5 New-Year Money Moves for Every Income

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We all want to manage our money better, but blanket financial advice doesn’t always apply.

The best strategy depends on factors like your income, goals and current savings.

Read on to discover tailored tips to revamp your finances in 2024.

1. If your income is less than $75K

If you’re not earning a ton, your first priority is to create an emergency fund.

How do you go about it? Create a budget. Once you see where your money’s going, focus on plugging spending leaks, like ditching services you no longer use or can do without. Then find ways to save on other expenses. Still can’t find the seed money for your emergency fund? Then check out ways to create more income.

As you accumulate money, open a high-yield savings account. Don’t settle for crappy rates from the local bank. You can get 10 times the interest without additional risk by doing a quick search for a better rate.

Does it matter? Yes. If you save $500 a month for 30 years at 0.5% interest, you’ll end up with about $195,000. Nice. But if you can earn 4%, you’ll end up with $350,000. Nicer!

2. If you bring in $75K-$100K a year

Once you’ve got an emergency fund, it’s time to focus on destroying your debts, or at least making them as painless as possible.

Pick a debt to focus on and pay as much as you possibly can until it’s gone. Attack high-interest debts first.

While you’re at it, negotiate rates with all your lenders, and if you’re a homeowner, think about refinancing. Mortgage rates on 30-year loans topped out in 2023 at close to 8%, but have recently dropped by more than a full percentage point. That makes now an ideal time to explore financing or refinancing a home.

Cutting your rate by just 1% may not sound like much, but if you have a $400,000 mortgage with an 8% rate, paying just 1 percentage point less could save you close to $3,600 every year.

Two more ways to cut your interest costs: First, if you’ve got high-interest credit card debt, consider paying it off with a personal loan with a rate as low as 6%.

Finally, if you’re in over your head, get help. National Debt Relief is one of many companies that will give you free advice and help you set up a plan to make you debt free.

3. If your earnings hit $100K-$150K

You’ve got plenty in your emergency savings and your debt is slowly turning into dust. Now it’s time to start doing some investing.

Ever thought about owning investment real estate, like maybe a vacation rental, second home or commercial property? Receiving regular rent checks sounds awesome, but finding and managing property requires lots of both money and labor.

These days, however, there are ways to invest in real estate without the traditional expense and hassle. For example, fractional ownership: a bunch of people pooling their money and hiring experts.

Invest with a company like Fundrise, and all you have to do is sit back, receive rent, and then, when the time is right, divide the proceeds when the properties are sold.

Obviously, there are no guarantees, but you can get started with as little as $10.

Take two minutes and check it out.

Note: This is a testimonial in partnership with Fundrise. We earn a commission from partner links on moneytalksnews.com. All opinions are our own.

4. If your income is $150K-$200K

You hopefully have a significant amount of savings set aside. Maybe this is the year to find expert help to manage it.

A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a financial advisor. That’s a life-changing difference.

Even if you don’t need help picking investments, an advisor can help lower your tax burden, create a comprehensive financial plan, maximize your Social Security, and serve as a second pair of eyes to ensure you’re on the right track.

If you’ve got at least $100,000 in investments, check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisors in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests. In most cases, you’ll get a free consultation, so why not?

5. If you bring home $200K or more

If a large part of your savings is in the stock market — as it should be — you’re well aware that what goes up can also come down. You can’t control the market, but you can hedge against uncertainty by having other forms of wealth.

For example, gold, something people have been using to protect against uncertainty for thousands of years.

There are plenty of companies out there that can hook you up, but one to consider is Goldco. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, an AAA rating from Business Consumer Alliance, and 4.8 to 5 stars on Trustpilot, TrustLink, Google reviews and ConsumerAffairs. They offer just about everything, from precious-metal IRAs to gold coins and gold bars.

You’ll even receive up to $10,000 in free silver on qualified purchases. If you’ve ever thought about investing in gold, why not take a look?

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