5 Ways to improve your finances for 2012

5 Ways to improve your finances for 2012

1. Ditch the Debt:

Let’s face it, if you owe money on your credit cards, you will always be paying more for whatever it is you charged on those cards than you should. What’s worse, most of the stuff you charged is probably stuff you had no business buying at all. If you want to improve your finances, pay off the balances on your credit cards. Then take the money you were using to make those payments and put it in a savings plan.   Stop the cycle of credit by building these items into your budget.

2.  Focus on Finances:

One of the biggest mistakes people make with their money is not paying enough attention to it.  When you don’t pay attention to what you’re spending your money on, you can blow literally thousands of dollars a year and never have anything to show for it or even know where it went. If you’re oblivious to what your partner is spending, or how much it costs to run your household, you have no room to complain about your financial situation. It’s time to put on your big boy pants and assume some responsibility for what happens to your money. Same goes for you ladies. Pay attention. Every single decision involving money should be well thought out.  Figure out what it is you want your money to do for you, and then take the necessary steps to accomplish that.  It usually involves writing down a goal or two, putting a dollar value to it, then creating a plan that will allow you to cover your expenses and still put money toward your goal.  This may involve some time at first, but the time invested is insignificant when compared to the reward.  Yes, it requires self discipline. You can’t have it both ways. If you spend like a drunken sailor, you’re gonna be impoverished and struggling.  Restrain yourself.

3. Balance the budget:

Or better yet, budget so you have some money left over. It’s called living below your means. Yes you can lower your expenses. Everything is a choice. You choose where and what you live in, what you drive, or even whether you drive, where you work, what you eat, how you dress, where you shop. You set your own life course. If you’re not making enough money, find a way to make more. If you aren’t saving enough money, find a way save more. You plot your own course.  Not that easy you say? Of course not! Nothing worth having ever is.

4. Save for something.

Just do it.  First.  Before you do anything else.  Don’t pay a bill, don’t buy a thing before you put money aside for savings. This simple strategy is the secret to having what you want. Once you’ve done this, live on what’s left.

5. Cover the catastrophes:

If you or your spouse lost your job tomorrow, how long could you keep up the payments on your home? Your car? Your monthly expenses? Your credit cards?

If you or your spouse got sick, hurt, lost your job,  would you be in trouble?

Identify the risks you face as a family and put into place the financial mechanisms that will help cushion the blow of an adverse life circumstance.

An emergency savings fund, life and disability insurance, medical benefits plan all help to protect you from financial disaster.

 

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