Welcome to 2016! Welcome to a new year where you can create a new you.
What are your goals? What are your aspirations? Where do you want this year to take you? If creating positive financial change is something on your mind, there are four small changes you can make that will lead to a big impact this year.
- Think about non-monthly expenses.
Expenses that are regular but not paid on a monthly basis can be costly. Instead of thinking of property tax as something paid annually or the garbage service as something paid quarterly, let’s break it into a monthly figure. It’s really difficult to suddenly cover $300 in property taxes, but it’s much easier to think about paying $25 per month. Divide your annual expenses by 12, semi-annual expenses by 6, and quarterly expenses by 3 to see how much money you need to save each month to cover that expense when it comes due.
- Create a meal plan.
The temptation to eat out can be overwhelming, especially when you aren’t completely sure what will be made for dinner that night. Sit down and write out what meals you are going to make along with a list of the groceries you need to complete the dish. Not only will the meal plan remove that unsureness and help you reduce spending on take-out and fast food, but it will help you reduce spending while in the grocery store as well.
- Consider ways to reduce stress without spending.
Stress-spending can become very expensive, very quickly. If you tend to go shopping when you feel stressed, this tip is calling your name. Think about things you can do to alleviate stress that does not correlate with walking into your favorite store or mall.
- Complete a drivers’ training program.
Regardless of how long you’ve been driving, check with your car insurance company to see if completing a drivers’ training program would reduce your premium. Research different programs and choose one that’s cost-effective and convenient. You may be surprised what a simple online course could save you.
These four changes are so small that they are often overlooked, but you will appreciate the positive financial impact they will make on your life. Don’t stop there, though. Meet with a Financial Coach at Prosperity Connection; you can easily schedule an appointment with Jaison, Sarah, Evette, or myself (Meghan) by emailing email@example.com. We look forward to helping you create even larger changes in 2016!
By Meghan Northcutt, AFC® Candidate, FFC Candidate