Get your finances right in 2018: the little guide
Jan 11 2018
| We’re in January, the holidays are over, the Christmas tree gets tucked away for another time. We probably all ate too much, consumed (reasonably, hopefully!) alcohol, and spent a lot of money on gifts, gas and treats. The observation is identical for every start of a new year: it’s time to cut! New year’s resolutions are a good way to pick up some healthy habits, but the constant challenge remains to hold on to them more than a few weeks!
Inspired by the flocks of people who start going to the gym in January to shed the too-many pounds they’ve put on with all the comfort food of the holiday season, we’ve put together this small guide that’ll make you work without a sweat! A couple of great tips and advices to help you recover financial health, cut on stress and gradually but permanently erase that nasty overloaded credit card bill you may have crafted yourself over the course of the last month(s).
1. Make a budget
It’s the number one tip, without the shadow of a doubt.
Let’s be realistic. Many are wandering from payday to payday while calculating only the most compulsory of recurring expenses and spending most of the remaining dollars, without putting aside any kind of financial cushion.
Get to know all of your income and expenses! Be aware of your cash flow. If you see exactly how much money you have left when it’s all said and done every month, you’ll be able to manage what you have a lot better and stop grasping for pennies.
For example: the money you lose in buying small sizings at the corner store or when you don’t fully fuel your car while the gas price is at a low is inexcusable when a simple planification could help you cut on these costs by picking the more expensive options at the moment you buy, but that will make you save on the long term.
At the same time, you’ll be able to see if your lifestyle is sustainable when it comes to your revenues or if you need to make some changes in order to live according your objectives.
A little tip to know if you’re in good financial shape? You should be putting at least 10% of your paycheck in your savings, so that you’re prepared for the unexpected and you start preparing for your retirement. If that’s not possible, go back to the drawing board.
2. Pay back your debts
A coffee a day on the road to work, a dessert once in a while at the restaurant, driving above limits because you’re on a too tight of a schedule; all small expenses that are detrimental to your well being. In the morning, a glass or two of water wakes up just as much as coffee that also leaves you with bad breath, without talking about the long-term effects of caffeine on the heart and the addiction that often occurs. And what’s not to say about dessert for our health! Driving fast carries a greater risk on the road when you could simply be leaving earlier so that you are ready in case of any delays.
So much for superfluous expenses that are just as bad for yourself as they are for your wallet.
Take action to avoid them and you’ll find yourself a little bit richer. Don’t spend these saved dollars and instead put them towards lowering your debts so your interests go down and eventually, stop being.
3. Diversify your income
Depending on a single source of income brings many problems to the table. The idea of quitting your day job where you don’t fit anymore (if you ever did) probably won’t ever realize itself because you can’t afford to be off for some time while you make the switch that’d make you happy. It puts you in a situation where you can’t grow personally and professionally while time passes you by without a chance of things ever changing.
Look for a stimulating second job that doesn’t make you feel like you’re working. Focus on fields that interest you or take a class on the weekends to acquire the skills you need for your future new career.
Maybe start a business! Many subsidies and benefits exist in conjunction with the launch of small and medium-sized companies.
When you diversify your revenues, you’ll find yourself a lot more free and you’ll improve your financial health, alongside giving you the opportunity to try new experiences.
BONUS: Get rid of disappointing gifts
You have received gifts you’ll never use? The intention is what counts, but if you had the money, it’d be even better? Try the classifieds, social media or online auction-based sites like eBay and sell them.
Now, get to work! May 2018 be the year of your best success to date!
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