A New Year, a New Financial Plan

The holidays are over and the celebrations are complete. Now it’s time to look forward to the new year and all the opportunities it brings. When it comes to resolutions, the focus always seems to center around appearances and hitting the gym. Perhaps this year it’s worth thinking about hitting the financial plans.

There are a few simple steps you can take on your own to improve your financial situation. The obvious one, of course, is to get control of your spending. While that seems simple enough, it’s surprising how overwhelming this can seem. So start with the basics. Make a list of all your required monthly expenses; not your wants, but your must have’s. Include things such as:

– Rent or mortgage payment

– Home or renter insurance

– Property taxes

– Utilities including hydro, phone, internet, tv

– Auto insurance

– Fuel and/or bus pass

– Food

Once you’ve calculated all your required expenses, subtract that from your net income for the month. Now you know what you have to put aside every month just to get manage your obligations and how much you have left to make decisions on. From here, set an entertainment budget. In the days of digital currency, it’s easy to tap your bank card into debt. One tip is to withdraw your entertainment money in cash on every pay date and then store your bank card. Once the cash is gone, you know you need to find free entertainment options.

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