The 5-Pronged Approach to a Healthier Financial Life

The 5-Pronged Approach to a Healthier Financial Life
May 07 10:27 2018 Print This Article

 You pay the same bills each month, so why, when you get the phone bill in the mail or view your energy bill online, are you surprised? Why, when it comes time to pay the mortgage, do you pinch pennies in the week leading up to the first? Why, when you know you have a $400 car payment coming up, do you splurge on a pair of new boots, a haircut and color, and night out on the town? Because you’re bad with money, that’s why!

According to the stats, you’re not alone. CNBC recently published a report that revealed that just 39 percent of Americans have enough money to cover a $1,000 emergency. CBS News Money Watch revealed some more dismal news, reporting that eight out of 10 workers live paycheck to paycheck. Though the cost of living is higher than it’s ever been, and though wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, there is no reason that you should fall into these stats. If you’re ready to beef up your finances and enjoy a happier, healthier financial life, use the information in this post.

 Create a Budget and Stick to It!

 Captain obvious, right? Apparently, not so much. Just 41 percent of Americans use a budget, but how many stick to it is unknown (after all, not many people are easy to admit their failures). If you don’t already have a budget, make one. Start by taking inventory of your spending habits, income, and expenses. Allocate a certain amount of money each month to certain categories, such as entertainment, groceries, Starbucks trips, etc. Once you’ve used up the allocated amount for, say gourmet lattes, force yourself to drink drip coffee for the remainder of the month. It’ll be tough, but you’ll survive.

Save More Money (For Real)

 Everyone says that they want to save more money, but once the New Year’s excitement has worn off, it’s back to spend, spend, spend. Resolve to put a certain amount of money away each month, even if it’s only $20. $20 a month for the rest of your life really adds up, so don’t discount the little you can save. If you’re hard pressed to come up with even $20, look to your expenses. What do you spend money on each month that you don’t NEED? Maybe a magazine subscription, or a monthly subscription to a beauty box? Cancel the subscription and put the money toward your future. Because you were already spending the money anyway, you won’t notice that it’s gone.

 Shop Local

 Most people assume that shopping local means shelling out big bucks, but the truth is that small business owners are more willing to work with you than big box stores. When you work with local business, you can negotiate, get discounts for being a returning customer, and find higher quality products than you could in any mall and for much less. Better yet, shopping local can curb your impulse purchase tendencies. When you go to a local grocery store, you walk out with groceries. When you go to the nearest Walmart, you walk out with groceries, a new blouse, and a dresser.

 

Saving money is not easy, but it’s necessary for your future. Create a budget, save money, and shop local and watch your bank account grow. 

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Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips

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