IT’S THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAr and time for you to think about money. You have been told for years how to handle your money. You’ve been told:
“Live within your means”
“Pay yourself ﬁrst”
“Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul”
“Save for a rainy day”
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew”
“Pinch your pennies”
“Start on your golden parachute”
The reality is that you must live every day. For most of you, you owe, you owe, you owe, and your credit needs work. For some, your money is tight. You are living “right,” and you just need guidance to the ﬁnancial light.
The New Year money solution you seek is known as personal budgeting, and it begins now with some great New Year money tips.
1. Visit your local credit union or bank and open a Holiday Savings account. Set up for a small amount to be taken out of your account each pay period for 2014 holidays. Use the amount you spent this year and divide by the number of pay periods to determine the amount to save.
2. Use a portion of your tax returns to get a secured credit card from your local credit union to improve your credit.
3. If you are a homeowner, visit your local HUD Certiﬁed Counseling agency for a mortgage checkup to determine if you qualify for lower rates
4. Open a vacation account along with your Holiday Savings account. Determine where you want to go and when and
start saving towards the travel.
5. Use a portion of your tax returns to pay off a pay day loan to break the cycle.
6. Use a portion of your tax returns to catch up your child support payments. Decide to pay Peter and Paul on time to avoid late fees.
7. Live within your means. Try to move to cash only transactions. The less you put on your credit card the closer you get to living within your means.
8. Pay yourself ﬁ rst. Paying off debt and not making more debt is a modiﬁed version of paying yourself ﬁ rst.
9. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. Make every effort to pay off your payday loan and identify a less costly product for quick cash. Check with your local credit union.
10. Save for a rainy day. Every day is a rainy day for some. Do your best to create an emergency fund.
11. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You don’t need the biggest television and the most current cell phone.
12. Pinch penny. Roll the loose change that you ﬁnd around the house and make it a point to deposit them each month.
13. Start on your golden parachute. Some people believe that life starts at 65. Meet with someone this year to learn the truth about retirement.
This commentary was provided by Ed Gaston. He is vice president of community development for Wealth Watchers Inc. in Jacksonville, Fl. For More information click here.