How to prosper in 2015
Enough with condo living. Enough with talking about an inspirational year in Europe. You’re ready for some lifestyle changes, but it’s gonna cost you. Better get saving. In their new book, Picture Your Prosperity, two Chicago women--Ukrainian Village resident Lisa Kueng and Highland Park dweller Ellen Rogin, both finance industry whizzes--teach readers how to visualize their futures and then work toward achieving them. (Lakefront manse on the North Shore, anyone?) Here's their Cliff’s Notes version on how to start crunching the numbers in 2015.
Get your head in the game
Ever say things like “I’m so bad with numbers” or “I don’t even want to open that statement”? Stop it! Paying attention is half the battle.
Put your savings on autopilot
Already contributing to a company retirement plan? Consider upping your savings percentage so you’re at least at the amount the company will match. Never leave money on the table. Also, set up your checking account so a certain amount automatically goes into an investment plan each month.
Talk to your honey about money
Open up about your finances with your partner. Learn about his or her approach to savings. Got money secrets? Fess up! If you come clean, it will help build trust.
Create a prosperity picture
Make a collage of images from magazines, drawings or photos that represent your goals and dreams. By reviewing this “Prosperity Picture” on a regular basis, you will program your brain to notice opportunities. If you have a picture of your dream home, and it costs $750,000, look at what you’ll need to save to get to move-in day. If you need a 20 percent down payment of $150,000, and you have $50,000 put away so far, look at what you can save each month to help you determine how soon you can achieve your goal.
Boost your prosperity through giving
When you give to others, you build “subjective wealth.” It’s an internal feeling that basically translates to: If I give, I must be wealthy! You’ll get the same buzz as if you were to get a raise, plus, the confidence that comes from being generous has been shown to increase your productivity at work. And you may also get a tax benefit when you give to a qualified charity.