It’s the new year and like everyone else I am setting goals to be my best self in 2018. Last year was pretty good but when I look back over the year I realize there were so many things I could be doing better. One of them was my money. I literally just did things randomly when it came to money last year. No real budget or system to how I handled it. I just paid the bills when they came and saved where I could. But this year I am looking to truly get serious. I have identified the five major areas I need to get real about.
Listen, I know what it’s like to be living paycheck to paycheck. So having a savings at all is a blessing. If a financial emergency occurred, I used credit. Last year I was able to change that and finally start an emergency savings account. This year I am going to work on building it. My goal is to have a comfortable 12-months of living expenses saved outside of my regular savings account. Having that emergency stash has lowered my money stress level and made life so much easier.
I have to get back to the basics. I will be going back to my family budget. The budget allows me to create a spending plan for my family and know exactly where my money is going each month. It will also help keep me out of debt. When I set income goals and plan my spending, I am much less likely to put things on credit.
Planning For Large Purchases
This year I need a new sofa. The one I have has had it. The kids have jumped on it, spilled juice and plain wore it out. Instead of impulsively going out to spend that kind of money, I am going to plan the purchase out. I will add $250 to my monthly income goal, specifically for this purchase. Then I will save the money I make each month toward my new couch. That way, I am not using money that I need to be saving or money that is allocating to something else.
I have had to make some serious sacrifices to save for my son’s college education. With 3 more coming up behind him, I am planning to do things much differently. I will start saving for their education much sooner than I did with my oldest. Using COUNTRY Financial’s college savings tools I have determined just how much and how long I need to put aside money for them. COUNTRY Financial has helped turn this big goal into simple steps by allowing me to break down the numbers using their savings goals calculator. Using it makes that big number a little less intimidating.
Cut Cost Where You Can
I also decided to look at what I was spending monthly and determine to only keep what was absolutely necessary. I had already made some sacrifices but there were other things that I could do better on as well. This year I will be bargain shopping, using coupons, buying used and whatever else I can do to get the things I need at a better price. All in all I will be spending my money much more wisely.
At the end of the day, to become financially secure, its important to create money habits that will keep more money in your pocket, allow it to grow and ultimately create wealth. To do that, diligent planning is essential. Visit COUNTRY Financial to find out all the ways they can help you plan for your child’s education and execute your financial goals.
*This post is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. All opinions expressed are my own.