This new year is for changes just like every year, and I am not talking about a different shade of lipstick or a new hair style type of change. I am talking about finances. Ughh… right, who wants to talk about finance. I know but in order to make changes, you have to talk about it. Not the type of talking where you say you are going to do something and then push it to next week which turns into next month kind of talk. Have a plan, stick to the routine and get results. Credit Card Insider’s Financial Fitness in 2016 series inspired me to share my financial tips with all of you. Their student credit card page can help others stay on track and achieve financial fitness too!.
When it comes to money, I haven’t always had a lot of it which must be the reason my credit card company loves me so much. My plan was always to only keep it for emergencies (and for those online purchases that I would pay back right away)… I was convinced about that until things happen. A bad couple of weeks = a treat for me. Who doesn’t think a large fries or a dinner for three or a movie with a friend counts as an emergency sometimes?
Next comes family. There are family needs (aka real emergencies) that consider a helping hand. How can you say no? You can’t say no because well, it is not in my nature plus it is family right. After calculating, you see what’s left on your card and want to cry your little eyes out. I know that I wanted to do that every month while I watch my money slide away to my credit card leaving me with tears and a little bit of money until next month.
However, I am determined to see fewer tears this year and learn from my mistakes. Now that I have a job, this year is going to be real different. No more constant fast food outings or using excuses to use the credit card. I have broken down my work pays into four major categories: Personal, Savings, Credit Card and Rent. This is going to help me get back in shape financially because I have a strict plan.
The list can go on and on for this category. I mean from groceries, toddler supplies for the endless process of potty training, clothing, travel on the subway to outdoor events and activities. This budget needs to be realistic to handle the rollercoaster of expenses for the month. I try not to leave out the “me time” section because we should all have a moment of fun just for yourself or with a friend. Some like to use it for coffee and a donut every single morning while others (like me) prefer a movie and dinner to relax!
Either for travel, for a future car or for the biggest purchase of my life, a home. I like to put the same amount into my saving account. If I am able to put more then that is great! However, the same amount is perfect. I noticed that last year, having my saving account right next to my personal account made things very tempting and easier to dip into once and a while. This year, I have decided to move my saving account into another bank company. This helps me to keep saving without having to see what is there all the time. No temptations, only saving!
Rule of thumb. Always, always and always pay minimum payments on time. If the payment is set on a day that you do not get paid on then set aside money or you always have the option of paying the amount early. It is usually set up as before a certain date so why not do it really early. Having good credit is possible as long as you keep up with the payments. This year’s goal is to keep up paying off things right away instead of waiting as well as continually keeping up with my minimum payments.
Overall, we all have made some financial boo-boos here and there. This year, make it your goal to kick your finances into shape. Your goal may have been to only give your body a workout but think about adding your finances to the list as well! The best part about it, you don’t have to go to the gym or sweat or have any sore muscles the next day. Sounds good to me!