With the new year, many women are looking for ways of meeting their resolutions. Your health should be one of the top concerns, but your finances are also critical. To ensure you stay on top of things, there are a few steps to start taking.
Pay Down Debt
If you have loans from a home, vehicle, or school, now is the time to plan how you will reduce that. Plan on paying it back as soon as possible. You can plan on setting aside a certain amount each month in addition to what you’re already paying. For example, if you have to pay $800 every month, you might try to increase that amount by a few hundred dollars more. That will shave enough off that you can pay the loans back sooner. If you have student loan debt, you might consider consolidating it. If so, you can find a guide to better understand the options so you can determine the right way to consolidate them. You’ll also learn a few tips on what borrowers need to know to ensure the decision that is best for each financial situation.
Take Steps to Manage Your Money
Start by making a great budget to form your financial plan. Then work backwards to figure out the right amount for groceries, bills, rent, and other types of expenses. Then add a bit to that amount for miscellaneous costs. Track your monthly expenses on a spreadsheet to see if you are sticking to the budget. Anything that doesn’t get spent can go toward savings, an emergency fund, or something fun, like a vacation. If there are extra amounts in some of the expense categories, consider putting it into your savings account. It’s best to manage your money yourself. It might be easy to let your husband or other significant other take care of the bills but learn how to manage it yourself. Consider having a separate bank account, and ensure you are making your own decisions.
Try to Make Extra Money
Having a single income might not be enough, especially if you live by yourself. Get creative and see what you can do to bring in some extra funds, even if it is just a few hundred dollars. For example, if you are good at baking or cake decorating, consider setting up a small business on the weekends. You can also try to sell items online. Save as much as you can. Create a list of things you can cut out, such as subscriptions and eating out. Try shopping less as well since you might not need more shoes or clothing. Instead of meeting people at restaurants, meet them at home. You can easily ration your money to cover the necessities and give up other items. It does not have to impact your quality of life and comfort levels.
Save for Retirement
Create a retirement plan that will allow you to care for yourself when you are older. Don’t depend on others, like your children, to make sure you are all right. Start setting aside something every month so you can have a small income once you have retired.