YO U R DREAM BARN

Won­der­ing how you can af­ford it? Here are three sim­ple moves you should make – right now.

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Ropers -

“AMER­ICA IS TOO GREAT for small dreams.” When Ron­ald Rea­gan shared th­ese in­spi­ra­tional words in his 1984 State of the Union ad­dress, he was chal­leng­ing Congress to fund the coun­try’s first space sta­tion pro­gram. But he was also speak­ing to each and ev­ery Amer­i­can about our dreams – about the fam­i­lies we want to build, the se­cu­rity we yearn to pro­vide, and the homes where we will love, laugh, pray, and play.

Whether your dream is a bet­ter barn or a big­ger ranch, we want to help make it a re­al­ity. But let’s be hon­est: It’s not easy! Ma­jor in­vest­ments re­quire a lot of dis­ci­pline and smart, longterm think­ing, and know­ing where to start can be very chal­leng­ing. Heck, a fully out­fit­ted barn like the beauty pic­tured here can eas­ily run $200,000 just to build.

We con­sulted a di­verse group of fi­nan­cial ex­perts and dis­tilled their best ad­vice for any­one who wants to grow their sav­ings dur­ing tur­bu­lent times. Th­ese tips are time-tested and very easy to ex­e­cute; you won’t need an ex­pen­sive ad­vi­sor or pay pricy fees. What’s more, th­ese tips are tai­lored for to­day’s mar­ket con­di­tions. Right now, we all need a plan to weather the im­pacts of trade wars and fluc­tu­at­ing stock val­ues – not to men­tion the re­ces­sion many an­a­lysts are pre­dict­ing will hit in the next 24 months.

Here are three sim­ple, ac­tion­able steps to make your dream come true.

ONE AU­DIT YOUR MONTHLY SPEND­ING

Do you grab a $5 latte en route to work? War­ren Buf­fett doesn’t. Did you up­grade your car and wardrobe af­ter your last raise? Mark Zucker­berg didn’t; he still wears t-shirts and drives a Volk­swa­gen. And then there’s Dan­ica Pa­trick, who’s worth more than $60 mil­lion but still cooks her own meals while trav­el­ing.

The com­mon theme is fru­gal­ity, a prac­tice that many self-made mil­lion­aires credit for their wealth. It’s a prac­tice that’s easy to mimic – pro­vided you know how much you’re re­ally spend­ing and stick re­li­giously to a more con­ser­va­tive plan.

Start by self-au­dit­ing your monthly ex­penses. Grab your credit card bills and bank state­ment, then open a work­sheet on your com­puter or down­load a per­sonal bud­get app like Mint, Wally, or YNAB. Cat­a­log your spend­ing by cat­e­gory: gro­ceries, en­ter­tain­ment, in­surance, mort­gage, and so on. Most apps will upload data from your spend­ing ac­counts.

Once you’ve to­taled at least three months of ex­penses, you’ll prob­a­bly be sur­prised by some of the fig­ures. For many of us, it’s the ca­sual treats and im­pulse buys: A twice-a-day latte habit can cost $2,500 a year.

The next step is to ques­tion ev­ery eye-catch­ing num­ber. Can you live with­out a new car this year? How about a na­tional park va­ca­tion in­stead of a Caribbean re­sort? And that cof­fee habit: In­vested at a 6% re­turn, that $2,500 a year for latte would be worth $100,000 in 20 years.

Last, write down your plan and stick to it. Bet­ter yet, use an app that au­to­mat­i­cally cuts you off once you reach a pre-set spend­ing thresh­old.

TWO PAY THE BARN BE­FORE YOU PAY YOURSELF

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, only 25% of work­ing Amer­i­cans fol­low the first com­mand­ment of wealth man­age­ment by set­ting aside a por­tion of each pay­check as sav­ings. Psy­chol­o­gists and fi­nan­cial ex­perts say this comes partly from reck­less spend­ing and the lack of a dis­ci­plined bud­get, and partly from the ab­sence of a tan­gi­ble goal. When we’re sav­ing for an in­dis­tinct, far-away goal like re­tire­ment, we tend not to al­lo­cate as many dol­lars as when we have a spe­cific dream in sight.

The good news is that you’ve learned how to au­dit your spend­ing and cre­ate a bud­get – and you have a tan­gi­ble goal to give ur­gency to your sav­ing. Right now, be­fore you for­get, set up an au­to­matic de­duc­tion that goes straight into your “dream barn” fund. Just $250 per pay­check could turn into $225,000 over 20 years.

THREE DI­VER­SIFY YOUR SAV­INGS

Be­fore you al­lo­cate a por­tion of your pay­check to a mu­tual fund, look at the mix of your in­vest­ments. Are you heav­ily weighted into stocks, like many Amer­i­cans? In the last re­ces­sion, many funds dropped 30% to 40% overnight, and it’s taken years to get the value back.

With an­a­lysts pre­dict­ing an­other cor­rec­tion, you should con­sider putting a healthy por­tion of your barn fund in gold. It’s the old­est and safest form of money, hav­ing held its value through in­nu­mer­able bank crises, trade wars, and re­ces­sions. If there’s a melt­down, you know gold will still be there, and your barn won’t have dis­ap­peared in a puff of pix­els.

For­tu­nately, it’s eas­ier than ever to save and spend with gold. With the new Glint app, you’re just min­utes away from own­ing phys­i­cal gold that’s stored in Brink’s vaults. Sim­ply down­load the app, reg­is­ter, and trans­fer dol­lars from your debit ac­count. Glint purchases the gold im­me­di­ately, and it’s held in your name and in­sured by Lloyds of Lon­don.

While Glint helps pro­tect your sav­ings, it also en­ables you to beat in­fla­tion by let­ting you spend gold. That’s right, you can use the app or the Glint debit card to pay your bills wher­ever Master­card® is ac­cepted. The firm’s tech­nol­ogy con­verts the value of your gold into dol­lars (or other lo­cal cur­rency) in real time, mean­ing you can also use an ATM to with­draw cash against your gold ac­count. But it’s the abil­ity to spend gold that re­ally makes a dif­fer­ence for your barn fund. At cur­rent in­fla­tion rates, the U.S. dol­lar is los­ing 3% of its buy­ing power each year, so any money you have sit­ting in stan­dard sav­ings or check­ing ac­count is worth less ev­ery day. Gold doesn’t do that.

With a Glint gold ac­count, you win two ways: You pro­tect your sav­ings from volatile mar­kets, and your cash hold­ings don’t de­pre­ci­ate. Which puts you and your fam­ily that much closer to a beau­ti­ful new barn. As Walt Dis­ney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pur­sue them.”

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