How to Make 2017 Your Best Financial Year Yet

How to Make 2017 Your Best Financial Year Yet

I think I can speak for almost all of us when I say that our resolutions will be something revolving around getting in better shape and/or making more money. It’s a given. That’s basically what mine are, so you aren’t alone.

Depending on which source you look at, Americans only achieve 8-20% of their resolutions every year! After speaking to so many readers that want to get ahead with their money, I really want to make 2017 the year that we all make more money and get rid of debt.

I’ve already detailed a lot of my goals for next year in my previous post – but I want to make sure that I’m providing the most value to my readers first and foremost this coming year. I’ll be doing everything I can to review the best financial products, find killer money resources, and introduce you to as many legitimate money making side hustles as I can find in 2017.

Here are some things that you can do to be better at money in 2017:

Take control of your student loans

The biggest thing that I’ve noticed over the past two years is that not nearly enough people have their student loan interest rate(s) MEMORIZED. This is important for two reasons:

  1. If you truly want to get rid of your loans, you need to know everything about them. The more you know, the more important they will be to you and will continue to stay at the front of your mind when you make financial decisions.
  2.  Understanding your interest rate will help you know if you should refinance your loans or not.

The second one is trickier. I don’t recommend a refinance for everyone. If you hold federal loans and truly qualify for and/or need the federal loan benefits that are attached to them (like income based repayment), you should probably sit tight and hold on to them.

However, if you make too much money to be considered for any of those benefits and feel good about your career, a refinance can make sense.

If you are aware of your interest rate right now, you can use a loan rate comparison tool to find and consider better offers. Last week I had a reader that used LendEDU (which is the only comparison tool I trust to put on the site currently) who found out he already had better rates than anything out on the market with his existing loans!

He isn’t going to refinance because he knows he’s in a good place. Knowledge = power.

Read my LendEDU review or jump straight into the free comparison tool.

Start your side hustle

As M$M gets bigger, I’m going to keep finding resources to help you make extra money. Here’s a dirty little secret: the people that actually get out of debt and/or start building wealth are generally NOT the ones that say they “don’t have time” to put in some extra work.

A lot of you don’t want to start a full-fledged business (totally understandable), but could really benefit from a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars extra every month. Here are a couple of resources you can use right now to start your side hustle for 2017:

8 Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

How to Start a Blog in Less Than 15 Minutes

10 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Make Extra Money in With Online Surveys

Earn $1,000 – $2,000 extra per month by learning how to flip items for profit!

No matter what you do this coming year, please consider starting a small side-hustle to bring in extra money. You never know…it may turn into a full-time gig like M$M did!

Track your net worth

Your net worth is essential for figuring out where you stand from a financial health standpoint. There are several tools out there for this, but so far the best one that I’ve come across is Personal Capital.

PC allows you to track all of your accounts in one place, and gives you the ability to add in assets like your house and even cars (or any of your assets) to get a complete picture of your money.

I just want to be clear – I usually get “Mint is great too” comments, which I totally agree with. However, Mint is a better tool for budgeting, whereas Personal Capital is better for long term planning and tracking your net worth. They are BOTH free, so you wouldn’t be a fool for using both!

Take a look at my Personal Capital review, or create your free account with my exclusive link.

2017 is going to be great!

I’m so excited to hear how you all are planning to kick money’s @$$ in the coming months. One of my favorite things about starting M$M has been seeing the success stories of paying off cars or knocking down student loans.

I get so tired of talking to older people that say Millennials are lazy and entitled, when I see so many of you that are just freaking killing it in your personal and financial lives on a daily basis.

Keep going – I’ve got your back. We’re all going to have a great year (and hopefully make lots of $$$) in 2017. Have a great New Year’s Eve and please be safe!

Question for you:

What are your SPECIFIC financial goals in 2017? Here’s one of mine: I’m trying to double my income from my online business this year!

 

Live differently. Your bank accounts will thank me later. ~M$M

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21 comments… add one
  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Dec 30, 2016, 8:13 am

    Good luck with doubling the blog income! I can’t wait to see where it goes. 🙂

    As far as financial goals, we’re hoping to maintain a 50% savings rate through 2017. It should be a little easier since we aren’t moving or renovating any more. Phew!

    We’re also paying off our $65k in student loans over the next 18 months. That’s pretty much our main financial focus. Any leftover income will be applied directly to those damn loans. Hopefully we can expedite paying them off and get them out of our hair. 🙂

    And for a long term goal we’re paying off our mortgage after the student loans. And at that point we’ll be debt-free. Whoo!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 8:41 am

      Thanks! I think I can get pretty close to doubling honestly. Even if I don’t, I’ll still be happy!

      Wow you guys have some incredible goals. I’m sure you’ll knock all of them out no problem.

  • Kyle Dec 30, 2016, 8:25 am

    Great stuff! My personal goals for 2017:
    -Purchase a new vehicle-all cash
    -Pay cash for wedding/honeymoon
    -Begin saving for a house (50k by mid 2018)

    I absolutely agree that you have to know everything about your loans to crush them-if you don’t-you’re losing money!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 8:42 am

      We paid cash for our wedding/honeymoon – it’s definitely the way to go! It was so cool going to the Bahamas and not having to worry about paying for it after we got back.

  • Stefan - The Millennial Budget Dec 30, 2016, 8:37 am

    Looking forward to seeing you reach your goals Bobby!

    I will likely have a post about my goals in mid January as I have not had internet for close to a month now and won’t get it for another 2 weeks (It actually has been a blessing rather than a curse but don’t tell other millennials that) but here are my big ones:

    I want to save over 50% of my income. This will be my first year in the workforce and if I can stick to my budget I will save roughly 56% of my income. My second goal is to visit two new places this year, hence why my savings rate is nothing super amazing. Travel can really broaden your mindset and the way you perceive the world. My last major goal would be to make an extra $200 a month from a side hustle. Whether it is my blog or another hustle, that would be enough to cover my flights to the places I want to visit.

    Best of luck in 2017 I will be following along!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 8:44 am

      Awesome Stefan! I went one day without my phone on Christmas and it was amazing (after the first hour or so). I would freak out if I didn’t have internet though!

      Those are awesome goals – saving 50% seems to be a super popular one this year! I’m sure you’ll make the extra $200/month.

  • Christa Szabo Dec 30, 2016, 9:13 am

    My goals really haven’t changed too terribly much, but I’m moving into my own place in about a week after living with my mother for about 7 months, so my deadlines will be pushed back a bit. But the overall goal is to take stock classes so I can learn to trade in stock options and hopefully by June, I’ll be doubling my monthly income and using my passive income to pay off my debt. If I can do that, I’ll be completely debt free in 2 years! I’ve paid off 2 credit cards before the end of this year and I want to keep that momentum going. And I’m certain you’ll have no problems meeting your blog goals Bobby. Thanks for all of the great articles this year an I can’t wait too see what 2017 brings!!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 9:20 am

      Thanks so much Christa! You did a ton this year – it was so cool to see you get rid of that credit card debt!

  • Financial Panther Dec 30, 2016, 9:52 am

    Specific financial goals? I’m aiming to max out all of my retirement accounts – $18k into my 457, $5500 into my Roth IRA, $3400 into an HSA, 11.5% of my salary into my pension (I’ve got no choice in this one, it’s required by my employer).

    Plus looking to put a cool $5k into a Solo 401(k) from my dog sitting and delivery man side hustles. The good thing is, barring any job changes or weird things with my income, I should be able to do it because I’ve got it all automated anyway. Set up your contributions once at the beginning of the year, and just try not to change them!

    Also seriously, like Bobby says, pick up a side hustle. Anyone can make a few hundred a month doing something, especially if you live in a big city and have a smart phone.

    Funny thing, I’m in a Postmates Facebook group and someone asked me why a lawyer delivers food in his spare time. I told them it was because I thought it was fun! Pick a side hustle that you think is fun, and it’s basically no longer work. It’s just another hobby except you can get paid to do it.

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 10:08 am

      That’s a great tip on the side hustle. I started blogging because I liked doing it – I had no idea it would turn into my career!

      Working for yourself is awesome, but one of the biggest bummers is no 401k match. 🙁

  • Financial Samurai Dec 30, 2016, 11:09 am

    Let’s hope the bull market continues Bobby!

    One of the things you should think about is converting to HTTPS / SSL in the summer/slower period. I plan to do so sometime in 2017 finally as well.

    Sam

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 11:23 am

      Thanks for the tip Sam! I’m redoing the site in the next month or so – I’ll go ahead and do that at the same time.

  • RYAN Dec 30, 2016, 11:25 am

    Good luck on your goals!

    This coming year i have big plans, I just refinanced my wife’s car at half the previous interest rate and am planning on paying it of by the end of 2017. The old lender did not make it easy to make principle only payments so the new lender will enhance my ability to pay it off.

    I think we can increase our net worth by 30%, but i’d be ecstatic with 40%! At 27y/o and newly married i think were on a great path for 2017!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 30, 2016, 12:57 pm

      That’s great! Sounds like you made a good choice. Dude 30% increase would be incredible!

  • The Savvy Couple Dec 30, 2016, 7:53 pm

    We have a bunch of goals for this upcoming year, and super excited to see them through. We want to grow The Savvy Couple to over 500 subscribers and continue to grow our social media. I think everyone has something to learn from our motto “Living Frugal & Free”.

    Our specific goals are as followed:
    1) Start a family
    2) Buy a “new” used SUV – our 2005 Town and Country Man Van is starting to see it’s last days.
    3) Contribute 20% of our monthly income to our retirement accounts.
    4) Donate and Volunteer more.
    5) Go on another friendcation & family vacation.
    6) For myself (Kelan) be 100% self employed by the Summer.

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 31, 2016, 10:22 am

      You can definitely hit 500 over the course of the year! Friendcation sounds like a cool idea!

  • Renaissance Millennial Dec 30, 2016, 9:29 pm

    After saving ~40% of our income each year, 2016 was a year of changes and learning for us. My wife quit her job and began staying home. It was far more important to us than our path to FI, and, honestly, our goal was to break even, especially with kiddo number #2 on the way. Luckily, one of our side jobs picked up the slack plus some after that decision.

    2017 Goals
    -Purchase multifamily rental property
    -Personal spending under $35,000
    -Increase side job net income by $5,000

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 31, 2016, 10:22 am

      I’m sure that your wife quitting was a little shock to the finances at first, but it sounds like you two are well prepared for something like that! Love your 2017 goals – one of mine is to get started with real estate investing.

  • Mustard Seed Money Dec 31, 2016, 3:40 pm

    I’m hoping to stay on my exercise program for 2017. I started a bootcamp in 2016 and I am feeling much healthier although it kicks my butt so I am tired and sore most days. I am hoping as my body adjusts that one day I can compete in a Spartan race. It’s been a dream of mine that I’ve been too afraid of actually doing. So hopefully this is the year I actually do it 🙂

  • Savvy_Saver Jan 1, 2017, 8:01 pm

    Started 2017 off right by finishing paying off my car loan! Technically I could have paid it off a while ago but I wanted to balance paying it off with investing and building my cash savings. Still, it’s nice to start off the new year debt free.

    With that out of the way, my first goal for 2017 is to save for a down payment on condo. My hope is to buy something in the first half of 2018 with a sizable down payment to minimize the mortgage.

    Second is to spend smarter on my necessary expenses; for example, I know I’m paying too much for auto insurance and need to research some better options. Hopefully I can save ~$100 a month simply by being more discerning about some of these things.

    It should be a great 2017!

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