re ready to start building passive income with rental properties.

If your saving is good sometimes you can find a home that you can pay cash for. If not most investment loans only require a 20% down payment. A good way to quickly calculate the down payment cost is to expect approximately 20k toward the down payment for every 100k. 

Since your first home is paid off and you don’t have to worry about rent payments, you will find it gets easier and easier to save up for down payments.

Duplexes make great first investments.

8. Actively raise credit score – After you have repaired your credit. It’s time to start actively making it better. Use your credit cards frequently but rather than using it as a clutch, think of using your credit card as a credit-boosting tool. 

By creating a credit card spending plan, and making sure you never exceed a 30% debt to credit ratio, your credit will begin to steadily rise.

Also be responsible and don’t get subscriptions from to services you can’t afford, and when you do make sure that you are paying on or before your due date.

9. Know your credit score – Get an account at Credit Karma. The best thing about Credit Karma is that it constantly keeps up with your credit score without adding harmful inquiries to your credit report. Download the app. Get into the habit of checking your credit score at least once a month.

Don’t be the type of person that never knows what’s going on with their credit. 

Hint::
When someone runs your credit you shouldn’t be as surprised with your results. And try to avoid 

 

These goals are not easy to hit but if you focus, and you can hit most of these goals by the time you turn 30, you will be on the fast track towards an early retirement.

How many of these goals have you hit? Let me know in the comments section below and don’t forget to subscribe 🙂

How the Millionaire Next Door pursues Income

How the Millionaire Next Door Pursues Income

Today’s guest post comes from Matt, who is a licensed CPA and founder of Distilled Dollar where he shares how he and his fiancée went from living paycheck-to-paycheck to building wealth. With his fiancée’s help, he’s distilling down $$$ topics in pursuit of financial independence by the age of 35.

Take it away Matt…

The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, is a classic personal finance book that goes in depth on a few major topics.

The overall premise is many millionaires don’t act or even look like millionaires. The specific topic I’ll pull out of the book today is the importance of financial offense AND defense. In other words, how the millionaire next door pursues income.

When it comes to accumulating financial resources and building wealth, I prefer to learn from people who have, “been there, done that.” That’s why I picked up the book many years ago.

About 1 in 15 households in America are millionaires when you include household equity. Compare that statistic with less than half of Americans having just $100,000, again, including household equity.

Many people we presume to be millionaires are, in reality, worth less, much less. In fact, one in ten drivers of an imported luxury vehicle are actual millionaires. The most common cars driven by most millionaires today include Toyotas, Hondas & Fords.




Don’t confuse rich with wealthy.


If we want to become financially wealthy then we should model the wealthy, not the rich. That’s why the book described financial defense as being critical. If we overspend our income, we will never become millionaires.


“A fat kitchen makes a lean will,” as Ben Franklin phrased it.

How Millionaires Pursue Income

 

Stanley and Danko interviewed thousands of millionaires. My main takeaway was that millionaires are willing to work harder because they understand their financial defense is in place.

Meaning, they know for every dollar they earn, they will be placing a large amount of that dollar into their investments and into their businesses.

Many affluent people know they need a strong positive cash flow going directly back into their assets as opposed to paying off liabilities.


If our income is earmarked for future purchases, then is it really our income to begin with?

Financial offense becomes more meaningful when we have a strong defense.

There are enough obstacles as it is when it comes to making additional income. The one barrier I, myself, have removed is having a lifestyle where the money’s gone before I realize it was there.

I’m always working on plugging holes in my budget to optimize my lifestyle.

Since I am young, at the age of 27, I know I’ll have plenty of time for luxury down the road. Right now, I’m focused on enjoying a lifestyle I can afford while simultaneously building wealth and resources for the next chapter of my life.

Is your financial defense supporting your financial offense? What helps you in having a winning combination?

-Matt
Distilled Dollar


To read more articles from Matt, check out Distilled Dollar.




how to start a blog

How To Start A Blog 101: A Step-By-Step Tutorial With Pictures

So you want to know how to start a blog? how to start a blog

Well, you’ve come to the right place, my goal is that by the end of this article you will know how to set up and begin your journey as a blogger.

I started my first blog in 2002, after high school. My goal was to have a massive blog with an active forum.

I jumped from one side of the world wide web to the other in search of information to help me get my blog off the ground.

Shortly after launch, I got bored and my poor blog eventually died.

This guide is a derived from things that I have learned work and that have helped me to progress in the blogging world!

 

Why Start A Blog?

There are a lot of reasons to start a blog. Some of the most popular reasons are:

  • To make money online from home. This is one of the most attractive reasons to start blogging.  I make a substantial income from blogging. Once you have a large enough audience, a blog is a great way to generate passive income, and can be a lucrative side hustle. Although a large amount of hard work is required up front, the pay off is a great incentive to get your blog up and running
  • Grow an existing business. If you have a website that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, adding a blog can definitely raise awareness of your brand. Blog post related to your business, give people other ways to find your website online through various google searches.
  • Maybe you just like to write. A blog can be your online diary and a great place to jot down your thoughts, and feelings, that could possibly help out other like-minded individuals.

Do any of these reasons interest you? Do you have different reasons?



8 Steps To Create Your Own Blog

  1. Pick a blog Topic.
  2. Choose a blogging platform
  3. Choose a host for your blog
  4. Pick a domain name
  5. Install WordPress to your platform
  6. Install necessary WordPress plugins
  7. Customize and design your blog
  8. Update your blog on a consistent basis

 

Step 1: Pick A Blog Topic

Before you can create a blog you have to think about what your goal is. Is this for a business or personal use. If you are hoping to make money as a blogger, it’s best to pick a topic that is narrow enough to be considered a niche, yet broad enough for you to be able to create content on a regular basis. It’s important to try to blog on topics that you genuinely have a strong passion for or you will likely end up quitting.
It helps to blog about things you know a lot about because you want your blog to be the go-to website for people in your specific niche. Try to make sure your topic is one that makes for good discussions, as this will attract viewers to your page.


Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform

There are many blogging platforms available. As I mentioned I have been blogging since 2002, and WordPress is hands down the best blogging platform, in my opinion, this is because its very user-friendly, and easy to learn. Back when I first started blogging, I had to learn HTML code which is hella confusing. If you can navigate through the internet, you can learn WordPress.


Step 3: Get Hosting

Blogs need hosting. Hosting is how users find your website on the internet.

There are a lot of different hosting companies out there, a lot of which are free, and though this may be attractive to new bloggers, it may hurt you in the long run, especially if you plan to become an authority in your niche.

Free blogs might seem like a good idea, but they have a number of flaws. The reasons why most bloggers prefer to avoid free blog sites are:

-free blogs give you a domain like examplesite.blogger.com..awkward isn’t it?  Self-hosted blogs have domains like www.examplesite.com

– Unpaid advertising. In order for the free blog companies to make money. They plaster ads on your website, that you receive no income from

– You aren’t allowed to advertise any affiliate links, sell products, or monetize with Google Adsense

– You can’t use plugins. Plugins are used to customize your WordPress website.

– You can’t have a custom email address like Dave@Examplesite.com

Hosting isn’t that expensive and is a very low-cost investment in the longevity of your blog. Bad hosting can cause slow loading speeds on your page which is bad for your overall user experience.

To get hosting:

Head over to BlueHost, and click get started.how to start a blog



  • Select a plan, I recommend the basic package until you decide if blogging is something you want to do long-term. You can always upgrade your plan later.
    how to create a blog

STEP 4: Pick a domain name

Once you pick the package that works best for you, you can either choose or select a domain name.

For our example we used www.examplesite.com but, you can choose whatever name you like, or if you have an exiting domain you can enter it now, then click next.

how to start a blog

Your domain name is what people type in to get to your website. My domain, www.AffordEverything.com was chosen because its easy to remember. I recommend picking a domain that is:

  • Easy to remember
  • Appealing
  • Properly spelled
  • Easy to say and spell
  • Does not include hyphens, numbers, or uncommon characters
  • Preferably has a .com extension

Once you have decided on a domain name for your blog, finish filling out your info, and follow the prompts to complete checkout.

 

 

how to start a blog

STEP 5: Install WordPress

 

Once your account is complete, go back to the Bluehost homepage and click log in

how to start a blog

 

Enter your login info from step 4, and click submit

 

how to start a blog

This will bring you to the home page, click the install WordPress icon(circled below)

how to create a blog

 

Next, you will presented with this screen. Click install WordPress to start the install

 

how to start a blog

Once WordPress is installed select your domain from the drop-down menu, if it’s not already selected. Make sure to leave the direct field blank unless you know what you are doing.

start a blog

Now it’s time to enter your WordPress log-in info. It is important here to pick user names and passwords that you can remember because this is how you will log in to WordPress whenever you want to edit, start a new blog post, or do anything within WordPress.

DO NOT use admin as your username and DO NOT use password as your password. If someone can guess your information they can hijack your website.

how to install wordpress

After WordPress is fully installed, you will see the  “Status: success” message . Take note of the information to access your new WordPress site. This information automaticly emailed to you as well.

 

 

Step 6: Install Necessary plug-ins

In WordPress plugins are what you use to add customization and function to your blog. You are going to want to experiment to find out what works best for you, but there are a few every website should have!

To install plugins to your page, on the right side of your wordpress dashboard select Plugins

how to create a blog

 

Then select add new

 

how to start a blog

 

This is where you type the plugin you are looking for

 

start a blog

NOTE: MOST plugins are free, but some have options for you to upgrade

The plugins I recommend for everyone are:

YOAST SEO – Yoast SEO is a plug in that make sure all your post are SEO friendly, so that they are easily ranked by google

WP-Stats – This plugin keeps track of how many visitors/visits your page is recieveing. This is kept track on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. These numbers are good to keep track of so you know when your post are doing well.

Shareaholic – Shareaholic adds share buttons to your post, so that your guest can easily click and share to Facebook, twitter, digg, reddit, pinterest, and all the other popular social media bookmarking sites.
Step 7: Install a theme to your wordpress blog

Think of WordPress themes as clothing for your website, you want to dress it up and give it your own personal touch. This is all a matter of preference. I recommend you experiment with different themes until you find one you like. Like plugins, there are thousands of wordpress themes you can download for free, but as you get more involved in your blog you may want to upgrade to a paid version or get a custom made wordpress theme.

To install a theme click on the Appearance button on the side of your wordpress dashboard

how to install wordpress theme

Then click Add New

how to install blog theme

Now you can either search for themes using the search at the right of the screen, browse through the categories, or if you have a custom theme you can upload by clicking the ‘upload theme button.

To test them out highlight it with your mouse and the install button will come up, click it and choose ‘Live Preview, if you like it click the ‘Activate button, if not hit the X and try again.

how to install blog themes

Step 8: Update your blog on a consistent basis

You can start posting blog post now, all you have to do is click the post button and click add new

how to start a blog

 

This is where you write your blog post once you are done, click publish and your article goes live on your website

how to create a blog

 

Its important to update your website on a frequent basis, you don’t need to blog everyday, but establishing some sort of routines will be helpful

Search engines are constantly looking for new information, they like to index sites with consistently updated information, so try to pick a blogging schedule and stick to it. Don’t let months pass before deciding to write your next post. If you intend to build an audience for your blog, you have to keep pumping out content.

 

A good thing to remember is that blogs take a long time to establish, its very rare that bloggers experience success over night, so make sure to tend to your blog, as if it were a business because it is. This doesnt apply so much to anyone interested in making a personal blog for friends but if you plan on monetizing its in your best interest to exercise consistency in your writng habits.

 

If you are reading this you made it all the way to the end of this article and you know how to start a blog,from picking a blogging topic to customizing your blog with a theme and writing your first post.

Now go out and create and be great.

Let me know how your blog turns out!

How many blogs do you own? What are some other tips to help new bloggers?

Let me know in the comments section below…:)

If you found this post helpful, please SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE



investing in low-income neighborhoods

7 Tips For Investing In Low-Income Neighborhoods

Investing in low-income neighborhoods, has quite a few benefits, however, it should be noted that investing in these areas require a specific set of skills and tolerance.

Some benefits of investing in low-income areas are

  • Higher ROI
  • Lower investment
  • Easier to pay off mortgages
  • Easier to expand your rental business

Although there are countless benefits to investing in low-income areas, without the right knowledge, you can end up in a bad position.

Low-income doesn’t necessarily mean that the neighborhoods are not

Here are some tips that can help you as a low-income real estate investor!

Know the difference between a low-income neighborhood and a war zone.investing in low-income neighborhhods

You would be surprised how many informed people lump both of these into the same category.

War zones are areas with heavy drug trafficking, drug addicts, and gun violence. You don’t want to have to deal with calls from tenants that need you to come replace a window that was shot out during a neighborhood feud.

Don’t get me wrong you can make money in war zone areas, as well but it can sometimes come with more headache.

Low-income areas are just that. A lot of the residents, fall into the category of low-income. Just like any class, there are both good and bad people, the areas are generally safe.

Some advice I give investors is to drive through the neighborhood at night. Ask yourself…

  • What’s the vibe like?
  • Do you feel the need to lock your doors?
  • Would you walk down the street at night?
  • Do you hear gun shots?

This is the best way to tell what kind of area you are dealing with.



Buy properties in up and coming areas

It’s common for areas to change over time, neighborhoods can incline and decline, try to buy rental properties in areas that are showing signs of growth. Newly built grocery stores, and shopping centers are good signs of growth.

When you buy into up and coming neighborhoods, the value of your homes can rise considerably.

On the other hand, try to avoid areas that appear to be on the decline. If there is a steady increase in the amount of abandoned homes and businesses,  the area might be deteriorating which will cause your property to lose value, and eventually you to lose money.

Look for the diamond in the rough.

Low-income families are the same as everyone else. They want a home that’s visually appealing, and structurally sound.

Investing in low-income real estate does not mean buying outdated shacks, and becoming a slum lord.

Try to buy houses that are either visually appealing, or are distressed but are sold at a hefty discount. I prefer to buy distressed homes at discount prices because I hate going over someone else’s work. When I buy a distressed property, I have a clean slate to work with,  which enables me to have a beautifully updated house, for under market cost.

You can often find a better deal buying a distressed property, but make sure you know how to calculate renovation cost.

Find good tenants

*HINT! This is the most important part of ensuring success when investing in low-income neighborhoods.

You need to know how to find good tenants. As I mentioned earlier there are both good and bad people in every class. Dealing with low-income housing is no different. You need to pick a tenant with a proven track record of consistency.

Good tenants pay rent on time, maintain the property, and build your income.

Bad tenants give you headaches and cost you money. You only have one chance to pick so get it right the first time.

Avoid prospective tenants that:

  • Have an unverifiable rental history
  • Have been employed less than 2 years
  • Have credit scores under 600
  • Have ANY evictions
  • Have long criminal records

In other words, SCREEN, SCREEN, and then SCREEN the heck out anyone you may want to consider as a prospective tenant to live in your rental property. For a detailed guide on how to find a good tenant click here.

Rent your house section 8

What is section 8?
Section 8 is a government funded program, that covers either a portion or the full amount of rent, and in some cases, utilities, for low-income citizens that apply for the program.

I like section 8, as it’s evolved since its early days. My payment is wired to account monthly every month without delay.

There is a lot of contradicting information as to whether section 8 is good route for your investment. I rented my townhouse to a section 8 tenant and have had 0 problems. I attribute this to knowing how to find a good tenant. But my section 8 tenant is actually the easiest tenant to deal with.

Contrary to popular belief, section 8 people can be a pleasure. The program has a no nonsense policy for drugs and general nonsense. And because the section 8 program can be difficult to get in, most people that are on the program don’t want to lose their free or heavily discounted housing, so they tend generally try to maintain it.

Maintain your properties!

Investing in low-income neighborhoods doesn’t mean be a slumlord, so the same landlord commandments apply. Keep your properties maintained, If a tenant calls with a leak or anything that requires attention, take care of it immediately.

Not only will this prevent the problem from escalating, it will keep your tenants happy. A happy tenant is one that stays, and as an investor, you always want to aim for longevity.

The longer your tenant stays, the less you have to deal with turnovers and vacancies.

Hire a property manager

If handling the day to day operations of owning a low-income rental property, don’t seem don’t seem like your cup of tea, outsource it! Find a property manager that specializes in these type of area.

This will be helpful to you if you are not comfortable in these types of areas, it helps to have someone on call to take care of any problems that should arise.

Investing in low-income neighborhoods is a good way to build up passive rental income, and a great starting point for first-time investors, because of the low cost. As always, its very important that you do your due diligence before buying a rental property in ANY area.




Do you invest in low-income neighborhoods? What are some tips that help you maintain profitability?

Do you have horror stories from investing in low-income areas?

Let me know in the comments section below

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

When I accidentally started investing in rental properties, I was 26 years old. I’ve owned my own business since I was 23, and as a business owner, as you progress it’s natural to start considering Investment ideas. When you work for yourself you don’t get the luxury of a pension or retirement plan, at the end of the day you will only have what you were able to save up.

Even though I eventually stumbled onto long term real estate investing, had I know what I know today, I would have done things differently. Right after high school, if I had invested in a duplex, I could have easily been retired by now.

What is a duplex?what is a duplex

A duplex is a home comprised of two separate living quarters. In general, they have separate kitchens, bathrooms, and no common living areas with the other unit. Think of them as tiny apartment complexes with only two units. In most cases, each unit has separate utility meters so that each side only pays for what the amount of utilities they use.  This type of property is ideal for investors because you can earn twice the rent with one property.




Duplexes are great investments for young, first-time investors for a lot of reasons. Some of the pros are being that you can pay off your first property by renting out one of the units, and the other benefit is that you can potentially live rent free, to save money by owning a multi-family home. As long as you make sure that you purchase at a price in which one unit’s rent will cover the mortgage, and you know how to find a good tenant, your biggest living expense, shelter, is covered.

Duplexes are better for young investors from a living standpoint because. The units are usually smaller and can make a good home before you start a family. Once you start getting married and having kids, you will likely want to get a bigger house, with more privacy.

It’s important for young investors, to remember that even though your tenant is your neighbor, you shouldn’t build a friendship with them. If you find this difficult or awkward, i suggest at the very least, acting as if you are just a tenant as well. One of the top landlord commandments is not renting to or making friends with tenants. If tenants are your friends, in times when they may encounter financial issues, they will play the friend card” and things can get awkward quickly.

You guys know I’m an advocate of paying off houses as soon as possible. And because your mortgage will be covered, your ability to save should be drastically increAsed. I recommend setting aside what you would normally pay for rent, until you have enough to pay off the property. Once your pay off your mortgage, your other units rent goes straight to your pocket.

Sometimes, I find that duplexes can be over priced. Everyone has their own methods but for me to be even consider purchasing a duplex, it would have to be cheaper than I could find, two single family homes in the same area. For example, if I know 2 bedroom rentals average around $60k a piece, I wouldn’t want to spend over $110K for a duplex In that same area. This way it’s like getting a discount on 2 rental properties at the same time, while generating a higher ROI.

Eventually, you will want to move. The good thing about having a duplex, is that you can move out, rent your old unit out and start earning two rent payments at once. Now when you buy your next home, you have the luxury of being 2 rentals In the game.

Even though your expenses will be covered, I recommend to continue working  full time, to cover unforeseen repairs, and speed up paying off your investment.

In addition to duplexes, which are two unit structures, you can also find other multi-unit properties as well. Triplexes are 3 unit buildings, and quadplexes are buildings with 4 units. Anything over 5 units is officially considered an apartment complex, and different tax laws apply.

While most duplexes are side by side units, some will have an upstairs/downstairs layout. One thing that is important to me when finding a potential duplex, is making sure that the homes have separate meters for utilities. There have been times when I’ve come across duplexes with combined utilities, and it sounds like a hassle to try to decide which tenants used, how much energy every month. In cases where only the water is combined, the landlord usually covers the water bill. For me personally, I prefer my tenants to take care of all of their own expenses.

A single duplex is probably not going to provide the income, you need to retire just yet, however by investing young, and continuing to grow your rental portfolio, once you obtain and pay off enough rental properties, you will be generating enough passive income to live comfortably.

What was your first rental property? Was your first rental property a duplex?

Let me know in the comments section below.