The beginning of a new year can be liberating for people who struggled financially in the past. Flipping the calendar from 2015 to 2016 encourages everyone to reevaluate their lives. An important part of this renewed look is a review of your finances. Recent economic problems have hit families, couples, and individuals hard, leading to financial decisions based on immediate needs rather than long-term concerns. With a few helpful hints, you can make 2016 a year for financial stability while setting the table for better finances well into the future.
The first step toward financial stability is reviewing your daily and monthly expenses to find drains on your finances. Keep your receipts for the first month of your financial review to determine how much you spend on a daily basis. You will likely be confronted by a mountain of receipts for gas, snacks, coffee, shopping trips, and miscellaneous expenses. A look at your monthly bank statement is helpful in finding gym memberships, subscriptions, and other expenses that could be reduced. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate monthly expenses for services or products that you haven’t used in at least two months.
Establishing a sustainable budget for 2016 allows you to achieve financial balance and prepare for emergencies down the road. You should list all of your expenses underneath your monthly wages to place your financial situation in stark contrast. A red mark or highlight can be placed on any expenses that are immovable, which will typically be rent and employee-sponsored healthcare plans. An additional mark should be placed next to expenses that could be driven down through common adjustments including groceries, mortgages, car payments and individual healthcare costs. You can finish your budgeting by drawing lines through luxury expenses including cable, Netflix subscriptions and gym memberships. As you finish up your budgeting, you should save one of these luxury expenses to treat yourself on your path to financial success.
A major step toward financial stability might come to light when looking at your current career. The job market remains difficult even for the most experienced professionals so you might need to augment current employment. Local shops offer part-time jobs that allow work to be completed on nights and weekends. Filling your schedule with part-time employment that is complementary to your primary job is tiresome but in the short term, your personal finances will be in better shape. Another popular approach is to offer freelance or project services through online sources like oDesk and eLance. These websites allow you to post your qualifications and offer writing, design or clerical services to clients around the world.
A final suggestion for achieving financial stability in 2016 is to attend educational events in your community that highlight responsible spending. Public libraries often host free sessions with tax advisors and financial planners especially during tax season. Area colleges and universities are great resources for financial advice. These institutions might allow non-students to audit financial classes at low prices in addition to free lectures offered by financial experts.