What to Review Financially For The New Year
Many of us get excited for the New Year as it is a time of renewal in our personal lives. We vow to do and be better during the hype of it all, but sometimes quickly fall through before the new month is even over. I want to help you do better financially and am sharing 3 simple options that can get you started on your financial journey for the year:
How Much Did You Really Spend Last Year?
We often do not catch up on our finances until the end of the year, a crisis arises, and/or you want or need something that requires your finances and credit to be in order. Do this one thing starting now so you do not feel overwhelmed by doing multiple things to fix your situation. Gather all of your bank statements, ATM receipts, and store receipts to add up what you actually spent on living expenses and everything else. If you do not have a bank account or credit union account, check whatever source you use to house your funds. I always encourage my clients to keep track on a monthly basis, but just in case you did not; let’s start now. Sometimes seeing that real number right in front of you can sober you more than any hangover cocktail. In order for you to really see where you are going, you need to see from where you came. If you spent way more than you thought, now you can make the necessary changes to correct in 2022. The changes may be your bill collectors (the people you pay for living expenses); your spending habits (do I really need to eat out again for the third time this week); or your mindset (I do deserve to live a better financial life). This one action of tracking can lead to many positive actions such as saving on monthly expenses, eating healthier by preparing home cooked meals, and boosting your personal savings to have money when you truly need it.
Where Can I Save to Cut Expenses?
As you go through those statements and receipts, check on those utilities, insurance payments, and electronic entertainment to ensure you are paying the least amount possible and not duplicating payments. Sometimes you stay with a company too long and now you are paying twice as much as when you first signed with that business. With decreasing perks and increasing prices, it may be time to take your dollars elsewhere. Let me not get started on the food prices. One thing I have learned about inflation is that it never goes down, hence the word-inflate. Your favorite food item may go on sale, but that new price will never go back down no matter how much the economy bounces back. We all know that the Dollar Tree is now the Dollar and a Quarter Tree. Before, your five items were $5.00; now those same 5 items are $6.25 before taxes. Learn to shop for only the things you truly need and always shoot for in-store sale items no matter where you shop. Do not let your emotions run your wallet.
Is There Anything Else I Can Be Doing?
Always. If you do not save, then start. If you already save, look into investing. You always want to keep your money growing. Do not try to keep up with anybody, I mean anybody including the Joneses (whoever they are), the ultimate rich and famous, and the so-called rich and famous (you will never catch up to them on a 9-5 salary or even a 1099). Always look for opportunities to save and grow whether shopping or just living your day-to-day life. You may need to switch to a different bank or credit union for better rates on interest or loans. If you cannot do anything else, pay your bills on time so you can keep your credit intact and increase your score; which in turn allows you to receive those nice interest rates. And finally, do not give up hope. If you give up, you surely will never reach your goal. Looking forward to “helping you plant your money tree”.
AJM Financial, LLC.