Fare thee well, 2019! It’s that time of year when we’re inclined to look back on the year that was and reflect on how to make the next year even better - and yes, you can do that with personal finance as well. So here’s a look back at everything Rogue Waves sent your way in 2019:
We started the year with some personal finance best practices - pay yourself first and get that emergency fund in order with 3-6 months worth of expenses before even thinking about doing any investing. With your emergency fund in good shape, we then looked at what to do with that excess savings and the question of investing versus paying off debt.
Then we switched gears a little bit for the Summer School Series where we got into some of the fundamentals that underpin investing - economic theory, time value of money, and stock and bond valuation principles.
As things quieted down in the fall, we sent a couple interesting perspectives your way - arguing that college wasn’t worth it and rethinking the point of diversification in your investments. How’s that for some rogue waves in your personal finance!
That was actually a lot as we look back on it all. Did you miss something in there? Well lucky for you past Rogue Waves are all available in the online editions of the Beachcomber!
So, what comes next? Well, for starters try and ignore any forecasts you hear about what next year will be like in the markets. Nobody has 2020 vision in this field (ha! Also groan). The best thing you can do for yourself is to revisit those personal finance basics from the beginning of the year, because they will always be relevant.
Did anything happen this year that will make your budget different next year? Did you move? Get married? Start a family? Get a raise? New job? Make sure your budget is updated and appropriate for the new year - and make sure that budget includes paying yourself first!
Part of that budget assessment may need to take place right now - not “before the end of the year” right now, but “right now” right now - because as of printing time you’ve only got a couple weeks left in most benefit enrollment periods. So take a look at those 401(k) contributions (and bump them up by 1 or 2%!), healthcare, insurance, and any other optional benefit elections (parking, commuter passes, childcare, etc.) to make sure you’re all set for the coming year.
If 2020 is the year that you want to get serious about your finances, we’re here to help. Whether it’s budgeting, paying off debt, investing, or just a retirement readiness checkup, drop us a line! We’ll help you get your finances looking 20/20 in the new year (sorry, couldn’t resist). firstname.lastname@example.org.
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