As the end of the year quickly approaches, many of us make new years’ resolutions and we break them as fast as we make them, I know I’ve been there. I clearly have to manage my expectations each year, so I don’t get disappointed. Money saving strategies are much needed as we begin to get those post holiday bills.
Below is a list of five financial hacks that I know you can follow to help kick off the New Year on the right financial footing and we even managed to stay away from the dreaded budgeting word!
- Create a weekly money tracking habit. There is no other way to say this, but you need to track your weekly and monthly spending. Most of us cringe at the ‘B’ word, but truth be told you do have to pay attention to your spending. To be successful on this journey to financial freedom capturing as much detail as possible, is key, so you know exactly where your money is going each month. Checkout this money tracking form as a starting point for managing your money.
Find areas to decrease spending. Once you’ve carefully examined your budget, you will have a clearer picture of where your money is being spent. Here you should ask yourself the tough questions. “Am I spending more money on my lattes or entertainment?” Seeing the numbers on plain paper helps you make the necessary adjustments. Set limits on items within your budget and stick to your plan. Check out my book Fabulous and Broke for more tips.
Pay down current debt. Many people are guilty of treating credit like cash, borrowing money to pay for everyday costs. Experts recommend keeping your debt-to-income ratio at 36% or less. If yours is higher, then read up on some of the suggested steps here to reduce your debt. Need help navigating your finances click here to learn how!
Save more than last year. One of the many rules about money management is to save enough to pay your living expenses for six months. However, this is a very lofty goal for many. Therefore, it is better to handle your savings like a monthly bill. Ideally you should put away 10% of each paycheck; however, this may not be feasible at this very moment; therefore, join in on the 52 week Zuph Savings plan. This is a much more easy way to start saving.
Be prepared for unplanned expenses. Unplanned expenses do creep up including health care costs, car repairs or job loss and keyword here is ‘unplanned.’ Therefore, it is imperative that you save for these expenses.
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Till Next Time,