Tip #1: Create a Budget
New Year, New Goals, New You!
There’s something about the first of the year that makes you want to make a change. Getting finances in order is a huge way to regain control from the chaos of the holidays.
First thing you’ll need to do is create a budget. Creating a budget allows you to see everything at once.
- Figure out everything you need to pay for each month.
Make a list of all of your expenses to find out exactly how much you are spending each month. This includes rent/mortgage, food, utilities, insurance (auto/health/renters, etc.), clothing, transportation (car payment, gas, upkeep, Uber fares, etc.), even entertainment.
- Determine your income.
This is where you include your annual salary, as well as other sources of income. Make your projections on concrete sources, not hopeful projects – those are bonuses.
- Set goals.
Do you have a surplus or a shortage of funds? If you have a surplus, create a plan. Are you going to pay off debt? Start an emergency fund? Do both? Figure out a plan and start saving now. If you find yourself in a deficit, think about how you can cut back or other ways you to create income.
- Track all of your spending.
All of it – the more detailed you are, the more profitable your efforts will be. It helps keep you accountable. Seeing your spending habits in writing might make you think twice before splurging. It’s also a great feeling achieving your goals because of your self-discipline.
- Be realistic.
It might seem logical to put 100% of your surplus into debts or savings, but you have to keep in mind that life happens. Eventually you will bust a tire, or the water heater will break. Anything can happen – it’s life, after all – but it’s important to not be discouraged. Just keep working towards your goals, and make them happen.
And remember, if anything happens that’s too big, we’re here for you! Check Into Cash is always ready to help you when you need it most.
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