Looking for ways to better manage your money?
Whether you have plenty of money, or not quite enough of it, it’s critical that you learn how to manage it in the most effective way you can. I’ve pulled together a few of the best ways I have learned to help gain control of your finances.
Here are a few:
Create a Budget – this is perhaps the very best way that you can take charge of your finances in 2017 Sit down and take a good hard look at your finances, the money coming in and the money flowing out. This does not have to be an elaborate spreadsheet, it can be a simple piece of paper with your income and expenses listed. It’s a good idea to keep a money log – where you list every penny you spend for a month. This gives you a clear picture of where and how you spend your money, and makes it easier to make decisions about your budget. Once you’ve made a budget, stay on top of it. Review it regularly, see how it’s working. Make adjustments if you MUST, but do your best to stick with it.
A passionate believer in the power of “jump starts”, Marianne helps clients obliterate self-doubts, blast through limiting beliefs, and gain clarity to discover their passion and drive.
“Strategy is thinking about a choice and choosing to stick with your thinking”
JEROEN DE FLANDER
Evaluate your expenses – take a good, hard look at where and how you spend your money, and see where you may be able to cut expenses. Take a look at your bills like cable tv – can you cut some ‘tiers’ out to save a little? What about internet speed, are you paying for a super fast speed when you could save a few hundred a year on a little less (but acceptable) speed? And, yes, I’ll mention the coffee. If you head out for a cup of coffee every day, can you reduce the number of days? or cut it out entirely? Where are the hidden places you spend your money?
Get out of debt – Use any extra money that you have to pay “extra” on your credit cards every month. You can also look into transferring balances to zero APR credit cards – unlike your standard credit card, where much of your payment goes toward “interest”, with a zero APR card 100% of your payments go toward reducing your debt. Be committed to pay this card off within the terms of the 0 APR – and watch for the consequences (super high interest rate?) on any balance that remains at the end of the 0 APR term limit. Pick up the free debt elimination program that will help you focus on getting out of debt faster.
Make at least 1 extra mortgage/car payment in 2017 – making one extra mortgage or car payment a year will cause you to pay off your loan in far less time. (Note: If you have credit card or other debt at a higher interest rate, you are better off paying extra on those debts first.)
Create a “Rainy Day Fund” – Economists recommend that you have at least 3-6 months of income in an easily accessible funds in case of an emergency. Nothing is more frustrating than having a critical appliance, like a refrigerator, break down and not have the funds, or credit to replace it. It’s best to have enough saved to help you through a job loss and period of job search.
Use cash or debit cards – whenever, where ever possible, use cash over credit cards. Carrying the amount of money you want to spend at the store – and committing to using only cash – will do wonders to help you stay within your budget.
Save for your retirement – while you may find this one a bit more challenging, after all, chances are you aren’t retiring in the next year or two. Though, it’s true, it will come faster than you ever anticipated. Don’t let the “wants” in life (extra TV set, eating out several times a week) destroy your lifestyle in retirement. Consult with a professional to maximize your retirement accounts.
Create another stream of income – whether it’s a part time job or a side business, even a few hundred dollars a month can go a long way to helping you improve your finances.
Shopping Lists – This one took me by surprise when I started using it…I created shopping lists and stuck to it – I had no idea just how much money I would spend on “impulse” items! My favorite grocery store has an app too that not only allows me to create a shopping list, it offers prices and store layout. I can look at the list and visit only the aisles I need to (to reduce impulse spending) I have also used this app when I stopped in other stores, it helped me quickly compare prices between the two stores, so that I could buy the product at the best price!
And the most important strategy of all…
Improve your money mindset – see money as a tool, a simple exchange. Eliminate any “victim” feelings that you may have around money. When you find yourself feeling stuck in lack – catch it and shift what you tell yourself and others. I know, I’ve done this a lot in the past, and it’s not always easy. Someone will say something about a product or service and my first thought was “I can’t afford that”. When that happens, make the shift and say, instead, “I choose to do something different with my money at this time” Money mindset is a huge topic, and I’ll have more posts about it here and in the exercises and tools sections.
I truly love sharing what I learn with you. Watching someone have an "a-ha" moment is one of the best things in life for me.
Because I am a consummate "student" - when I find something new and interesting, I really dig deep. I study hard and then I use what I've learned to help others. (Yeah, I have gathered together quite a toolbox!)
I truly do believe in the power of "Jump Starts" and the ability everyone has to "get un-stuck." If I can do it, anyone can!
You can connect with me by email at startnewyearright (at) gmail.com and visit my personal website is: www.mariannestrait.com
I believe that every human is unique and valuable,
even if they aren't able to recognize it themselves.
I believe each and every one has the power to create a great life
once they recognize -and accept- their value.
Even as a child I've been able to help people change the way they see themselves - helping them move from a "victim" to an "owner" mindset. I help them to gain self-confidence and recognize their strengths. I've discovered that it's only when you do that, can you "get un-stuck" and "Jump Start" your life.
What drives me is helping others to succeed, to be a support system while they are taking steps toward their dream, and to watch them celebrate their victories.
The Biggest Lesson I've learned is the power of your mind. It truly does create and destroy.
It was quite a shock when I realized the power that my mindset played in every part of my life - good and bad. Discovery wasn't enough though, it still took me decades to harness this power, learn to control it, and develop a system to help others master this in a fraction of the time it took me.
Taking responsibility - even for how others treated me - was one of the hardest adjustments I had to make. To move from Victim to Owner mindset was not only difficult, it was, at times, scary.
It is a move that I am thrilled to have taken. It changed my life and it can change yours.