The New Year is a perfect time to reflect on the spending from last year and create new financial resolutions to keep in 2014. Small changes can made a lasting impact on your financial situation so why not give the following five resolutions a try and see how well they work for you. You may find financial stability is just around the corner.
Analyze Your Current Budget
As the financial year draws to a close for businesses so it does for you and your family. That makes this the right time to sit down and figure out how your finances have changed over the past year and what financial changes to keep in 2014. Maybe you need to put more money into savings, or slow your discretionary spending. Did you pay off a mortgage or car loan in 2013 leaving you with a little extra cash? Now would be a good time to make changes that will give you a better financial future.
Budgets aren’t meant to be made one time and followed forever, they must bend and flex, change with your income and situation.
A Good Financial Change to Keep in 2014 is to Shop Smarter
Anyone who has seen the television show “Extreme Couponing” is familiar with the possibility of saving hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars if you put in the time and shop smart. I’m not saying you have to spend every free moment hunting for coupons but I do suggest being a more conscious shopper.
Do not purchase something on sale if you had no need to purchase it in the first place. In the same vein do not buy something full price just because you fell in love with it. If it goes on sale it was meant to be, if not I promise it will only hurt for a little while. Another good habit to get into is not buying at retail stores but looking for things like electronics on the secondary market at reduced costs.
Making purchases on a whim will lead to spending more money than you need to. Plan your purchases ahead of time. Use the internet to find the best deals, countless websites and blogs are dedicated to .telling you where the best prices are.
You can also put your smart phone to work for you by downloading an app that will scan bar codes and give you both local and online places to purchase and their current pricing.
Spread Out Your Savings
Typically those who are saving concentrate their savings toward a singular goal. In reality it is best to put all of your goals into your budget and spread your savings across them.
As I said before, you need to constantly be checking and changing your budget and that includes your savings. You should have an emergency fund that is equal to six months living expenses, when you reach this it is time to re-appropriate the funds that would have gone there.
Start Using Smart Phone Apps
If you aren’t using your smart phone apps to enhance your financial well-being what are you waiting for?
Credit Sesame gives you the ability to see your free credit score every month, as well as an overview of all you need to know about this information because your credit rating affects the interest you pay on anything you finance over time. Poor credit ratings can increase your interest rates and also make your insurance premiums rise. If you are looking for a new job be aware that many employers are now using credit checks as a part of their decision making process.
Mint, helps you track your finances such as credit card spending and what is happening in your bank account. Still more apps are available for any store you shop in to get savings. An easy and fun financial resolution to keep in 2014 is joining Groupon for fantastic savings.
Release Yourself from Debt
Allowing debt to sit means you are allowing the interest on that debt to grow and each year that goes by it grows worse, ruining your credit score.
It may be the toughest financial resolution to keep in 2014 but making some difficult spending cuts to get out from under credit card and medical debt.
Read a Financial Blog Everyday
Even if you only read a single article, giving yourself that boost each day of new financial guidance and seeing others who are successfully managing their money could be the motivation you need to keep your financial resolutions in 2014.
Remember resolutions you choose they only work when you stick with them. If following all of those resolutions seems overwhelming choose one and do it well. Use the great feeling of accomplishment from sticking to one as a springboard to trying another and so on.