Many people have a bucket list of things they would like to accomplish in their lives. Sometimes a bucket list includes aspirations such as travel, giving back and donating time. Most people don’t have a financial bucket list or a list of financial goals they would like to achieve in their lifetime. While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, you need money–and you need to have your financial life in order–to be able to achieve your bucket list. A financial bucket list is constantly changing and evolving. As you add new goals and complete items on your list, your finances should continuously improve and lead to long-term financial satisfaction. New England Investment and Retirement Group provides five examples that you may want to include on your financial bucket list while working toward a more secure financial future:
Have emergency savings
It’s important to have emergency savings. Separate from your retirement endeavors, this account is solely for the unexpected events life will deliver. It’s ideal to have at least six months’ worth of income saved. High yield savings accounts/money markets, certificates of deposits, and short-term fixed income securities/mutual funds are good places to invest this savings as you’ll be able to access the funds quickly and earn interest without needing to worry about significant account balance fluctuations.
Contribute to your retirement
Use options like a 401(k) or an IRA to help save money and allow it to accumulate. Do your best to save at least 10 percent of your income. You should also take advantage of any company match programs that will add additional money to your plan.
Improve your credit score
The higher your credit score, the less interest you’ll have to pay which will come in handy should you need to purchase a car or home. So what’s the magic number? According to Credit.org, your goal should be to have a credit score between 740 and 850. Review your credit history, dispute anything that’s incorrect, pay off old balances or make payment arrangements.
Start a business venture
Is there a great business idea in your heart you need to bring to life? Do it! Start working on that business venture as it could be the key that unlocks your financial potential.
Pay off your mortgage
Why pay the bare minimum on your monthly mortgage when you could pay a little more and shave years off your loan? Divide your monthly principal and interest by 12 and add that amount to your monthly payment for a year. Result: You make the equivalent of 13 payments in 12 months.
Let’s say you got a $200,000 mortgage at 4.5 percent. After five years of making the minimum payments, you add an extra 1/12 of a month’s principal and interest to each monthly payment. Doing so pays off the mortgage three years and three months earlier, and saves more than $18,000 interest.