Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting Financially Fit in 2015!

A Weight-Loss Pledge Easy to Keep:

Getting Financially Fit in 2015

   The pledge to stick to a budget is one of the most commonly made, hardest to keep and often broken New Year’s resolutions. Yet becoming financially fit in 2015 is not animpossible goal for the average American family. The New Year is the perfect time to make a fresh financial start, when post-holiday bills and pre-planners agree that following some basic steps – like setting priorities and taking stock of income– can give you the best chance of keeping this important New Year’s resolution. Recently, the extended financial community has also been directing consumers’ attention towards an often overlooked source of “extra cash” – their spare change. The average coin jar can weigh anywhere from 1 to 40 pounds, depending on the mixture of coins. Cashing in their coin jars is
a “weight loss pledge” that individuals could find easy to keep!
   “Approximately $10.5 billion in change is hidden in US homes,”
says Alex Camara, senior vice president and general manager, worldwide for Coinstar, country. “That breaks down to about $99 per household. With full time jobs with benefits are scarce and uncertain not to mention huge home-heating bills this winter, many individuals feel they can’t afford to overlook any source of cash.” “The majority of the population accumulates spare change,” Camara says. “The new year is the perfect time to make financial resolutions and do something proactive with that change.”  I suggest picking up a 5-10 gallon water bottle from Lowe's or Home Depot and start filling it with your spare change everyday.  After 6 months you will be really surprised.

Here are some basic tips for getting financially fit in 2015:
Set Priorities:

• Define your financial priorities for the coming year. Is
your goal to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt? Pay
student loans; don't be a "professional student" and continue
to defer your loans; start paying;
Increase your retirement savings? Establish a college
fund for your children?
• Recognize the difference between needs and wants.
Most of us have far more wants than we could possibly
finance. Plan to pay for the needs first. Assess just
how much it costs every month to fund your family’s
basic needs, including housing, food, utilities, health
care, etc.!
Take Stock:
• Gather up all your monthly bills and make a list of what
you pay towards each.
• Collect receipts for a few months. Every time you
spend money – whether it’s for groceries, going to a
movie, dining out or buying a pack of gum – keep the
receipt in a brown 8x11 envelope and categorize each one on the
front of the envelope.  Use them to create a list at the end of the
month to show you where your pocket cash is going.
• Similarly, write down  all your available sources of
income, including your salary, spouse’s salary,
bonuses, etc.! Remember, child support is for the child; not to
buy shoes, gucci, nails etc.  Be accountable and use it for their
needs, shelter, food, extra curricular activities, tutoring etc.
Create a Budget:
Once you know how much money you have coming in and
going out every moth, create a budget based on your priorities
and past experience. Be realistic about what you can and
cannot do without. For example, if dining out is a big expense
every month, you may be able to trim it down, but probably
should eliminate it from your budget all together at least for a few months.
Use that money to pay down a bill.

A Complimentary look of easy ways to save for your future 
from the LKN Team… Jecolia and Sara White
Click on our Ad below to visit our newest listing in Lake Norman!
149 Isle of Pines