Today we’re going to continue with our “F” series, focusing on Finance! What a great time to get your finances in order. The holidays are over and while you may have spent more than you planned for Christmas, let’s start getting things in line now, so that this year will be a great success in the area of Finance!
Here it comes…the B word…budget. Yes, I know! It sounds so restrictive, and not at all Fun like we mentioned last time! But here’s the good news. If you tell your money where to go; if you ensure that your income is greater than the money you are spending each month, you will have fun, and you will probably sleep better at night not worrying about how to pay the next bill!
So, where to start? Well, there are many different routes you can take, but let’s start with something simple. Why not go through your credit card statements or bank statements and jot down your monthly expenses. It doesn’t even need to be specific at this point; just note where your money is going each month. (Mortgage, grocery store, church, gym, Target, fast-food, restaurants, gas, etc.) Then, look carefully and see if there are one or two that you can eliminate or reduce.
What about your insurance? Have you had a claim recently? If not, try contacting your company to see if you can get reduced rates. Maybe you’ve seen an ad for your company advertising lower rates than you currently pay. Use that as leverage to reduce your bill. What about your phone bill? Use similar tactics and work to reduce that. Cable? Do you really need all those channels? What ways can you find to still keep up with your favorite shows but skip the bill?
A little creative thinking will get you moving quickly in the right direction – more money in your pockets and a little less stress overall.
Of course, extra money in your pockets is useless if you don’t take control of it, so be sure you are setting money aside each month for savings; you could even designate a small dollar amount from each paycheck to go towards holiday spending, and then when Christmas comes around you’ll have a nice stash all ready to use, without dipping into savings or other categories!
While you’re saving up for future expenses, don’t forget to include frequent giving! You never know the difference you can make in someone’s life when you give with a generous heart.
So, what steps will you make to get your Finances in order today? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What were you most surprised to see when you jotted down your monthly expenses? Get started now to have the best financial year yet!