The holiday season is over and hopefully you did not get into too much debt by going overboard with spending. If so, it is a new year and now it is time to start to find ways to tighten up the budget, pay off that debt, and save a few dollars to get you in better financial health.
Tips and strategies to help increase your financial wellness!
- Write down every expense for a month to see where your money is going - Review items you spend your money on to find areas where cutting back can add to your savings account.
- Develop a budget - Plan for your spending and try to live within your means. Look at your everyday monthly expenses like cable, internet, phone service and even your housing payments to see if any savings can be made with those type expenses.
- Before buying something, ask yourself if you really need it and if so, comparison shop - Shopping around is a good idea when you are living on a tight budget. You might be very surprised at the savings you can find when shopping for groceries, clothing and other purchases.
- Plan for major purchases - Adjust your budget accordingly to build savings for your next major purchase without using credit.
- Save for emergencies - A good plan is to have a minimum of six month’s salary available in your savings account. This goal will take time but it is important to try to get there, so you are ready for any unexpected emergencies.
- Protect your credit - By law a free credit report from each credit reporting agency is allowed once per year, and it is important to remember late payments will adversely affect your credit, as will a failure to pay.
SOURCES: Money Management International; Financial Education & Literacy Advisers (FELA)