As we start a new year, it’s time to reevaluate how your finances are doing. There are three simple tips you can use right now to improve your budget, discover new ways to save money, and start the new year right. These tips from Gary and Drenda Keesee (Fixing the Money Thing) will help you start 2016 right. The tips include:
Tip #1: Figure Out Where Your Money is Going
Analyzing your spending is the first tip to figuring out where your money is going. Look at your online banking statement or your receipts to figure out what you’re actually spending money on. As Gary says,
Look at the last three to six months and analyze what you’ve actually spent. The goal here is to find out how you’re really living. Use online bank records or past receipts to help produce a detailed report.
Tip #2: Create a Balanced Budget
A written budget for your family is crucial to financial success. Most people don’t have a budget and don’t know where their money is going.
I’ve found that 99% of the families I’ve helped don’t have a written budget. Credit cards have made it easy to disregard this important tool of the past. If the budget is tight, the credit card makes up the difference for most families.
Tip #3: Find Hidden Money
You need an emergency fund. This will help reduce your dependence on credit cards and get your financial life in order. Your goal is to sell whatever you can to build up an emergency fund.
Walk through your house (especially the garage and basement) and record every item on a sheet of paper that you’re not using or could live without. The goal of this is to sell those items to help create a cash reserve of at least $2,000.