8 Steps to Achieving your Bucket List

8 Steps to Achieving your Bucket List #suntrustbucketlist

Many of us have lists of things that we would like to achieve. We might have a list of 100 things, 50 things or just 10 things that we would really like to do. Or we might call it a bucket list or a list of goals for the future.The lists are great because they get us focused on goals that are important to us, but then we need to think about how we are going to achieve them.

Here is my list of things I hope to accomplish in my lifetime. By making my bucket list public I'm holding myself accountable for action.

1. Spend the Night in a Treehouse

2. Go Lavender Picking

3. Stomp on Grapes to Make Wine

4. Stay in an Overwater Bungalow

5. Build an Igloo

6. Feel Fabulous in a Bikini

7. Leave Your Mark in the World

8. Make a Snow Angel

9. Eat in an Underwater Restaurant

10. Participate in a Holi Festival

My list is pretty awesome huh. Unfortunately, it is also pretty costly. In order to start knocking things off my list I am going to have to give some things up and do some serious financial planning. Until today, I had no idea how frivolous I was being. Here are 3 things I am giving up in my daily life to get to the awesome-ness that allows me to pick lavender and go to holi.

1. Uber

2. Expensive Shoes

3. Online Anger Shopping

Most importantly, here are 8 financial goals and an easy excel budget worksheet that will help you plan for your bucket list sooner rather than later.

1. Create a Passive Income
A passive income is earnings that you are not actively working at or have very little effort in managing. The main ways people are doing this is through rental properties, websites, vending-machine types of businesses, ebooks and affiliate programs.

2. Be Credit Card Debt Free
I do not know anyone who hasn't found themselves, at some point, in a little trouble with credit card debt. Start to dig your way out by paying more on your highest interest cards and then work your way down to the others.

3. Have a 3-Month Emergency Fund
Pay your high interest credit card debt first, but then kickoff your fund.

4. Open a Money Market Account
A money market account is a savings account that has easy access to your money, but typically yields a higher return than a standard savings.

5. Create a Vacation Account
How many friends do you know that have gone into debt while planning their once-in-a-lifetime travel vacation? Don't be one of them. Start a separate savings where you can stash a little away each month so your next holiday doesn't break the bank.

6. Improve your FICO Score
You FICO score determines what sort of risk a future creditor is willing to take on you. Having a high, above 700, FICO score is completely feasible if you pay your bills on time, keep credit card balances low and payoff your other debt.

7. Have a Retirement Plan
Start saving for retirement today with a 401K or IRA.

8. Lower your Monthly Bills
Spend a day going through every bill, line for line, to see if there are any unknown charges and call each company for explanations. Shop rates for such things as insurance, internet and cable. Negotiate interest rates with your credit card companies.

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.

 

To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Meridith Dennes is a co-founder and the CEO of Project Eve LLC, a leading women's lifestyle media company online including some of the web's best loved communities including the eponymous Project Eve, Getting Balance, Project Eve Moms, Project Eve Money and Scary Puppy Silly Kitty. With a digital readership in excess of 20+ million monthly uniques, and over 1 million social media followers, Project Eve provides the news and resources to inspire and empower women. Meridith also works as a digital consultant and social media strategist and has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to help increase brand awareness and improve social media engagement.Meridith holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Prior to founding Project Eve, she spent 15 years working in investment banking. Meridith currently lives in Vermont with her husband and 2 daughters and spends her free time teaching skiing, practicing yoga, hiking and snowshoeing.