Have you heard of the Rule of 72? According to Wikipedia, it is a method of estimating an investment’s doubling time. This rule is useful for quick calculations.
For example, if you invested $10,000 today at a 6% return, the Rule of 72 determines that your investment would double to $20,000 in 12 years (72 ÷ 6 = 12). Taking this a step further, your investment would double to $40,000 in 12 additional years. So in 24 years your investment would have quadrupled from $10,000 to $40,000! As you can see, this is a very simple and easy way for you to determine how quickly you can grow your wealth.
Unfortunately, when you hold high interest DEBT, such as credit card debt, the Rule of 72 works against you. Let’s say you carry $10,000 in debt today at an 18% interest rate, and you don’t pay down the balance. In this scenario your debt would DOUBLE to $20,000 in 4 short years (72 ÷ 18 = 4), then DOUBLE again to $40,000 in 4 more years. After 12 years your original $10,000 in debt would have ballooned to $80,000!
If you were to compare the $10,000 investment to the $10,000 debt balance over time, this is what it would look like in 36 years:
This table illustrates why it is so important to pay off your high interest credit card debt before you do anything else. This is also why it is so difficult to get out of credit card debt when you get in it too deep.
Is getting out of debt one of your goals? You are not alone – over 70% of Dr. Budgets’ clients contacted us to help them create a healthy spending plan to pay off their debt once and for all. Most often, though, “staying on track” with your plan is the hard part – so, to be successful most clients rely on a budget coach to hold them accountable to their spending plan.
Are you ready to get out of credit card debt and start making the Rule of 72 work FOR you? If so, call us today at 619-800-3030 to get started. For easy savings tips, “Like Us on Facebook” and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
- Published in Debt
By Daniel Rodriguez | Dr. Budgets
Here is a simple way you can save between $500-$2,000 per year: drink water when you eat out.
According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat out about five times per week. And, whether at a fast-food restaurant or a fancier locale, people typically order a drink with their meal, usually a soda.
So how much can you save if you substitute water (not expensive bottled water) for that soda you order every time you eat out? Assuming a soda costs about $2, the average person spends $10/week, or about $500/year, on soda when eating out. To take it a step further, a couple spends about $1,000/year, and a family of four spends about $2,000/year on drinks when they eat out. That’s a lot of money sitting on the table!
Let’s also look at what is really important in life: living it to the fullest and staying healthy. The good news is that drinking water not only saves you money, but it is healthier too! Soda can have a harmful effect on your brain, teeth, heart, lungs, bones, kidneys, and digestive system. It also doesn’t favor your waistline. Water, on the other hand, will give you the purest form of hydration you need each day without all the extra “stuff” that is bad for you. If you are ready to take the leap and stop drinking soda, check out this article.
Fortunately, you don’t have to give up soda completely to see the financial benefits! All you have to do is replace it with water when you go out to eat. Anecdotal evidence suggests that once you build that habit, it is hard to go back to NOT drinking water. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra $500, $1,000, or $2,000 per year? One small change can equal big results. Many small changes can equal life-changing results!
Give it a try, then share your results in the comments section below.
- Published in Health and Wealth
By Daniel Rodriguez | Dr. Budgets
“Budgets are awesome!” says pretty much no one…ever! Except maybe a particular doctor with “Budgets” in their name. For many people, the word “budget” is often associated with negative images, so let’s use a different term: “spending plan.” A spending plan details how your money will be spent over a particular period of time. A spending plan not only helps you plan for your upcoming expenses, it also brings an acute awareness to where your money is going so you can consciously choose where you want your money to go.
Many people treat a budget like a crash diet – they cut out so many expenses that they financially starve themselves. Unfortunately, like crash diets, “crash budgets” don’t work for very long. They may see amazing short-term results for a few weeks, or even a few months, but then they spend in excess the following months, putting on the “financial weight” again and reversing the progress they made at the beginning.
If one of your resolutions for 2014 is to have a spending plan and to stick with it, try taking a different approach in the New Year. Instead of a “crash budget,” consider creating a healthy spending plan for yourself in 2014. A healthy spending plan does not mean you have to stop spending money on your daily latte, eating out with friends, shopping, or fun. With a healthy spending plan you are allowed to spend money on what is important to you. And with our coaching program, you don’t have to do it by yourself. We will be by your side; step by step, milestone by milestone, and we can adjust whatever needs adjusting. To develop a healthy spending plan you want to follow these 5 Steps:
Step 1: Set Financial Goals
Only pick the 1-2 goals that are most important to you.
Step 2: Identify Current Spending
Simply seeing where your money disappears can give you that “aha” moment.
Step 3: Evaluate Current Spending
You decide what is important to you and what is not, so you can redirect funds to your goals in Step 1.
Step 4: Create Your Spending Plan
You develop a spending plan that helps you reach your goals.
Step 5: Monitor Your Spending
Steps 1-4 are useless if you don’t monitor your spending to stay on track.
When you construct a budget this way, you end up with a healthy spending plan where you see results happen over time, and unlike a “crash budget,” you are much more likely to see permanent change. Having a healthy spending plan also influences every part of your life: you feel less anxious because your debt balance is going down, you feel more secure because your checking and savings account balances are going up, and arguments with your spouse or partner are reduced because you are both on the same page financially. You are finally saving enough to buy a home, you can take that trip without going deeper into debt, and you have more motivation for every aspect of your life.
A crash diet never works – neither with food nor with money. So set out to build your healthy spending plan for 2014. If you begin with your end goal in mind and have someone hold you accountable to that goal, you will see, like many of our clients, a success cycle that then builds confidence and motivation in you, which will propel you to achieve your goals faster and faster every month.
May the New Year bring you awareness in your spending so you can consciously move in the direction of your financial goals! And then, maybe, you too will say, “Budgets are awesome!” Have a healthy and happy 2014!!!
- Published in Spending Plan