Let’s look at some steps we can take to clean our finances up for the remainder of the year.
Make a clean sweep of old financial habitsNow is a good time to identify and get rid of habits that are hindering your financial success. One of the main areas for people to clean up is how they spend their money. Many people don’t even know where their money goes. If you are someone who has ever asked, “Where did all my money go?”, I recommend downloading our Daily Spending Worksheet. Here, I want you to print this off, and write down EVERYTHING you spend for a week; EVERYTHING! Many times, it’s the little spending that adds up to a big amount over time. Just think, a daily $5 cup of coffee can add up to over $50,000 in a working lifetime! Try this out and see where your money is going and make every effort to have positive spending habits for the remainder of the year. It’s hard to cut out expenses if we don’t know where our money is going.
Give your budget a dusting
While I am always a big fan of having a budget, spring is a great time to really get ourselves in check on putting a spending plan together for the remainder of the year. When people operate on a budget, they give themselves the following advantages:
- Control. Knowing exactly how much money you have at any given point puts you in the financial driver’s seat.
- Organization. Keeping your finances in order is vital, and having a financial plan keeps you organized.
- More Money. Working within a budget will leave you with more money every month.
- Opportunities. Sticking with your budget will open up financial windows of opportunity
Download our sample budget and start the process of getting your finances in order to reach your annual financial goals. If you haven’t set them, do it now!
Throw away your debt
This is a great time of the year to really have a plan to tackle debt, so you can redirect your cash flow that is paying debt to other avenues such as saving or investing. When is the last time you have analyzed all your debt on one piece of paper? Many Americans have never done this. What you want to do is list all of your debts together in order to see how to tackle it. Personally, I recommend (if you want to save the most money) the following approach:
- Put as much as your budget will allow toward your debt with the highest interest rate
- Continue to pay minimum payments on the rest of your debts. (Interest can really add up over the long term, so let’s make this a priority.)
- Once you have paid off your highest-interest-rate debt, add what you were paying on it to the minimum payment of your next highest-interest-rate debt.
In order to eliminate debt, we need to have an action plan to do so. Once you are out of debt, can you imagine how much money you will then have to allocate for savings and/or investing? Download our Debt Payoff Tracker to start understanding and tackling all the debts you have today, so you can focus on eliminating those and working toward achieving your dreams for a better tomorrow.
As we move out of winter and into spring, make every effort to follow these steps to help you get a better grip on your finances and achieve your financial goals and dreams!
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View all of your accounts, including those with other financial institutions, in one convenient location! Money Management makes it is easy to track your budget, set goals, monitor transactions and categorize your spending. Best of all, it’s part of Old National’s Online Banking, giving you complete control of your financial life, wherever you are!
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