If you’ve been avoiding logging into your financial accounts because you know you haven’t saved enough or you don’t want to look at how much you’ve spent on non-essentials this month, you are certainly not alone! Spending is often emotional and facing your financial situation can be even more distressing. So there are two choices: either face the situation head-on and fix it, or continue down the bumpy path of the unknown and hope for the best.
It’s not difficult to fast-track your finances toward top health and you can do this in just days. Here is your plan for the next 30 days:
1. List every monthly expense you have: From cell phone and insurance bills to dining out and gym costs, create a list. Make sure to be realistic about how much you have spent on lunches out, Starbucks latte’s and even bottled water. This will help assess where you are spending too much, what you can eliminate and determine what your goal will be for saving each month.
2. Reduce your household bills: Most people see regular increases from cable, internet and car insurance companies. Shop around for better rates. It’s also an option to call your current companies and ask for any current promotional rates. Even a six-month discount of $10 off your cable bill adds up to a good savings. It always pays to ask.
3. Get a financial file system and stay organized: While most bills are paid online these days, there are certainly documents that you’ll need on file such as contracts, receipts for tax time and more. Organize all of your financial documents in one place so you know exactly where everything is. Determine if you need to get documents updated such a will or trust, then contact your financial advisor for assistance.
4. Obtain a copy of your credit report: There are some websites that will offer a copy of your credit report for free. Take a close look and if there are any issues, then resolve them as quickly as possible. It will eliminate worry to know that your credit history is in check and there are no unknown outstanding debts.
5. Contact your company’s HR department: Many large companies offer discounts on auto insurance or movie tickets, even large purchases like computers. Instead of taking those last few vacation days at the end of the year to relax at home, you may be able to get paid for them if unused. Also, you may discover you can contribute a higher monthly percentage to your 401k plan, therefore increasing your retirement savings.
6. Evaluate the clutter in your home and sell items you no longer need: Some of your old items may earn money on websites such as eBay or you can take it to a local thrift store for cash. Clearing the clutter from your home also paves the way for clear financial thinking, since you know what you have and what you need or don’t need. You may be less likely to make an impulse purchase.
7. Create a spending plan: Write out a plan for each month and then challenge yourself to save even more by cutting one more expense per month. Over time, small savings add up to larger savings and can make a huge difference in your savings account, or even the year of your retirement.
Would you like help creating a personalized financial plan? Click on the button below to request your free 15-minute phone consultation with a Bayntree financial advisor.
Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.
Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.