10 Great Financial Habits to Keep You on Track
Start the New Year with a new attitude, new approach.
Day to day, all of us do simple financial things that add up over time and can either help or hurt our bottom line. Let’s take a look at our daily activities –– what can make a difference?
- Pay yourself first. You have a checking account. Why not have a savings account and pay yourself first? Before you add dollars to your checking account, you will have that savings socked away and out of use. It’s a great way to build up savings.
- Consider money as freedom. The more money you save, the more freedom you have to do the things you would like to do.
- Look closely at what you are spending. That lunch out or second or third drink at dinner. It all adds up. Do you really need that magazine that you just put in your cart while you were waiting in line at the grocery? A little here and a little there makes a big difference.
- Be a smarter shopper. Do you get rewards on your credit card AND do you know how to capitalize on those rewards? Make sure you research credit card reward programs as well as any store rewards programs in which you may be enrolled. These can be great ways to stretch your budget (as long as they don’t motivate you to buy things unnecessarily).
- Take advantage of benefits available to you. Are there benefits your company offers that you are not taking full advantage of? It may be worth a few minutes to review your benefits package. Same for benefits via organizations to which you belong.
- Sell your stuff. All the years of collecting this and that…maybe it’s time to sell some things and put the funds in your savings account. Next, clean out your closet and have a garage sale or donate to charity.
- Be disciplined. Make a shopping list and stick to it! For a high-cost purchase, consider it for a few days before you make that decision. Smaller things you weren’t planning on buying, ask yourself…do I really need this? A shopping list is also a great money saver at the grocery –- halt those impulse purchases that add up at the checkout line.
- Look around your house for “money wasters”. A programmable thermostat goes a long way toward saving money on heating and cooling. New windows or window sealants can also trim utility costs. Reassess what you spend a year on housecleaning and yard maintenance and consider having such services less frequently or doing some of the work yourself. Look at your annual dry cleaner/laundry expenditure –- what could you save by switching to no-iron shirts that you touch up yourself?
- Reassess fees and services you are paying. Do you have any clubs or organizations to which you are paying monthly dues, yet rarely use? Is it time to move on? Or, can you get the same services elsewhere? There could be other fees and services that are eating a whole in your pocket –– cable, phone, Internet, subscriptions, etc.
- Get creative with entertainment costs. Check out your local and neighborhood newspapers for free events –– art shows, displays, seminars, sporting events, trails, concerts in the park, and more. You don’t need to spend money to have fun.
One more thing –- don’t go it alone. Get the help of a financial advisor to help you plan for the future. You may think you don’t qualify or can’t afford professional financial advice. Truth is, you can’t afford not to get professional guidance. Financial advisors not only know the ins and outs of 401Ks, IRAs, funding education, buying a house or car, retirement savings, and investment strategies; they also help to guide you beyond financial hurdles and challenges whatever your stage of life, income or net worth.
If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more. Let’s talk. It’s your tomorrow.
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