We all have a relationship with money. Yes, it is a relationship. We love it, we hate it, we need it, and we throw it away. Money has so much power over people as it often dictates what you can have and what you can do. When you are strapped for cash, life can become overwhelming. Even those who seemingly do not have concerns about money likely have concerns about money. How do you create a relationship that removes the control money has over your life? You turn the tables and take control of the money! Here are a few ways to flip the script and develop a more stable relationship with your finances so that your holiday season can have a little less drama.
Give some cheer by getting connected to your money.
You have probably heard that communication is essential to a relationship. This statement refers to communicating amongst the people in your life. We also need to do this with our money. This does not mean you should have a conversation with that penny on the ground. Instead, communicating with your money is about digging into the details. Know exactly where it is coming from and where it is going. Don’t simply do a high-level review; dig really deep into your specific spending habits. There is a plethora of software tools available to help you do this. Think of this process as finding the perfect gift for a loved one. You want to know everything about it before making the purchase. Do this same level of research with your finances, and you may find enough extra cash to buy someone an extravagant gift.
Build the sleigh before it takes off into the air.
You don’t need to make much money to save money. You need to develop a strong foundation upon which to build. How do you build a foundation when you have no money? You work, and you evaluate everything you spend. You may have to work jobs you do not like or don’t see yourself doing long-term. That is ok; it will motivate you to build a stronger foundation. Once you have a good rhythm, you will begin to see that anything can be accomplished if you are willing to stay focused and work toward your goal. Building this core foundation will establish your habits for the remainder of your life. The concepts of money are relatively simple. You need to earn more than you spend to save. Build that, and everything else will fall into place.
Santa does not need to come down the chimney of your fancy house.
By far, the majority of your budget will be spent on housing. It is not simply the initial cost of your house or the rent but everything else that comes along with that. This is the first area to evaluate when you are trying to save money. Does it make sense for you to start your adult life in a large house in the best neighborhood? Could you spend a few years in a home that may need updating but allows you to save significantly more each month? Are you renting in the hottest neighborhood in town? Could you live in a less trendy area and still visit your favorite hangout? These are the hard questions you should ask if you really want to get on track with saving money. If you could save even $200 a month on your mortgage or rent payment, you would immediately save almost $5,000 in just two years. That is a significant amount of money. Santa will find you no matter where you live.
Don’t Forget to Deliver Your Gifts
Reviewing and planning are wonderful places to begin your savings project. However, if you do not act, your savings outlook will remain dismal. You may have found that you had a monthly subscription for a service you no longer use. You could save $10 a month by canceling that service, but you must complete the action to save that money. If you don’t call the provider or log onto your account and go through the thirty clicks to cancel, you will never save that $10. Over two years, that $10 a month would put an extra $240 into your account. That may seem small, but small actions add up quickly. It may take you a few hours to complete the tasks, but you will save lots of money in the end. All that extra money could be invested into your future plans allowing you to meet your savings goals.
Hiring a Professional
If this is “ringing a bell” with you and you want to work with an expert, working with an experienced CPA firm, like Hayes & Associates, will get you started. Their experts can assist you with all types of financial planning and money-related questions.