Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Many people make resolutions for the New Year such as eating healthy, losing weight, increasing savings, getting out of debt, quitting smoking, etc. Was yours to make better decisions about money?
If your goal is to take better control of your finances, here are some quick tips for staying on track:
- Have a vision board with your written goals on it. As items are completed, check them off. A vision board is a constant reminder of your goals. People who have vision boards are reminded every day of their goals, and are most likely to complete them. It might be on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror, on your car’s sun visor or at your desk at work.
- Know what your total debt is. Add up your total net income. Add up your current household expenses. Is there money left over after all the bills are paid? If not, then there are two options: increase income or current expenses need to be reduced.
- Are any of your current expenses “Want” instead of a “Need”? Is cable TV an absolute must-have for you or your family or can you cut it out of your budget? Can you make more meals at home rather than dining out? Do you purchase coffee on your way to work every day? Make a cup at home to reduce your daily expenses. It all adds up over time.
- Have you had an Energy Assessment done on your home? It could save you money on your monthly utility bills and cost you nothing. Visit NeighborWorks Energy Services to learn more.
- Look for ways to earn extra income. Working over-time, internet income opportunities, obtaining a better-paying job, selling some stored items in your attic or garage are all ways to increase your bottom line. Do you have items that are collecting dust that you do not use can be sold? Start preparing for a garage sale, virtual or real.
- Use any extra money you make or receive -a bonus, commissions, tax refunds – to start paying down your debt. Pay the bills with the smallest balances first and/ or pay bills with the highest interest rates first.
- Always make sure you pay your bills on time to avoid the extra late charges.
Once you start paying down your debt, your stress levels will reduce, and you will feel much better once you achieve your goal. And isn’t that what resolutions are all about?
If you feel you need more help to take charge of your debt, sign up for one of our Financial Fitness Classes by creating a Compass Account. Or give us a call at 585-325-4170.