5 Tips To Keep Your Financial Resolutions In 2014
Join us Thursday, January 30 at 7pm ET for our first Twitter chat of the year with The Frugal Feminista, Kara Stevens. We’ll be taking questions about all of your budgeting concerns for 2014!
On New Year’s Eve, I know many of us promised to commit ourselves to living a better life, which for many of us has everything to do with getting in front of our finances— reigning in the spending, improving our credit, saving more, and thinking about major boss moves that will bring in more income.
It’s almost the end of January and I am hoping that the momentum is still going strong. If not, that’s okay. Here’s a gentle nudge, a lot of resources, and useful tips to get your finances where you want them to be before 2015 rolls around.
Change your relationship with money. You can take all of the advice, tips, and tricks to improve the state of your finances, but if you don’t shift your relationship with money, your success will be temporary and fleeting, at best. In order to see major improvements, you have to approach budgeting, frugality, and wealth accumulation as a way of life. Once you see the value in saving your money, investing your money, and building your network to bulk up your social capital, you will find it easy to say no to impulse buys, overspending, and moocher friends.
Sell your old electronics without the Ebay hassle. Instead of letting your old Androids and iPhones go to waste or collect dust in a drawer, turn them in for cash. Sites like www.cashforlaptops.com and http://www.cashforiphones.com are decent. The site www.usell.com is as well, even though I have received higher quotes for my damaged iPhone 4S 16GB at other sites.
Use your gift cards or trade them in for cash. Check your wallet, your dresser, your purse, or anywhere else in your house/apartment, and you will find a gift card, used or partially unused. If you have no interest in buying another thing, consider redeeming your gift cards for cash. Here are a few sites with a range of policies with respect to minimum gift card amounts, payment options, and the price at which you can sell certain gift cards: www.plasticjungle.com, www.raise.com, www.giftcardrescue.com, www.cardpool.com, and www.giftcardgranny.com
Prioritize your debt. The two most popular strategies for tackling debt are the “high-interest” approach and the “smallest balance” approach. One is no better than the other. Use whichever makes you feel as if you are making the most progress toward your $0-balance dream. With the former, you pay your bills with the highest interest rate first. The rationale behind this strategy is to get the most financially draining bill out of the way first. With the latter, you pay your bills with the smallest balance first of its psychological impact. There is an immediate sense of accomplishment and progress when one bill is completely accounted for.
Calculate your net worth. In order for you to make progress in your financial life, you have to begin with a clear baseline assessment of what you owe, what you own, which is another way of assessing your net worth. To calculate your net worth, it is a three-step process.
First, list ALL of your assets. Assets are the things that you own that carry value. So, the cash balances in your savings, checking, and money market accounts are considered assets. In addition, equity in your home, investment portfolios, real estate property, or the Blue book value of your car are also considered assets.
Next, list all of your liabilities or all of your debts which include your student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and the like.
Finally, subtract your liabilities from your assets to calculate your net worth. If the final number is positive (i.e. larger than $0), congratulations! On the other hand, if you net worth is less than $0, at least you know where you stand, and have no where to go but up.
We will be talking about money, financial management, and making 2014 all about financial abundance during our Twitter Chat next week.
For more information and inspiration, connect with at Kara @thefrugalfeminista and her site The Frugal Feminista.