Before you criticize tax season, think about your own finances and how easily they can be mismanaged.
Your money is your lifeblood, so a little maintenance now will help you become more prepared for the future.
Today’s article will discuss some best practices for keeping your financial health on check.
Turning in an expense report because it’s due to the IRS isn’t enough to fix a problem if you don’t keep up with the rest of your finances as well.
Make sure that any changes made are going towards your overall goal of saving and living better than last year (or even last month).
If you’re having trouble focusing on your long-term goals, put everything in order to see where your money is and how you’d like it to be spent.
Identify your income and expenses in a spreadsheet – which includes cash, investments, and credit cards. This will help keep track of what you have coming in and going out.
The spreadsheet should include receipts for all expenses (keep track of these receipts separately).
Then, subtract any investment gains or losses from the prior year’s total. If there are any new purchases or debts incurred that weren’t present last year
add those to the current year total. This way you can see what the future could look like if you maintain your current spending habits.
Do you see any trends emerging? Where should you focus your energy, and where should you cut back?
If you’re investing in the stock market, do your investments pay off or do they have much more room to grow?
If you’re buying a house, are you car-less or are there any upcoming payments that could be cut out?
These are important questions to ask yourself as a way to prioritize your efforts appropriately.
After putting in the time and effort now to put together a great spreadsheet – I know all my numbers and can analyze them at a glance.
I can also make adjustments if necessary. If I just turned in my expenses now to meet a deadline, I wouldn’t have the answers to these questions.
What if you’re spending less than your income? Don’t forget to build up an emergency fund. This can be a great way to start saving, even if it’s $5 per week at first. You should have enough saved in case of an unexpected medical bill or job loss –
this is insurance for your financial future! Even if you’re living comfortably now, you never know what could happen in the near future. Having a cushion will help keep your finances stable and not cause much anxiety when things go wrong.
What if spending less than your income is because you’re not prioritizing the right things?
Then it might be time to cut back on Facebook or cable TV. These may seem insignificant, but they take up your mind and time throughout the day.
You don’t have to spend all of your money on entertainment – play with what you have instead! If you’re finding it difficult to cut back on social media – maybe it’s time to get a part-time job! Giving yourself some money for a new hobby is easier than cutting out entertainment completely.
Spending too much money on leisure isn’t always a bad idea either
Except if you’re spending the majority of your paycheck at the amusement park or eating out every night.
What if you’re not spending enough on entertainment? Then starting a new hobby or volunteering might be the perfect solution.
What’s more enjoyable than time spent in nature or giving back to your community? If you have some extra money, put it towards your savings instead – this is a great way to start getting into the habit of budgeting and saving.
Once you start taking control of your life by learning how to manage your own finances
you’ll be able to add extra security and stability to your life.
You’ll also have a place from which to plan for the future and make better decisions in the present.
You’ll be able to plan for a long vacation, retirement, or any other goal with more confidence and ease. Fabulous Story Author Bio:
Nerina Asamoah writes in various blogs and publications on Personal Finance, Internet Marketing and Home Business Topics. She has been actively involved in these fields since 2007. She currently runs frugalfirst aid – an online resource for teaching people about personal finance and living rich a little at a time!
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/finance-articles/keep-your-financial-health-on-check-1479499.html
Author: John Paul Velez John Paul is the author of several books on personal finance and business management. He is also the author of a book, “From Paycheck to Paycheck : A Guide to Making a Living from Your Writing .” View all posts by John Paul Velez →
Nerina Asamoah http://www.blogger.com/profile/14946689657551100385?authuser=1