While you may have already given up on your fitness goal of losing significant weight this year, that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel on your finances as well. In fact, now is as good of time as ever to get your finances in shape so that you not only are successful now, but set yourself up to be financially independent when you do finally punch out for the last time at work and begin the next relaxing chapter in your life.
Make a List of All Expenses
You make be continuing to spend month over month and not even realizing exactly where your money is going. Sure, it’s good to have some leftover at the end of the month, but that’s not always the best judge for success. First, start out listing every expense you have for the month, and from there you can look to reduce. You can take last month’s debit or credit card statement and spell out line by line, or when it comes to food and gas expenses you could take an average of the last few months to see what you’ve typically been spending.
Make the Difficult Cuts
It may be easy to yeah, you’re going to cut back on unnecessary expenses or even get a little more frugal with every expense, but until you see results, it’s all talk and it’s not always going to be easy. Take your cable bill for instance, sure, you pay it every month but is it actually worth a couple hundred dollars a month for all the channels you don’t want and probably just either catch up on your DVR, or even a streaming service entirely. Next, try going grocery shopping and eating at home instead of every meal out and you will see an instant lift of leftover funds.
Start Putting a Dent in Your Debt
As you start to get a few extra dollars laying around, you can now make getting out of debt a priority instead of a dream. When it comes to your credit card payments, any minimum payment should be a thing of the past and start to pay as much as you can afford every month in order to put more towards the balance and pay less and less interest that could be anywhere close to 16% and really add up as the balance had begun to climb.
Don’t Forget to Pay Yourself
While getting out of debt is important, it’s also a balancing act to make sure you pay yourself forward so you can not only have an emergency building up to ease the financial blow of an unexpected bill, but to continue to increase contributions towards a retirement account that you will need to grow exponentially in order to not only have enough to live off after you walk away from work, but to make sure you have extra funds to enjoy life now that work is finally out of the way. We focus so much on the day to day operations that we don’t want to lose sight of paying ourselves.