Making Better New Year’s Financial Planning

Over the last four years, I have begun to get my financial life back on track. It’s been challenging because I love to hang out with friends. I’ve helped a lot of people over the years who didn’t feel the need to reciprocate. My heart has shattered, and my finances depleted. It’s never ceased to amaze me how people disappear from your life when finances deplete.

Forget about politics for a moment. Let’s think about reality. If you are used to having money to pay your bills, you usually can’t comprehend how others struggle to make ends meet. If you are among those living paycheck to paycheck, it may be difficult for you to fathom a life without financial struggle. The grass is rarely greener on the other side of life.

As the upcoming New Year approaches, many people wonder how to stretch their dollars to the max. You are the only one who knows what you spend and on what. You have the power to make the changes in your life. Some of you have no wiggle-room for finances. I know the feeling well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that nothing is free. If our government can find a way, even the air we breathe will be taxed. I am not a financial expert, nor do I claim to be. I have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for years and am finally getting to where I have a little bit of a cushion. One of my favorite lecturers is Dave Ramsey. He brings up excellent points that have helped me get my life back. Hopefully, some of these pointers will help you out as well.

Every financial advisor I’ve seen said to make a budget. This starts by sitting down and figuring out your expenses. Weigh what can be cut out and what is essential. Take a look at your earnings and determine how much money you have to work with. If necessary, take on a side job.

Strategize. Once you have the facts of what you can work with, then you can strategize the best way to utilize your money. Do you need a case of beer a week? Is that an expense you can cut down? Instead of going out to restaurants for take-out, why not start cooking at home? If you are a smoker, budget your finances for tobacco and vaping. Don’t see yourself short. If you are with a partner, figure out what you both can bring to the table. Some couples have figured out how to live on one income. It’s tough but it’s allowed them to save for something bigger.

I remember going to a financial specialist who told me that “I wouldn’t get out of debt.” I’m about to be completely debt-free. I’ve got a year left, and I will be. It takes diligence, and patience to whittle away at debt and get back on your feet, but it’s possible. Use sources like Youtube to help you in your research. Do you want to start the New Year with changes, or are you content with things the way they are? If you aren’t struggling with finances, kudos to you. That’s a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud. I know a lot of people who have lost their jobs to COVID. This can make getting out of debt more difficult but not impossible.

Research everything. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t take someone at their word. Take the time to research by looking at reviews and finding other folks who have been in similar situations. Communication is critical to get yourselves back on solid footing. Not every one will work with you. Just remember that if you never try, you’ll never see a change in results.

Be intentional in your goals. Celebrate your life. Start thinking in terms of what you want. I don’t want to wait until I’m too old and feeble to enjoy the better things in life. I want to be able to share them with a family and experience a world of adventure. I could see myself jumping out of an airplane as George H W Bush did. Never be afraid to dream and plan.

It never hurts to talk to experts. Don’t worry. Not all financial officers charge an exorbitant fee. There are agencies out there who can assist you and help you get on track. You have to research them and figure out the best course of action for you. No matter what, believe in yourself. 2021 is a New Year and a wonderful opportunity to incite better changes for everyone. I hope all your dreams come true and that you never lose sight of the things that make you happy. Save up to make those dreams a reality. After all, we only are on earth for a little while, we might as well find ways to make the most our of our lives and time.

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