Many Americans were caught off guard financially during the pandemic. Unfortunately, a lack of savings, staggering wages, and excessive amounts of debt created a difficult time. The good news is the New Year is here and there’s no better time to motivate yourself to get your finances under control.
Commit to Saving Money
It’s hard to imagine putting money into a savings account when you barely have enough to cover your monthly expenses. However, it’s necessary. Having money saved is exactly what will prevent another financial setback. Take a portion of your weekly/bi-weekly paycheck and put it away. You can start with small deposits and gradually increase them as you pay down debt and improve your salary.
Health Care Providers
Maintaining good health will prevent large bills and ultimately save you money. If you feel that anything is off or you have a recurring health issue, take care of it immediately. The same goes for your dental health. A pin-hole cavity will cost far less than a tooth with severe decay. Most fillings are covered under dental insurance whereas root canals and crowns in many cases are not. Make every effort to find a primary care physician and a credible dentist in Olympia Fields or wherever you live, now.
Dump the Debt
It’s nice to have a few credit cards at your disposal, especially during tough financial times. Unfortunately, unless you use them correctly, you can end up with large amounts of debt. If you currently owe thousands to multiple credit card companies make it a priority to pay them down. Thankfully there are several options that work. You can pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate or lowest balance first and then move on to the next one.
Become a Smart Shopper
There are a few ways to capitalize on your savings every time you shop. For instance, prior to each weekly food shopping trip, make sure to make a list and stick to it, find the supermarket with the best prices on the items you need, and use coupons when possible. For large ticket items, wait for optimum times of the year, generally around major holidays, and the change of seasons to secure the best prices. It’s also beneficial to consider buying used items. Don’t discard places like consignment shops or ads in the local newspaper as in many cases you can get a quality item at a great price.
Eliminate Frivolous Spending
During tight financial times frivolous spending can cause your finances to go topsy turvy. Changing your spending habits will allow you to remain current with your monthly bills. Avoid things like window shopping if you can’t leave empty-handed, buying coffee on the way to the office and ordering food out. On the weekend make one trip to run errands instead of several to save gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
Pay Cash for Desired Purchases
Running up huge amounts of credit card debt is easy. However, paying it off generally takes much longer and it can cost you. If there’s something you want such as a new gaming system, save up for it. This will allow you to achieve many positive goals. First, you learn how to save money. Second, you pay only what the item costs and not a penny more. And, third, you own it immediately. There’s no future bill and no additional credit card debt.
Climb the Ladder
If you find yourself in a dead-end job with no chance to improve your annual salary, it may be time to change the venue. Take advantage of the lucrative job market and find a better-paying job. If you lack the skills necessary to earn a decent salary, take a few classes online.
The pandemic hurt many adults financially. Make 2022 the year you make positive changes that allow you to establish savings, pay down debt, and improve your net earnings.