Hi everyone, its Financially Fit Phoebe here! The New Year is here and it’s the perfect time to take control of your finances! Here are four things that I plan on focusing on to be financially fit and so can you!
Create a monthly budget. I know this is easier said than done, there have been times that even I’m temped to break my budget! The key to having a successful budget is to have “fun money” set aside each month for you to spend. As long as you don’t go over your “fun money” limit, you can still have fun and stay on budget. When creating your budget it is important to include EVERYTHING: such as grocery, utilities, mortgage/rent, debt, clothing, transportation, phone/cable bills, “fun money”, insurance, and other bills you may have. Your budget should also include savings goals.
Set Savings Goals
It is important to think “spend what is left after saving” rather than “saving what is left over from spending”. Each month you should have a set amount of what you will put into your savings. I recommend starting out by putting 10% of your income to savings. If that seems like too much for you right now, start by putting $20 in your savings a month. Any little bit will help. Once you have a handle on saving, start setting monthly and yearly savings goals.
Get out of Debt
Write down all of your debts from highest annual interest rate to the lowest annual interest rate. Debt with the highest interest rate should be what you begin to pay off first. One way to pay off debt faster is by reducing your monthly expenses.
Take Control of Your Spending
What I recommend doing is writing down what you spent your money on for the last two months. I mean everything… down to the penny! This will help you determine what you can cut back on. Some ways that I cut down on my spending include: not buying name brands, looking for the best sale price, bringing a lunch from home, upcycling, and using coupons.
There are many finance and budgeting apps out there. Some of my favorites include iReconcile, Expenditure, MoneyBook, Toshl, and Mint. Our SCFCU Banking app helps you keep track of what you are spending and how much money you have in your account at all times (it can help you spot any potential theft).
We have many calculators you can use to help reach your goals!
Household Budget Calculator
“Benefit of Spending Less” Calculators
“Savings Goals” Calculators
It’s never too late to become financially fit. The St. Cloud Federal Credit Union team and I are here to help you gain control of your finances and to help you embrace the “financially fit” lifestyle!