We’ve discussed how to take control of your future by setting goals that cover all seven areas of The Wheel of Life. Today, let’s talk details on one of those areas. Let’s talk about money.
This year, we’re bailing on our resolutions altogether and setting goals instead. We’ve discussed how to take control of your future by setting goals that are specific and measurable, have a time limit, are of personal interest to you, are written, and cover all seven areas of The Wheel of Life.
Today, let’s talk details on one of those areas. Let’s talk about money.
Depending on your situation, you’re either dreading or . . . well, dreading this conversation. That’s because money is often a source of stress and anxiety for many folks and a boring topic to others. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, if 2018 is the year you get a handle on your finances, it might also be the year that money becomes a tool used for fun.
Baby Step 1: $1,000 starter emergency fund in the bank
Baby Step 2: Pay off all debts (excluding the mortgage)
Baby Step 3: Full emergency fund of three to six months of expenses
Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your income in retirement
Baby Step 5: Invest for your kids’ college
Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early
Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give
Where you’re at
First things first, you’ve got to spot your location on the map. Maybe you know right away—your family has no money saved and lots of money owed. You’re pre-Baby Step 1. Others of you, though, might need to do a little digging.
If your spouse knows the answer, start there. If not, gather all of your financial information—checking, savings, retirement, debt—and get it in front of you. Plot your point of progress today and decide with your spouse how you’ll both be in the know moving forward.
Now that you know what things look like, it’s easier to determine where you’re going. Go ahead and mentally draw a big circle, in fat red marker, around the Baby Step you’re aiming to reach. This is your new money goal. Own it. Get excited about it. Be prepared to hurt a little for it and gain a lot from it.
Ah, the how. The how is what moves lofty, floaty goals to real and tangible ones. The only money-how we know is sticking to a zero-based budget. It doesn’t matter what your goal actually is—the zero-based budget will get you there.
Related: How to Make a Zero-Based Budget
And if you’re worried that budgeting is an even more boring topic than general money, hear us out. A budget frees you up to spend without guilt or fear. You decide on paper, on purpose, before the month begins exactly where your money will go.
And that decision can be made with great care and effectives because you know where you’re at and you know where you’re going.
Every goal needs a deadline. An end date. A preplanned time of celebration, if you will. Take a look at all the facts: where you’re at today, where you’re going and how you’ll get there. Be honest with yourself—and your spouse—to decide on a reasonable deadline.
Make sure that it’s challenging without being discouraging. That means you may need to feel the burn of getting out debt or saving up an emergency fund. And that’s okay! As you continue measuring your progress by the Baby Steps, momentum will build. We promise!
Keep your eyes focused on your new money goal. Remember to implement the how every single month. And keep us posted on how you’re doing along the way by commenting below.
Yuan-backed oil futures can shatter the US dollar dominance on the crude market, according to experts polled by RT. However, the greenback will not give up the top spot easily.
“The question number one is whether China will be able to make the oil market its demand market, and not the oil supply market traded in dollars, which it is now,” Vladimir Rozhankovsky, Global FX Investment analyst, told RT. China has recently overtaken the US as the world’s number one oil buyer.
The question number two is trade wars. If the world trade enters into a death spiral of reciprocal economic sanctions, keeping oil trade in dollars will be a matter of strategic importance, or a matter of survival for the US,” the analyst added.
As a result, Washington can deliberately undermine the image of the petro-yuan by attacking Chinese stock, which could result in the devaluation of the yuan, making Chinese oil futures less attractive, Rozhankovsky said.
However, the US has obvious disadvantages which the petro-yuan can capitalize on. First, the US dollar is still too strong, making domestic oil production very expensive. Second, the United States does not have transatlantic pipelines, and tankers are costly and highly risky, the analyst added.
“The trade war between the US and China has already begun. China has plans to promote the renminbi as a reserve currency and there is no better move than to purchase raw materials in its national currency. It can save money on the currency conversion and become less dependent on the US dollar,” Stanislav Werner, head of the analytical department of Dominion, told RT.
The analyst notes that the oil market is worth $14 trillion at the moment, and is bigger than the Chinese economy. “The first trading sessions were volatile, but this is a typical story for new financial instruments. The US has a serious reason to get nervous, because in many ways the hegemony of the US dollar came from oil trading in dollars,” he said.