“Money isn't the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” – Zig Zigler
With the New Year upon us, many are setting New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions often include increasing or adding daily physical activity. Goals related to weight loss and healthy eating are at the top of the list also. But, what about improving our financial wellness? Do your finances need a facelift in 2015? If so, consider these suggestions to build your financial foundation:
- Go through your checkbook and receipts over the past few months to determine what you have actually spent on essentials and extras.
- Develop two separate budget lists, one for essentials and the other for extras. Within each category, some items are essential (e.g. mortgage or rent payment, electric bill, and groceries); others are extra (e.g. new furniture, gifts, and pizza delivery).
- Place a star beside each flexible budget expense on your list that you can cut out to save money.
- Add up your budget essentials list and the extras list separately.
- Subtract the essentials total from your monthly income and, if you have money left over, subtract the extras total from that amount. If you still have money left over look into a savings or investing plan (talk to your bank or a certified financial planner for help setting up a plan).
- If your extras list takes you into negative numbers, use money from your flexible budget to pay your essential bills. You can also trim from the extras list to put more money toward debt repayment if that’s a high priority in your financial picture.
Assessing your financial wellness and developing a plan of action is the first step to building a strong financial foundation. Gaining control of your finances can bring peace of mind that contributes to an overall state of wellness. Start the New Year off right by building a strong foundation for financial wellness in 2015!