New Year’s Day is often the perfect opportunity to get refreshed and put your life back in order, and keep resolutions for a few months. But too many overlook one key aspect of their life: finances. As you look at your physical and emotional health, also take a look at your financial health.
- The first step to good financial security is to merely have a plan. This is akin to a warmup before getting on a treadmill. Use a spreadsheet or old-fashioned graph paper, it does not matter as long as you take a good look at your income and bills and essential purchases and write it all down. Also be sure to add a line for savings and other “treats”. The usage of smartphone money-management apps such as Mint or Level or investment ones like Acorn cannot be underestimated in this. They are very user-friendly and convenient.
- Another key aspect of good financial management is to trim the fat. After writing down your budget, be sure to analyze it for certain trends, like overpaying on certain transactions or unnecessary expenditures. And go ahead and cut those out. The savings will be definitely worth the effort.
- Going along with this is to payoff credit and other debt, starting from the one with the highest interest rate on down. The higher rates will of course result in more long-term costs, so it is better to focus on those. Use your new savings from cutting the fat or put aside money each month toward this. And be wary of adding new debt. Follow your budget, and you will be in good financial shape!
- Each month it is vital that you set aside some money, for a future vacation or retirement or whatever. But it is a necessary step. Another option would be to put it in investments toward long-term goals. There are plenty of options and many resources out there to aid in this. And use your budget to find opportunities to save money just from unneeded fluff.
- You may remember back in the day cutting coupons to use at the grocery store. These days are not over. Coupons are very handy, and in the digital age, may be found just on your smartphone or screen for easy savings. Any small bit will aid in your financial workout.
- If you have the chance, also take a look at how your work can help with your financial goals. Maybe they have a 401K plan you can put money toward. Or perhaps it is time to ask for that raise. The point is, invest in yourself and the savings will come to you.
Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to becoming a savings master. Start the New Year off right by stretching your wallet, and you will be ensured of future success. And do not fear treating yourself. Financial health has an effect on the rest of your life, and it is sometimes necessary to put your own interests first. After all, you work hard for your money.
Image credits to : Mike Mozart