So the calendar has turned and I can’t believe it is 2015. Time really does fly! It is pretty unbelievable that January is already here again. With that in mind I want to share 3 simple ideas to improve your financial life in 2015.
I hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Every time I set one I break it and feel guilty so my goal for 2015 is to make it my best year ever and work to continually improve my life and the lives of the people I touch.
Here are my first 3 simple ideas for improving your financial life in 2015.
1. Set a budget:
So Netflix has added Friends to their lineup and I spent a few hours watching some of my favorite episodes over the New Year’s weekend. In one episode, Joey moves out of his apartment with Chandler and furnishes his new apartment with all sorts of extravagant stuff, like porcelain greyhounds. Suddenly his job changes and its time to pay the piper for all the stuff he purchased. Ross shows him the credit card bill and Joey freaks out. He didn’t understand the basics of having a budget. He thought the good times, financially speaking, would continue to roll. To solve his TV problem Joey has to return all the stuff to pay off the credit card and move back in with Chander.
We aren’t lucky enough to live in a rent controlled apartment with all of our friends or be on a TV show so the moral of the story is live within your means. Just because you have room on your credit card doesn’t mean you should buy that expensive jacket, or piece of furniture for your house. The rule we live with in our house is if we can’t pay cash for the “small” purchase we don’t get it. Set a budget that makes sense for you and be sure you are putting money away for you and your retirement.
2. Cut out a Starbucks (or lunch out) and save
I knew lunch out and Starbucks were expensive drains on a budget but the epiphany hit me over the break when I took my 13 year old to Starbucks with me. Together our drinks were almost $10. 10 Bucks!!!!! That’s crazy. If you get Starbucks everyday for just yourself and spend $5. That is $150 a month. If you cut out 1 day a week. You will save $20 a month or $240 a year. Put that money in your retirement account or into your savings account and watch it grow over time. Instead of the momentarily joyous feeling from the endorphins being released from the coffee you may be able to enjoy a little happier retirement. If you cut out a lunch out every week the savings are even greater. Pack a brown bag and pocket the difference into your retirement account and get one step closer to reaching your goals.
3. Check your cable bill!
I was shocked when I opened my cable bill a few months ago! I was paying a car payment every month for “super-fast” internet and basic cable at the house. It was ridiculous! I knew I was paying it but I really didn’t spend much time thinking about it because it came out of my account automatically. I couldn’t believe that I had been paying this every month for several years. I called the cable company and I negotiated a more appropriate package and cut my bill in half. I am going to save almost $1000 a year! That is real savings that can be used to help me reach some of my other financial goals. Check all of your monthly bills to see if you can find additional savings. Then take the savings and put it into an emergency savings or retirement account. Avoid the urge to spend your new found savings.
Here’s to a prosperous 2015. May it be your best year ever!
A Prosperous Thought From The Factory on Main
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.