It is almost the new year and if one of your resolutions is to get your finances in shape, we can help. There are certain things that you can do to get your finances in order. Things that everyone should do at the beginning of each year to make sure that they are on the right track.
Redo Your Budget
Take a quick look at your budget and make sure that you are spending money the best way possible. If you do not have a budget, get out your spreadsheet program and make one. List every expense that you have and what your monthly payments are. With all of your expense right in front of you, you can see where cuts and/or improvements can be made.
Increase Your Savings
Hopefully you are putting a certain amount of money away into a savings account. If not, you need to start doing so. For 2019, why not see if you can increase the amount that you are contributing to your saving and/or retirement fund. Every extra dollar you save now will be much appreciated in your retirement. It could help you live the last years of your life more comfortably or allow you to even retire a bit earlier than you planned.
Reduce Your Expenses
Look at places where you can cut money every month. Look for a cheaper electric provider, a better deal on internet or even reduced premiums for your health and auto insurance. Many providers give new customers discounts so some services are worth shopping every year.
Look For A Raise
This will often involve looking for a new job. Most employers these days do not give substantial raises. Most will cover the cost of inflation and little else unless you are moving to a higher position. The best way to make more money this year might be to look for opportunities outside of your present company. This is a good economy with little unemployment and it is not uncommon to move laterally to a new company and make 10 to 20 percent more. Companies are desperate for good employees.
Think about where you want to be by the end of the year and make plans on how to get there. In addition, think about where you want to be in 10 years, 20 years or even 30 years. You need to know where you want to be to know what you need to accomplish today.
Audit Your Credit Report
Credit reports can get corrupt very easily. You need to check yours every year to make sure that no incorrect information is on there. Incorrect information can lower your score, costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year in interest. They can also affect your ability to get a job with many companies.
Pick Up Some Free Money
Companies offer incentives to attract new customers and some of those incentives are cash. You might be able to get a cash bonus by getting a new bank account, moving to a new brokerage or even changing electric companies. Look at everything that you spend money on and see if a company will give you cash to switch to them. Some other good examples include satellite companies and credit card companies.
Consolidate Your Shopping
Instead of shopping twice a week for groceries and other home staples, shop once a month instead. Join a savings club and buy in bulk instead of a little at a time. That might seem like a lot of toilet paper, but you will use it. In addition, look for deals on meat at local grocers and buy for the month. Many grocery stores use items like chicken breasts or hamburger as “loss leaders” to get you in the door. Take advantage of it when they do and freeze it to last the month.
Change All Of Your Passwords
Many people use the same password for every website that they visit. You might have a super unique password, but if one website gets hacked, hackers can access all of your accounts. For example, they hack your email provider and get your username and password. They do not know where you bank but they will check every bank and use that information until they find which bank you use. They then have access to your account. Change all of your passwords at least once a year and make them unique for every website. This will avoid the huge financial hassle of identity theft and stolen bank information.