The holidays are behind us and 2013 has officially arrived. The holidays were a time for family and cheer; the New Year is an opportunity for new beginnings. If your New Year’s resolution involves getting financially fit, then this is the article for you!
Here Are DebtCare’s “Top 5 Tips for Financial Fitness in 2013”:
Financial Fitness Tip #1 – Determine what you really spend. For one week, closely monitor your spending. No expense is too small to track this week. If you buy a coffee, track it! You can do so using ‘notepad’ on your smart phone or by keeping a small notebook with you.
Financial Fitness Tip #2 – A good budget will be the roadmap to your success. Put together a strong budget that includes both your fixed costs, like rent/mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc., along with a realistic estimate of everyday soft costs. Try to find places in your budget where you can save.
Financial Fitness Tip #3 – A family that plays together stays together. If you are planning on tightening your belt in the New Year in an effort to reach your financial goals and you have a spouse and/or children, you are going to have to make them aware of your plans. As a family you can work together to find savings in your household and curb unnecessary spending.
Financial Fitness Tip #4 – Review your debt. Look at your unsecured debts, interest rates and minimum monthly payments. Do you have room in your budget to double or triple up on your minimum monthly payments? You will need to. Since the minimum monthly payments on credit cards are generally set so low and the interest on credit cards is generally high, you will find it nearly impossible to pay off your credit cards in a reasonable amount of time by making only minimum payments. If you want to work towards financial fitness you will need to create room in your budget to pay down your credit cards.
Financial Fitness Tip #5 – Request your credit report from Equifax. Even if you think your credit is going to be bad, it is still a good idea to request your credit report. It is important to know where you stand so that you can consider the state of your credit in your financial decisions. On the flip side, you may think your credit is great but learn that there are issues that you were not aware of that are impacting your credit score.
Once you have a plan to deal with your debt, a budget, and an understanding of your credit, you must follow through with your plan to deal with your debt: you must follow your budget and you must work towards improving your credit. Achieving financial fitness takes time and commitment!
When you achieve financial fitness you will find that you have more cash flow, can begin to amass savings and investments, qualify for lower rates on credit products, and more.
The New Year is a better time than ever to commit to becoming financially fit!
For more information about getting financially fit for 2013 or if you need help with your 2013 financial planning please contact DebtCare at 416-907-2582 or visit www.debtcare.ca.