My 6 Personal Financial Wins

Yesterday I wrote about my financial blunders. Today I want to share the positive choices that I have made. We all-to-often hear about the bad choices we make and not the good. I believe that acquiring good financial habits also requires us to focus on what we do right. Here is my list:

  1. Started a Roth IRA: When I was working in college I did put some money in a Roth IRA. In retrospect it would have probably been better to pay down debts but is still a good choice.
  2. Built an Emergency Fund: I now have an emergency fund that equals roughly 3-months take home pay. Based on my current situation this is the best thing I could have done.
  3. Contribute to my 401(k): I get matched 100% for the first 3% of my pay that I contribute. With immediate 100% vesting this was an easy choice. The match I get outweighs the interest I pay on debt and adds up fast. Worst case scenario I can withdraw it if I absolutely have too. I also save on taxes!
  4. Bought a foreclosed home: I got such a good deal on my house that I had to buy it. I now have a roommate who covers my mortgage and I own it. I gain equity each month. I also lowered my expenses at the same time. If I had to sell it today for well under its value I would still be ahead in most cases.
  5. Changed Banks: I used to pay way too much in banking fees. I got smart and moved to a bank (ING Direct) that does not charge month service charges and minimum balance fees. I also earn a lot more interest on checking and savings!
  6. Tracking expenses: I now track every penny (because I have too) in order to live within my means. With the help of Quicken Online and doing 98% of my transactions via credit/debit card I have this seamless. I can log in and quickly tell where I stand currently.
As we move forward in our financial lives on the road to financial independence we have to take a step back and take a look at what we do right in order to stay motivated. Keeping track of how you are improving gives us motivation to carry on!