Many people are cheering for the end of 2020. As it comes to a close, it’s time to think about the new year and the hope that comes with it. Despite the misery associated with this last year, there are many lessons to learn financially. Getting your finances in order should be at the top of your priorities. Thankfully, there are several ways to achieve this goal.
If your use of credit cards is up more than in previous years, don’t fret. You made it through a tough time both mentally and financially. Now it’s time to discover the amount you owe out and work hard to reduce it. Gather your bills and tally them up. If your balance comes from more than a couple of credit cards, you can take out a consolidation loan through a lender like Harrison Funding, to reduce the payment to a lower, more affordable amount.
Reducing Overhead Costs
Almost every household budget has room for improvement. Comb through your monthly bills and review them carefully. If your cable bill is a few hundred dollars every month, contact the service provider and remove the premium channels. If you have rolled over minutes on your cell phone, switch to a lower plan. For insurance, consider combining your homeowner’s, auto, and life insurance policies with the same company to get an additional discount.
Monthly utilities can consume much of your expendable cash. However, there are many ways to lower the bills. Updating appliances may not be possible. However, using less energy is. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to reduce energy waste. You can set the temperature lower or higher, depending on the season, when sleeping or away from home. Use less water while showering by installing a lower flow rate showerhead and turning it off when washing up. Run the washer, dryer, and dishwasher with full loads and during off-peak hours to consume less energy. Having regular maintenance performed on your HVAC or heating system and changing out traditional bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs will also save money.
Separating the Wants from the Needs
If you want to achieve financial success and live a comfortable life, you need to prioritize. Wants and needs are two separate things. For example, you need a roof over your head, but you want a new gaming system. The roof over your head comes first. Regarding the gaming system, that’s something you can acquire in the future, when you have the money available, after you pay the necessary expenses, to buy it.
Invest in Your Future
Retirement comes up quickly. It’s now, in your early thirties, that you need to start putting away money. The good news is there are several ways to build wealth for retirement. Many companies offer entry into a 401k as part of their benefits package. Most employers will contribute to your investment. If your company doesn’t offer retirement benefits or you’re self-employed, you can open a 401k or a Roth IRA of your own.
Preventing Financial Ruin
Anyone can have something unexpected happen that affects their finances. A sudden illness or major home repair that costs thousands are a couple of possibilities. You can avoid these or, at the very least, reduce their financial impact by having at least three to six months’ worth of your living expenses set aside in a savings account.
Finding Ways to Save Money
There are dozens of ways to save money on the items you need. Using coupons and searching for the fliers of the local supermarkets will help you pay less for food. Online discount sites provide coupons and promo codes for anything from hair products to vacations. During and after a major holiday and at the closing end of a season, stores generally reduce their remaining merchandise significantly. Second-hand shops and yard sales offer a great way to find things like clothing, furniture, and decor for much less than their retail values.
If 2020 teaches you anything, it’s that being prepared financially can be a lifesaver. Use these tips to help you get started on the road to reaching that goal.