Story: BE Conrad
Being fiscally fit is just as important as being physically fit.
If your New Year’s resolution involved your finances, you are not alone. Vows to get fiscally fit are second only to promises to get physically fit.
Like those promises to diet and eat right, getting fiscally fit can be much harder to practice than to say. It is not enough to say you will improve your finances in the coming year—you must take specific actions to make that promise a reality.
Here are five steps you can take to get fiscally fit:
Track daily spending.
You cannot improve your finances until you know where you are now. Establish a starting point, one you can use to improve in the year to come. Track spending daily; it’s a real eye-opener. Whether you carry a notepad or record information in your smartphone, tracking every penny is a vital to establishing an effective budget.
Use the accumulated data to create a monthly budget.
Once you know how much you are spending and on what, use the information to create a realistic budget. Having a starting place lets you plot a better course. Are you eating out too much? Cooking your own meals is less expensive. If you need that morning cup of gourmet coffee, invest in a high-end home coffeemaker.
Put your savings on automatic.
Plug the leak in your wallet by designating funds every month for savings. This is essential to good budgeting. Paying yourself first will improve your finances in the coming year. Shift some of your spending into cash. Credit and debit cards might be a little too convenient. It is easy to overspend when all you do is sign your name.
Shift some of your daily spending into cash.
A cash-only diet is revealing and will help improve your financial situation.
Boost the interest rates on your savings.
Increasing what you earn not only brightens your financial future, it’s the easiest way to boost interest rates on your savings. Shop for a better rate for your savings, whether it’s big or small.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to change your financial life. It is never too early, or too late, to live a more fiscally fit lifestyle; however, the sooner you get started, the more impressive the results will be.