100 days left in the year

With 100 days, what could you do?

A focused 100 days can yield large results. Setting a goal and then taking consistent action is what gets you over the finish line. So, with 100 days left this year, let’s look at 10 financial goals you can try to achieve before the year ends. 

1 .Become a Saver

Maybe you’ve always had a hard time saving money because there is always something to do. Focus on saving $5 a day for 100 days. You’ll have to be intentional to transfer the money to a savings account or give up something you wanted to buy. But, save $5 a day for 100 days and by January 1, you’ll have  500 bucks, and that’s enough to jumpstart a new year’s goal.

2. Start Investing

One of the simplest ways to get started investing is with a strategy called dollar cost averaging. Pick the same day every week and invest a set amount of money into an index fund. Many people pick an index fund that tracks the US stock market, like the S&P 500. Pick a dollar amount, open an account with an investment app and make a point to invest a set amount every week. By consistently investing, you aren’t worried about timing the market, you’ll catch both the ups and the downs. Remember, all investments carry risks and there is no guarantee that your investments will always go up. 

3. Deal with debt

If you have credit card debt, or some other debt, create a plan to tackle it and get started. Pick one regular expense you can go without for 100 days and put that extra money towards your debt. Maybe it’s one day a week you go out to lunch you make the change to bring your own lunch to work. 

4. Start a side hustle

Think about what you are good at, and make a plan to try and get paid to do that. Maybe it’s something that requires creativity, maybe you learn a new skill and offer your services for a lesser rate. Save any money you make, that way if you want to grow you can, and if you don’t love it, you haven’t changed your expenses.

5. Practice Generosity

Give away $5 every week to someone else, maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s an extra tip at a restaurant, maybe it’s to a neighbor, an anonymous gift or a gofundme you hear about. A little bit of kindness makes the world a better place for all of us. Start small and eventually you might find more money and more ways to give it away to people and causes that matter to you.

6. Read a book about finances

There are a lot of great books to help you think deeper about your money. So, do a quick google search or ask a friend you trust for a recommendation. Just taking the time to read a book and apply it to your life can make a big difference in how you approach money. If you find it hard to read, consider listening to an audio book. Local libraries now offer both physical books and audiobooks to check out for free. Here’s a list to get started.

7. Create a financial plan

A financial plan helps you know what you are doing with your money. Depending on how much money you have and what your goals are you may want to start by creating a spending plan or a budget first. If you are having a hard time knowing what to do, consider partnering with a financial professional. If you just need a good tool to get started, log in to OnTrajectory and start visualizing your financial future.

8. Give your money a job

There is an interesting idea that came from the world of marketing called, “The jobs to be done theory.” To oversimplify the concept it basically says that people use their money as a way to “hire” something for a specific job. They “hire” food to give them energy, or to make them happy, or to hang out with their friends. Take a look at your expenses and focus on the job you are hiring those things to do. Evaluate and categorize those jobs as necessary, nice to have or not what I really want. You might be surprised at how your desire for certain things change.

9. Help a friend or family member with their finances

Maybe you have gotten your finances pretty well under control, but you have some friends that are always stressed about money and never seem to make progress. Take the next 100 days and think about how you can help them. Don’t just start giving advice, start by asking them questions about how they view their finances. In fact, maybe the best thing to do is start brainstorming 10 questions you’ve asked yourself and begin with one of those.

10. Stop Worrying…or at least slow down

Managing your finances can be a burden and depending on how you view money, you may constantly be worrying about having enough. Taking a more philosophical approach can help you handle the stress that comes with trying to get your finances right. Take a minute everyday and write down what you were grateful for each day. Getting a habit of gratitude can help your perspective on whether or not you have enough. Consider taking a look at Fi-Losophy, our series on the intersection of philosophy and finances.

Healthy money habits are critical, and with 100 days left in the year, you can make a change, reach a goal and start achieving the life you want.