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15 ‘fin-influencers’ share their financial resolutions for the new year

2021 fin-influencer resolutions
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It’s almost the end of the year, which means it’s time to tie up any loose ends and set your sights on your New Year’s goals.

For some, this might mean eating healthier or working out more. But given all that’s happened in 2020, your goals may be more financially focused than in years past.

To help give you some ideas on some financial aspirations, we asked 15 popular “fin-influencers” what their financial resolutions are for the new year. Here’s what they had to say.

Top financial New Year’s resolutions to set:

Avoid lifestyle creep by practicing gratitude and giving back

Anna (@YoungMoneyPlans), founder of Young Money Plans

I currently work on Wall Street as a professional investor and have considered myself incredibly fortunate throughout 2020. My loved ones have been safe and so has my career. I increasingly value financial freedom, and want to make sure I have enough money to travel and enjoy my time rather than buy things I don’t need. I want to be more involved in the broader community while also avoiding frivolous upgrades to my lifestyle.

Build more passive income streams

Becca Brenner (@BlondeBrokeandBougie), blogger and coach 

While I love watching my net worth grow, I don’t love cutting back my spending. In 2021, I am going to focus on increasing my income streams so that I don’t have to spend less! Specifically, I plan to increase my passive income. There is nothing better than making money while you sleep. I’m putting in the effort now to publish a course so that I can help other people learn about personal finance while increasing my [own] passive income. Once that is launched this month, I’m going to explore other opportunities to increase my income.

Be intentional about how and where I spend my money

Bola Sokunbi (@clevergirlfinance), author & founder/CEO, Clever Girl Finance

2020 was a challenging year for many and my goal is to continue supporting communities, businesses and individuals especially in the minority space. I also want to continue to save and invest so I can continue to give back. I’d also like to transition generational wealth to my children while teaching them the value of money and how to leverage it not just for personal gain but to create societal impact as well.

Invest $30k across my tax-advantaged retirement accounts

Cinneah El-Amin (@Fly.nanced), founder of Flynanced 

2021 will be my first year completely debt-free after paying off over $23,000 in consumer and student loan debt in 12 months. To jumpstart my FIRE journey, I plan to invest at least $30,000 across my tax-advantaged retirement accounts like my employer-sponsored 401K, HSA, Roth IRA, and open a SEP-IRA under my business.

This financial resolution is important to me because I want to get aggressive with my investing options for early retirement that also lower my overall tax responsibility. I expect to meet this resolution with income from my 9 to 5 job and supplemented with income from my business.

Enjoy today while planning for tomorrow

Delyanne Barros (@delyannethemoneycoach), attorney and money mentor 

I’m on the path to achieve financial independence by [age] 45, which is only seven years away. Pursuing financial independence can lead to tunnel-vision focus on a monetary goal if you don’t keep your ambition in check. It’s easy to get into a mindset of just saving and investing while sacrificing any and all fun if it means spending money. I don’t want to just live for tomorrow no matter how great it may be.

In 2021, my goal is to enjoy the present, donate to my favorite charities, and do it all while passively investing for my dream retirement on the Portuguese Riviera.

Save for a down payment

Jannese Torres-Rodriguez (@yoquierodineropodcast), creator and host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast, a personal finance literacy podcast for Latinas and people of color

I have big goals for 2021, since it’s my first full year of being debt free! My 2021 plan is to save for a down payment so I can purchase my parents their retirement home. My parents have sacrificed everything for my success and I want to ensure that they have stability and comfort as they get older. So this is my motivation! I’ve determined my budget for the home and how much I need to save, and I’ve set up auto deposits into a high-yield savings account, separate from the rest of my savings. This way I’m not tempted to spend it on other things!

Invest 20 percent of my income to acquire more stocks and build my portfolio

Jully-Alma Taveras (@InvestingLatina), money expert & founder of Investing Latina 

As a millennial, I am in the acquisition phase when it comes to building my retirement fund and building overall wealth. This means being very intentional about my long-term goals, and being practical about my short-term plans to achieve those goals.

I’ve been able to master my budget to allow myself to invest more of my income over the years. I know that investing can seem very intimidating to people, but it’s the reason why I am a huge advocate on taking the simple path: Decide what type of tax-advantaged account you want to use, commit to a dollar amount per year, and invest to get total market exposure by using index funds and ETFs.

The stock market continues to thrive because of two very important factors: productivity and innovation. I want to take advantage of that and allow my money to work hard for me, while I live life on my own terms. 2020 was a tough year, but I’m optimistic about the opportunities that 2021 will bring.

Reach my new 401k and IRA contribution limits

Kara Greene (@Aunt.Kara), personal finance and travel hacking blogger and influencer

The time has finally come…and as people like to say, it’s better than the alternative. I’m turning 50 years old next year! While this milestone seems to have a bit of gloom and doom associated with it, I’m focusing on the bright side. Starting in 2021, I will be able to put an additional $6,500 into my 401k account and an additional $1,000 into my IRA. I have been contributing to retirement for 26 years and it continues to be a top financial priority for me. Bring on the new year as I watch even more of my money grow tax-free in these two accounts!

Pay off remaining student debt

Laura Fortuna (@thefortunecoach), money educator at The Fortune Coach

I started the year 2020 with $26,000 of student debt and began making extra payments on this loan. So far, I have paid $10,000. This debt is using a significant portion of my income. I plan to accomplish this resolution by keeping my monthly costs down to a minimum and generating extra income through side hustles. Once I don’t have a student loan payment, I will allocate this amount to invest in low-cost index funds.

Continue momentum and take major steps towards FIRE

Marc (@BetterWallet), personal finance blogger at Better Wallet

My entire adulthood, I had the dream of becoming debt-free and living on my own terms. This July, I was able to accomplish my debt-free goal of paying off $80,000 of debt in just 36 months. Now in 2021, I will start taking enormous steps towards financial independence, specifically by pursuing the FIRE movement.

My financial goal for 2021 will be to triple my passive income streams, aggressively save my salary (80 percent), limit unnecessary expenses and increase side-hustle income.

Reaching FIRE won’t be easy, but if I can take major steps in the right direction in 2021, I will have a significant head start as I progress through my early 30s.

Here’s to a successful 2021!

Increase my income by 25 percent

@MyWealthDiary, personal finance influencer 

On my journey to financial independence, I have learned that increasing your income can accelerate you to your goals much faster than cutting back on expenses can. While I do track my spending and live frugally, I want to focus more on how I can increase the amount of money that I bring in, which can then go towards investing and achieving financial freedom. I plan to accomplish this by looking for ways to increase my income at my full-time job, developing new income streams, and tracking my monthly progress.

Enjoy money, 100 percent guilt-free

Ryan Francis (@TheRealMoneyCEO), author, Foundations for Financial Freedom

As someone who grew up in a lower-income family, I developed a good habit of saving but have found it difficult to enjoy money at times. I tend to invest and save as much as possible, but find it hard to enjoy money and take time off occasionally without feeling guilty. It’s this psychological block that gets ingrained in you if you grew up lower-income. Even though I’m doing well financially, it’s a mindset that I haven’t been able to fully break away from. I’ve made it a commitment to break away from this mindset in 2021.

2020 has taught me to be thankful amid chaos, not take what I have for granted, and truly focus on what’s important in life. I plan to focus on enjoying life more, taking time off, and increasing giving/donations. By adding more balance to my life and helping more people in need, I believe I will break away from this mindset and truly live life to the fullest. I plan to share practical tips with my followers along my journey.

Invest in myself and my family’s future

Sahirenys Pierce (@poisedfinancelifestyle), financial educator and founder of Poised Finance + Lifestyle

For the past few years, my family has worked really hard to pay off over $99,000 in debt, cash-flow our wedding, and save for our emergency fund. Now for 2021, we’re putting a big focus on investing in ourselves and in our futures. The plan is to set money aside to max out our retirement accounts, fund our kids’ 529 plans and invest in our brokerage account.

Investing in our future wouldn’t have seemed possible for us if we didn’t first invest in our budget, our savings, and paying off debt. We feel confident that we can maintain this goal of investing in our future not only for 2021, but for the years to come.

Get a promotion and a raise

Shang Saavedra (@savemycents), personal finance blogger and influencer

I put my career on pause for a year to become a mother. I did this knowingly and lovingly because juggling family and career is a lifelong journey and I wanted some extra time to figure out the beginning of the journey.

Now that I have had the time I wanted to be there for my baby, it is time for mama to get a raise to help support her growing family! I know that I put my heart and soul into the work that I do. I have networked with my peers who have achieved the promotion, and have been actively getting advice from my mentors. I plan to deprioritize things that do not matter to focus my time on what does. I have nothing to lose, and I’m excited for what is to come.

Create a ‘fun jar’ for each month

Steve (@CallToLeap), financial freedom coach 

Now that I am financially free, I want to focus on allocating a portion of my wealth into a “fun jar” each month. Rather than constantly focus on saving and investing my money, which is what I’ve done for the majority of my life, I want to focus more on living a life of abundance. Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop saving and investing, which is a wealth habit that I’ve integrated into my daily routine. But I can now take a portion of my investments and spend it as a way to reward myself for the years of hard work I’ve put into building my wealth.

I am working on setting aside a portion of my money each month, where I can go out to a nice dinner, take a mini-vacation with friends and family, or buy a tech gadget or gym equipment to play around with. I believe that it’s a healthy lifelong balance to not only always be mindful of saving and investing, but to also remember that it’s okay to spend a little for myself. After all, isn’t this the reason why we reach financial freedom?

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Written by
Liz Hund
Creative producer
Liz Hund is a social producer at Bankrate and occasionally writes special features on-site with a social-first angle. Her writing has been featured on MSN, Business Insider and in various local publications.
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