Prioritizing money goals amid inflationary pressure

Apr 6, 2023, 12:43 PM | Updated: 12:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — When inflation is high, how should we prioritize our money?

In today’s “Save more, worry less,” KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua talked to personal finance expert Jeremy Schneider about how to build your net worth.

With nearly 500,000 Instagram followers, Jeremy Schneider gives his money hot takes as part of his Personal Finance Club. The entrepreneur retired at the age of 36 with $3 million.

While we can’t all become millionaires by our mid-30s, Schneider believes his financial advice can put people on the right path.

“I think personal finance is more about behavior and habit than it is math,” Schneider said.

Here are six phases of investing Schneider said can help you prioritize how you put your money to work:

First, max out your 401K up to your employer’s match, if they offer it.

“If you don’t do that, you’re essentially throwing money away,” said Schneider.

Second, pay off all non-mortgage debt until it’s completely gone, using the snowball method. This is where you pay off debt in order of smallest to largest.

Third, save an emergency fund — three to six months of your living expenses — in a savings account.

Fourth, figure out how much per month you’ll need to invest so you’ll have a healthy nest egg by age 65. Then invest that amount in index funds, prioritizing tax-advantaged accounts.

“You can put your numbers in an online retirement calculator and figure out, am I saving or investing enough?” said Schneider.

Fifth, if you want to be a homeowner, save for a 20% house down payment. Save it in a regular savings account. Don’t invest it. If you have kids, save for their college funds. Schneider suggests a tax-advantaged account like a 529.

And last, once you’ve got a handle on your finances, focus on investing and chip away at that mortgage payment.

The key is to complete each phase — in order — before moving on to the next phase.

“If you spend less money than you make, and invest the difference, you’re going to get ahead.”

Schneiders said we can’t control what the interest rates are going to be. Our focus should be on our income and our savings, which are in our control.

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Prioritizing money goals amid inflationary pressure