Taking a hard look at your personal finances is something most people do not enjoy doing. As we begin the final month of 2015, it is a good time to think about where we want to be financially a year from now and reflect on how we have done this year. Financial goals that are hastily set on December 31st will not be kept, thinking about your goals now and creating a plan that is realistic for your lifestyle will.
Credit Cards Have you ever seen “Confessions of a Shopoholic?” There is a scene where the main character and her best friend sit with a bottle of tequila and bring out all of the credit card statements and add up how much she owes. There is something very relatable about this scene. It is not fun to look at how much you have been spending. We aren’t recommending using alcohol to numb your problems. The point is bite the bullet. Rip the band aide off.
If you have more than one credit card that you would like to pay off, the rule of thumb is to pick the one with the highest interest rate and pay that one down first. You may have to take a good look at yourself and decide whether or not you need to cut that card up or not; or there is always the credit card in the freezer trick. Another good way to control your credit card use is to give your card to a trusted friend for safekeeping. Instruct your friend to only let you have your credit card back in case of emergency.
Have Fun Is it cold where you live? Do you wish you were laying in the sun right now on a beautiful beach? Picture where you would like to be this time next year and start a savings account. Calculate your airfare, accommodations and fun money for your dream vacation and divide that by 12. That’s how much money you need to put away each month to make that dream a reality.
This time next year you could be well on your way to being out of debt. You could be on vacation on a warm island that you have already paid for. Imagine how good that would feel. So don’t wait until the last minute to set your 2016 goals. Start right now, realistically and thoughtfully. You will never regret bettering your financial health.