Ready or not, 2019 has arrived! The beginning of the year means something different to each of us, but for most of the world, it’s a time for a fresh start. It’s the time to focus on what the best 2019 version of you will look like and how you will get there.
For many of us, we focus on health and wellness. Whether that is better self care, improving our eating habits, or hitting the gym, many of us focus on the importance of improving ourselves, but what about financial wellness? Sometimes, I think this is the secret “fitness goal” that we are afraid to talk about. The idea that we might need a financial checkup seems super personal. It doesn’t have to be that way!
To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of financial fitness goals to check off your list this year.
- Create a budget and stick to it.
Okay, we’ve all heard this advice and even the word budget makes most people squirm. We know we should, but we don’t. Break your spending down into manageable segments by tracking your spending for just one week. That means everything…credit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, cash purchases, EVERYTHING. Then add it up and see where your money is really going.
- Review charges on your account.
You might find a few that shouldn’t be there or that you no longer use. For example, you change gyms. Your old gym stopped billing you for a few months, then resumed billing. Reviewing the transactions on your account would allow you to catch the charges sooner and have future billing stopped. Just like that, money saved!
- Bring your lunch to work.
Check out our lunch savings calculator. It is amazing to see how bringing your lunch to school or work will save you real money over time. This doesn’t have to be every single day and, more importantly, it doesn’t have to be boring. Here are some great brown bag lunch ideas.
- Cancel services you don’t need.
Put pen to paper and write down every non-essential service you pay for. Include the cost per month. Go down the list one at a time and ask yourself: Am I still using this? Do I need this? If the answer is no, cancel the service and set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account in the amount that you would have otherwise spent on these services. You’ll save money without even realizing it!
Seriously, wait to make a purchase. If you really want to purchase something, stop yourself from buying it right then and there. Go home. Sleep on it. And if you can’t live without it, go back and buy it. The sleep on it theory could save you bundles on your shopping trips. It also gives you the chance to determine wants and needs.
Alright, we’ve made our list and checked it twice. It’s time to find out what charges to slice! Setting a few goals, reviewing your spending, and even packing your lunch may seem insignificant. If, however, you calculate careful spending over one, three or five years, you’ll be amazed how small steps really add up.
Remember, no one is saying that you have to stop living and having fun, but putting a plan behind your spending can make a significant difference to improve your secret fitness goals.