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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 20, 2012.

Question

I am just trying to rebuild my life after wasting it for more than 10 yrs. I do not have a job but I am gonna get me one soon and I want to see what my options are so I can take care of myself and my 2 children. I am a graduate of Accountancy and am trying to get my license and Im waiting on that. I am thinking of starting a retirement account or something to jumpstart getting a hold of our future. Will you advise me on what steps to take? Thank you.

Answer

It is never late to start over.  I congratulate you on your courage and motivation! 

Here are 6 simple steps to get started (I am these stealing ideas from www.daveramsay.com - but they are good):

1) Start an emergency fund with $1000 - this will help you deal with the unexpected

2) Pay off your debt using the"debt snowball" - list your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority.   Once you pay off the smallest balance, pay the next smallest debt aggressively with the money you were paying on the smallest balance, and so on.  Once you start knocking off the easier debts, you will see results and you will stay motivated to dump your debt. 

3) put three to 6 months of living expenses in savings - once you complete the first two steps, It’s time to build your full emergency fund. Ask yourself, “What would it take for me to live for three to six months if I lost my income?” Your answer to that question is how much you should save.

4) Invest 15% of your household income in Roth IRAs and pre tax retirement

5) Help put money away for college funds or your kids

6) Pay off your house early

Hope this helps.  For more information, I encourage you to visit Dave Ramsay's website (https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/).  There are a lot of great tools on the site to help you succeed in your financial goals.

Good luck!


For additional information visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/