If this is your first time here, Molly’s Money is a regular series I write on this blog that includes ALL things personal finance – debt management, budgeting, home buying, savings, investment, etc. I am NOT a financial advisor, but I am married to one! These are just things that I have learned over the years as I struggled with my own personal finances and ultimately, became debt free in 2012. Got a question about money that you want answered? Leave it in the comments below or email me!
I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting lately… and so often I feel like the focus (when it comes to those things) is on weight loss, or getting healthier, or decluttering, or travel, etc. It’s not as often that you see people making FINANCIAL New Year’s Resolutions or financial goals for the new year.
So, I thought I’d just give you a few (7, to be exact) tips for ROCKING your finances and taking control of your money in 2015. If finances have been a stressor for you (let’s be honest, they’re a stressor for MOST of us!), this is the post for you!
7 Tips for Rocking and Taking Control of Your Finances in 2015
(These are in no particular order)
- Assess Your Financial Situation (And Be Honest With Yourself)
- Are you in serious debt? Do you need to focus on saving for the short-term? Do you need to work on saving for retirement? Are you spending too much? Do you lack a budget? Figure out what your financial situation ACTUALLY is… and figure out what it is that you want to change in 2015.
- Do Your Taxes EARLY
- I know this one seems random, but I’m serious. Get your taxes done BEFORE the filing date. Collect those 1099s and W-2s and receipts and all that fun (or not so fun) stuff and file your taxes early. It’s like ripping a band-aid off. Just do it. You won’t regret it!
- Find A Way To “Cut The Fat”
- What I mean is, figure out an area of your budget where you’re spending too much money and cut it significantly. Do you eat out too much? Are you spending too much on groceries? Clothes? Extra stuff you don’t need? It’s so important to be wise with our finances and a new year is a great time to analyze where we’re putting too much of our resources and make some healthy changes.
- Cut-Up Your Unnecessary Credit Cards
- Do you have too many store credit cards? Do you have too many high interest credit cards? Is there a credit card that is, figuratively, sucking the life out of you? Cut it up. Pay it off. Close the account. You’ll feel so much better.
- Increase Your Income
- I realize this one seems rather “obvious” or “wishful thinking” or “duh, who doesn’t want to increase their income?”… But I’m serious. This is the year to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck (if applicable). This is the year to start saving for retirement. This is the year to pay off your house, your car, your debt, your student loans. This is the year to give more financially. Whatever it is… we all have an area of our lives where we could use a little more cash. Instead of sitting around wishing for it, make it happen. Ask for a promotion. Ask for a raise. Sell stuff on Craigslist or Ebay. Pick up a second job. Babysit. Do something. Find a way to make some extra cash… even if it’s only an extra $40, or $100, or $500 a month… that’s money you didn’t have before… and it can add up. Quickly.
- Save. Save. Save.
- I talk about this all the time, but saving money is so important. Build your emergency fund. Save for retirement. Save for a vacation you’ve always wanted to take… Don’t spend everything you make.
- Budget. Budget. Budget.If you don’t already have a monthly, line-item budget... NOW is the time to write one. And stick to it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. 🙂
This is clearly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully a good start. Any tips on this list you wanna tackle first? Any you hadn’t thought of before?