10 Tips to Improve Your Finances in 2015 – Smarter Finance Journal

10 Tips to Improve Your Finances in 2015

financetipsWith the year of 2014 almost in the books, it’s time to start thinking about planning for the new year. We all have different resolutions and goals for 2015, but one that everyone can share is working to put ourselves in a better situation financially.

Here are 10 steps you can take to ensure that your bank accounts will be looking better at the end of the next year than the beginning.

1. Decide on Financial Goals. Choosing what you are saving towards makes it easier to start setting money aside.

2. Create A Spending Plan. Most people spend the majority of their income (approximately one-half) on food, housing and transportation, leaving just half to pay off debt, add to savings, etc. Help yourself by making a budget for each category and try to stick to it.

3. Resist Retail Temptations. Retailers are in business to get us (the consumer) to spend our money at their stores. Remember, if an item is 50 percent off of $100 you are not saving $50 — rather spending $50.

4. Keep Records Of Your Spending. Keep track of every purchase you make. Even for a short period of time, going back through purchases will help you discover where you are wasting money.

5. Negotiate! Don’t settle for the list price; try and negotiate on just about everything. Worst case scenario is you will hear “No.”

6. Avoid Impulse Buying. Review products before purchasing, look at different locations, and compare pricing. Often times if you shop online you can find discount coupons.

7. Find A Second Income. With today’s volatile job market, it is never a bad idea to have extra money coming in.

8. Take Things Into Your Own Hands. With the latest recession, do-it-yourself projects have been a great way for families to save money.

9. Conserve Energy. Many electronics use power even when they are turned off. Unplugging unused items can cut down your electricity bill.

10. Just Because You Can Afford It Doesn’t Mean You Can Afford It. You may have the resources to make a purchase at the time, but don’t forget about unexpected expenses throughout the year. Make sure the item is a necessity.

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