Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

Resolve to Be Rich

Welcome to 2017!

I'm renewing my resolve to be rich.

This is as much about being as it is doing. Here are a few things I'm starting, continuing and ending in my ongoing quest for wealth that lasts generations.

1.  Trust the process. I've been consciously working on my money habits for the last 9 years, and am still mastering the balance between spending, saving, investing and giving. I'm far better now than I used to be and will continue to improve.

2.  Take advantage of all my company offers. This year my employer is offering a new benefits package that'll allow me to contribute to a Health Savings Account and increase my 401k contributions. Their generosity means that I can save more and be taxed less, but it also means that I'll have less to spend daily. My budget is being updated to reflect these changes.

3.  Plan to vacate. Taking time off is becoming more and more important. I'm planning which weeks I can take off during the year, how much I'll need to save to travel, and when I could maneuver a successful (i.e. uninterrupted) stay-cation.

4.  Reflect on 2016. What did I do really well, and where can I improve? This goes for all areas of my life, including money.

5.  Eliminate one unnecessary expense. If something is costing me time, money, and/or health but not bringing true joy, it no longer has a place in my life. Because of this, I've eliminated several things over the years and have never missed any of them.

6.  Choose one thing. Each year I have a spending and a saving goal. The saving goal is a target, but the spending goal is a big ticket item that I have to save for or basically short- and long-term savings. 2017 will be home renovation work and a nice beach trip, so I'm laying out a plan and timeline to accomplish that goal.

Now that I understand my strengths and opportunities from 2016, created my 2017 goals, and eliminated what's no longer serving me, I can create my monthly budget. Are there deeper cuts that need to be made to my daily expenses so that I can get to the beach and update my kitchen? Am I willing to do that? If not, which will go, my kitchen, the beach or both? I get to choose.

One of the first lessons I learned as an adult is that I can do anything, but I can't do everything. Resolving to be rich means I may have to make a choice between some smaller immediate items, and larger things tomorrow. Resolving to be rich means I take that choice seriously and know when it's most beneficial to say yes.

Your turn: How will you resolve to be rich in 2017 and beyond? Email me and let me know what you've chosen to focus on, and how you plan to accomplish it.

And so it is.