Well... Christmas has come and gone, and now we look forward to what is to come, New Years! It is a wonderful time of year that gives us a chance to star over, take control of our lives, live differently, eat healthier, exercise more, and the list goes on and on. Then the middle of January comes, and all those well-meaning intentions haven't been met, and we decide that , maybe next year will be the year that you stick to all those New Year's resolutions... sound familiar?
We are here to help! We can't really help you eat better or exercise more, but when it comes to your resolutions about finances - we want to help you stay on track throughout the whole year! Two of the most common financial resolutions are 1) I want to save more money, and 2) I want to pay off my debt. Both of these are great resolutions and are completely doable, but without a plan, they will probably end up broken and unmet, right alongside your new diet plan. So here are some helpful tips that will keep you rockin' and rollin' (or savin' n payin') all year long!
- Pay Yourself First
- You work hard for your money, and although there is a lot of other people who all want a piece of your check, make sure that you keep some for your savings account. Look at your savings account as a bill, decide how much you can pat to that "bill" and keep paying it each month.
- Collect your Change
- If you use cash (which is a great way to not end up in debt!), only use bills when paying for items and hold on to all your change. Create a coin jar or a place to put all your change, you will be amazed at how fast it will all add up!
- Create a Savings System
- There are a lot of creative plans out there on how to save. You can use search engines and search for 1 year savings plans and find something that works for you! If you have a plan, you will have a better chance of succeeding.
- Create Goals
- If you are saving up for something special, or have a specific goal in mind, you will be more likely to save money rather then spending in on the little things. Set up rewards for yourself when you hit your goals (there should of course not be spending all the money you just saved!)
- Finally... Read our Blog!
- We have lots of cleaver and creative ways to save money! Some of them you won't even notice the different in your lifestyle, until you start seeing your bank account grow!
Paying off Debts...
- Create a Plan
- This is the most important step to paying off debt! You have to know what you are dealing with if you are going to be able to pay it all off! Set REALISTIC goals for when you have to have things paid off, and how you are going to pay each of your debts off.
- Prioritize your Debts
- This can be done in two different ways:
- List all your debts from smallest amount to largest amount owed. Pay off your smallest debt, then move onto your second smallest debt, and so on. When you pay off the first amount, add the amount you were paying towards the next payment amount. This allows your payments to snowball, and you will be able to pay things off faster.
- List all of your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. Pay off your highest interest rate first and then keep going down the list. Just like in the first option, once you pay something off, put that payment amount towards the next payment amount. Depending on the amount of your debt, this may take a little longer than the first way, but you will be saving money on interest!
- This can be done in two different ways:
- Find Extra Money
- Sound impossible? See if there are areas that you can cut to be able to increase the amount you can pay towards your debt. Remember, if you really focus on getting out of debt, and make some cuts - it is only for a little while. Once you pay everything off, you may have a little extra money to be able to enjoy some of those luxuries again!
- Negotiate with Creditors
- Sometimes you can contact your credit cards companies, or other creditors, and negotiate for a lower payment (to be able to pay more towards other debts) or a lower interest rate. Companies really want to be paid, so there are more interested in being paid a little less than losing out on it completely!
- Stop Going into Debt
- Now this one seems pretty obvious, but it is very true! Start using cash rather than credit cards and stop the pattern of debt in your life. If is a lot harder to dig yourself out when you keep adding to the pile!
Hopefully there are some easy, helpful tools that will allow you to keep all your financial resolutions! Our goal is to help you meet all your financial goals, and we want to help in whatever way we can! Have a very Happy New Years!