What are you doing to improve your finances
and stop being broke this year?
What COULD you be doing?
The only thing stopping you is…YOU.
Here’s some things you should be doing this year:
- Build that dang budget, already! Seriously. A budget is the single strongest tool, and one of the only FREE ones, that you can use to end the “broke” cycle and start getting ahead for a change. I’ve got a whole spread on how to make your money work harder for you with one right HERE.
- Lower your interest rates. Call up your lenders and see about lowering your rates! Refinance that car. Balance transfer that credit card. A simple rule of thumb, if you stand to lower your rate by 1.5% or more, it’s going to save you big dollars in the long run. So, unless you like giving your money away, make a few calls and stop wasting it. Need a bit of help? Check out THIS post on scoring low rates.
- Take a look at your savings account. Did you save $1,000 for emergencies? How about long-term savings for that new car or your wedding? This is a great opportunity to re-balance your accounts and see how much you need to make your goals. If your savings account is at $0, that’s fine too…as long as you’re willing to change it! Lucky for you, I’ve already got an article on where to start right HERE
- Pay down your debt. Maybe you can pay it off in 2017. Maybe you can make a huge dent in the balance. Or perhaps you can finally get those payments made on time! Whatever it is, mark your calendar and make it happen. To start you off, HERE’s a few tips to jump-start your debt payoff journey.
- Review your credit report. Every year, I strongly urge you to visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com and obtain a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. Check it out for errors, mistakes, or issues. Make sure your debts are reporting correctly, and familiarize yourself with that “elusive” credit report of yours!
- Shop around for auto/home/life insurance rates. Make sure your coverage amounts still fit your needs, and that you aren’t missing out on any discounts. More importantly, take a few minutes and get quotes from other reputable companies! You can save hundreds of dollars per year if you make it an annual habit to shop around on insurance. Stay tuned, I will be posting a whole spread on saving money on insurance soon.
Here’s my promises to myself for 2017:
- Pay off my student loans (balance: $1,100 | payment: $60): My last day in college was over six years ago. It’s time for me to focus and make my last payment before spring.
- Pay off my furniture loan (balance: $1,200 | payment: $85): This one is 0% APR until January of 2018, but why not free up the money right now? It’s a relatively low balance, so let’s make an easy win.
- Pay off my credit card (balance: $4,900 | minimum payment $75): I just refinanced this debt at a low lifetime employee rate (which is actually less than my mortgage!), so it’s not a burning priority. However, it’s gotta go. I haven’t had $0 credit card balances in four years.
- Pay off my husband’s car (balance: $7,000 | payment $260): I’m being ambitious here, but no pain…no gain. Simple as that. I haven’t owned a fully paid off car in eight years. I am challenging myself to break that cycle in the year 2017.
I am using the Debt Avalanche method (what’s that? CLICK HERE) to reach my 2017 financial goals, and once I do, I will free up $480 every month (or an extra $120 every single week). Knowing that I don’t have to pay $5,760 per year in payments is enough motivation to get serious. Maybe I can finally take that trip to see the Hoover Dam…
Once these items are paid, I will only have my car loan and the mortgage to pay off. That’s IT! Nothing else!