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Your Financial Bucket List

7 Things that should be on it

Two creative millenial small business owners working on social media strategy brainstorming using adhesive notes in windows


You're probably familiar with the concept of a bucket list. Typically, it is a list of things you want to see and do before you... well... kick the bucket. People include items like "visit the Great Wall of China" and "run a marathon." Checking tasks off the list can be a fun way to ensure you stay active and excited about life. What if you were to take a similar approach to your financial life? 

Creating a financial bucket list is a great way to keep yourself motivated to save, spend, and invest wisely over the years. Here are seven items to consider including on your personalized financial bucket list.

1. Save an Emergency Fund

This should definitely be the first item on your financial bucket list, and one that you check off before you start working towards any other financial goals. Save at least three months' worth of living expenses. This way, if you lose your job, have a medical emergency, or need sudden car repairs, you have a quick way to pay and won't have to take on debt.

2. Buy a House

Buying a house is an important step on the road to financial stability and independence. When you buy a house, the mortgage payments you make each month build equity. When the home is paid off, you won't have a mortgage bill, but you will own a home that's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can borrow against that equity if you ever need to. And when you're older, you have the option of selling the home, moving into a smaller home, and spending the remaining equity on something fun.

3. Pay off all Credit Card and Student Loan Debt

Not all debt is bad, but credit card debt and student loan debt are certainly not good debt. Your bucket list should include the goal of paying off these debts—the sooner, the better.

4. Invest in a Local Business

If you want local businesses to survive and thrive, then people like you need to support them. One way to do this is to buy from local businesses, but you can also help by investing in one. This is a bucket list item you can tackle at most any stage of life. If you're young with a smaller net worth, your investment might be a few hundred dollars. If you're older with significant savings, you may invest tens of thousands. Either way, you'll be doing a good thing for the community while hopefully also earning a few dollars on your investment.

5. Negotiate Your Salary

At least once—and preferably more than once—negotiate your salary with your employer. Not only will this typically result in a higher income, but it's also very empowering. Be prepared to make a strong argument as to why you're worth more.

6. Make a Million Dollars

These days, becoming a millionaire is a pretty reasonable financial planning goal. Many people actually need more than a million dollars to retire comfortably. Nevertheless, "make a million dollars" is a great item to include on your financial bucket list, even if you don't check it off until you're in your 50s.

7. Donate an Entire Paycheck to Charity

This is a bucket list item to complete once you're financially stable. Choose a charity that is personally meaningful to you, and donate the equivalent of one entire paycheck. It's so rewarding to be in a place where you are able to help others in this way. Good financial planning will get you there.

Financial planning does not have to be boring! Making a financial bucket list, including the goals above and any other ones you can think of, is a great way to keep yourself excited and motivated.

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