Having stronger finances is one of the goals you could have for the year. It could be a result of a lackluster financial performance from the past year. You could be coming off a financial emergency and you want to strengthen your budget for this year. It is also possible that you made a big decision last year such as getting married or having a baby and you want to make sure you do things right.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to strengthen your finances. It also does not help that NY Post shares that 7 out of 10 people who budget struggle to stick to their list. This is important to take note since having a household budget is one of the pillars of a strong and efficient financial management plan. However, sticking to it is entirely a different scenario.
If you aim to have stronger finances at the start of the year, it is important to stick to your budget. Make sure that your list does not get left behind at home if you wrote them on a piece of paper. It is best to have them on your phone or on the cloud so you can access it anytime you need to. This way, you get to make informed money decisions.
If you are willing to put in the work, you need to look at some of the concrete ways to strengthen your finances. You need to make sure that you stick to them throughout the year. If you only choose the ones which are convenient, you may never get out of your comfort zone. As a result, you may never grow and learn the things you need to manage your finances well. Here are some of the ways to help you strengthen your finances for the coming year.
Commit to a savings plan
In order to have stronger finances, you need to commit to a savings plan. Saving money might seem to be an easy objective but doing the actual work can be very challenging. You need to start with a household budget to have an idea of how much exactly is coming in and what your financial obligations are as well.
Once you have that budget, you will have an idea of how much you can save every month. That budget will also help you identify areas in your expenses you can lower down. It will help you save more money at the end of the month. You can also look at your income and decide if you can still add more every month.
You can look at getting a second job on top of your day job. A few hours of serving drinks or even being a DJ can add to your monthly income. Another thing you can look at is to turn your hobbies into an income-generating one. If you know and love to bake cookies, you can make some and sell them over the weekends to family and friends. Maybe even join a weekend market and sell your baked goods.
Stick to a debt repayment plan
One other money decision you can make this year to help you have stronger finances is to choose and stick to a debt repayment plan. If you have numerous debt accounts that are taking its toll on your finances, it is high time to look for a debt repayment plan. Doing so will give you focus and direction in paying down your debts.
One of the repayment plans you can look into is debt consolidation. As the name suggests, you combine your debt obligations under one account. There are a number of ways to go about consolidating your debt. For credit card debt, you can look for your card with the lowest interest rate and consolidate your debts with that card. You can also look at taking out personal loans to consolidate your debt or even your house to get a secured loan.
Another option you have when it comes to debt repayment options is debt settlement. This is where you work with a trusted debt settlement company who will negotiate with your lenders on your behalf. The idea is that they will ask your creditors to settle the amount you owe at a lower number. This will help you get that weight off your shoulders thinking about your payments.
Surround yourself with good people
Stronger finances might be a dream for some people because they are trying to go through the journey all on their own. It is true that it is your money and that you need to make the decisions but you do not have to go through it alone. It would help if you are surrounded by people who have the same goals as you are or who can help you with your journey.
The Ladders share that you are the average of five of the people whom you spend a lot of time with. This makes it all the more important to choose the people you surround yourself with. Apart from your family, your friends play a big role in your life and how you achieve your goals. This is true especially when you are trying to strengthen your finances.
If your friends prefer to dine out, travel, and buy new things regardless if they get into serious debt, you might have a hard time reaching your goals. This is because there is a good chance that you could be doing the same things they are doing. You could be buying things you do not need and going on trips you cannot afford.
Seek help if you need one
Trying to have stronger finances can be a challenge especially if you have been living your whole life under great debt. It might be time to start looking for and working with a finance professional who can guide you and motivate you to do better with your finances. You can even work with a professional company who can help you identify the most appropriate debt repayment plan for you.
You might be worried that people would start to look down on you because you seek professional financial help. It is just like going to the doctor when you are sick or to a mechanic when something is wrong with your car. There are professionals out there who can help you get through a specific type of challenge and there is nothing wrong in seeking their help.
One of the best money decisions you can even make at the start of the year is to try and manage finances to make them stronger. This means that you will start approaching your finances and making money decisions that will essentially strengthen your overall finances for the whole year. You may even be able to reach your goals faster and have more time to do the things you love.