Many American’s make financial resolutions for the New Year. However, the lack of a plan means those well intended resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. Financial stability isn’t something that simply happens, or even happens overnight. It begins with a goal and is only reached by executing a well thought out plan. Your financial situation and dedication to your goal will determine how long it will take to reach your goals.
With the start of a new year and the motivation it brings to begin good habits and stop the bad ones this is a great time to address the money situation (good or bad) you are facing. I’ll be sharing six important tips that will help you develop a financial strategy that will set you up for success.
Tips To Keep Your Financial Resolutions
Budget. I know I talk about budgeting a lot, it’s even in the name of this blog. That is because it is the number one way to improve your finances. A budget just doesn’t tell your money where to go, it shows you where it has been spent. You may even find yourself surprised at how much money you spend needlessly every month. However, once you have set up a budget and stick to it you should quickly see your money begin to work for you.
Pay Yourself. Want better finances instantly? Pay yourself first. I’m sure you have heard that saying before but like many haven’t paid much attention to it. Many people assume that it’s difficult to do, or that it is simply putting extra into a savings account. However, it also means utilizing your work-provided 401K or another personal retirement account such as an IRA to save for your future. If you have been living in a spend mentality this may seem difficult at first. But consider this, what you are really paying for is the comfort, financial sustainability and peace of mind for your future self. No one wants to worry about keeping the lights on when their 80.
Start An Emergency Fund. This is typically a separate account that has three to six months of income saved in it. This account is used to cover bills and other expenses should you be laid off of work. It also helps to cover large unexpected expenses such as car problems, or plumbing and electrical emergencies.
Set Up Bank Alerts. This is one of the easiest ways to protect your accounts from being over drawn or worse yet being emptied by someone else. Bank alerts can be set up to notify you via text, email or automated phone call if your account goes too low or charges over a specific amount have been made. We learned the hard way that having alerts on your phone is a good idea. Our checking account was almost drained in September 2014 when my husband’s bank card was skimmed at the gas pump on a family vacation.
You can even set up alerts to remind you to pay your bills on a certain date. This one tip alone can help you save hundreds in late fees if you have a problem remembering to pay your bills on time.
Guard Your Personal Information. I’m sure this goes without saying but you need to be very careful with all of your personal information. Online and real-world thieves are as active as they have ever been. Guard your personal information such as passwords, PINs, your social security number, and all financial account details. This information can easily be stolen from your wallet, purse, or online through phishing scams if you are not careful. You will also want to make your passwords a combination of letters and numbers to help ensure they are not too easy to guess. It will be hard to achieve the financial success you are aiming for if you wind up with a bad credit score all because you were a fraud victim.
Use Discount Apps. There are a number of apps available to help you save money, and many of them are available for both iPhone and Android devices. Discount apps range from coupon apps, gas price apps, travel discount apps, receipt apps, product price tracking apps, and grocery store savings apps, these are only a few of the many options available. It’s best to choose three or four apps that fit best with your day-to-day life. These apps really can help reduce and control costs and slowly help you work towards financial stability by helping you save.
What financial resolutions have you made this year? Do you have a plan to keep them on track?
DON’T MISS OUT ON ANY OF MY GREAT TIPS TO HELP YOUR FAMILY
SAVE MONEY, HAVE FRUGAL FUN AND ENJOY LIFE!
Check out Pinterest for more frugally fantastic ideas.
Android users download the Two Kids And A Budget app