For those looking to work towards a financial goal like paying off debt or purchasing a home, it’s important to sit down and take into consideration all of their buying behaviors.
Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) January 08, 2014
Keeping a closer eye on finances, Americans decreased individual spending during the holidays in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation. The season’s buying trends convey weariness consumers have over America’s economic stability, a sentiment that informs the results of a study by the University of Scranton ranking saving money third on America’s top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2014. In order to help consumers reach their goals, PromotionalCodes.com today shared an outline for financial success in the New Year.
“For those looking to work towards a financial goal like paying off debt or purchasing a home, it’s important to sit down and take into consideration all of their buying behaviors,” says PromotionalCodes.com Savings Expert Regina Novickis. “A total budget overhaul might not be necessary, but little adjustments like packing a lunch every day, shopping only with promotional codes and coupons and paying off debt can make a big impact in the long run.”
Here are Novickis’ tips for financial success in 2014:
- Create an emergency fund. As many Americans are all too aware, no one can know what the future holds. Nobody expects tires to go flat, children to need braces, or income to be garnished. Try to save three to six months’ worth of typical spending, including bills and rent or mortgage payments. The figure may seem daunting, but it will be well worth it. But remember, funds take time to accumulate so don’t go broke trying to save for a rainy day.
- Set a budget and stick to it. This can be a real headache, so don’t expect to create a plan for retirement in one sitting. Take a couple of days to make sure it’s right. Also, set realistic goals based on current income and expenses. Leave some money available for unexpected expenses that arise every month as well. Reassess each month for the first several months to make sure budget projections are on track. Rather than setting specific dollar amounts for certain expenses, assign percentages of income. This will give a clearer idea of where money is going.
- Go over finances every month. This applies for families big and small. Taking account of changes in finances regularly and making budgetary changes accordingly will ensure financial success. Go over how much was spent, what was purchased, and figure out just how necessary each purchase actually was. It might be time to cut back on those daily coffee runs. Or, should someone in the family get a raise, take time to decide where the extra income should go.
- Pay down debt. Student loans, credit card bills and mortgages, can all take a while to pay off. There are two ways to pay down debt. One option is to pay off the smallest debt first, as this will give a psychological advantage in a debt repayment program. Once the smallest debt is paid off, roll that payment over to the next smallest debt, until all of the debt is paid off. Alternatively, work on paying down the balance that has the highest interest rate first so to minimize unnecessary spending while paying off debt. Set up automatic payments as well every month so it is automatically paid down without too much of a chance to reallocate the funds to something not as pertinent.
- Ditch the ATM card. Being able to make purchases with a simple swipe of a card can cause expenses to pile up. Instead, withdraw enough cash to cover day-to-day expenses at the beginning of each week. This allows consumers to see exactly how much is spent so more thought can be given to purchases. Setting a limit per week reinforces cutting unnecessary purchases, while simplifying the monitoring of spending. And most importantly, get rid of credit cards! If a person can’t pay for it in cash, then they simply can’t afford it.
- Kick bad habits. Harmful habits like eating junk food, binge-watching TV, and, of course, smoking can cost both in the short and long term. Cutting back or eliminating such activities will mean less regular expenses now, while helping to stave off potential health problems in the future. This is good for both health and finances.
- Pick up good ones. The best solution to a problem is preventing it from ever happening. Exercising and maintaining a balanced diet can improve a person’s health, thereby mitigating future health care expenses. Not to mention, filling one’s day with physical activity means less time on the computer or in front of the TV, running up utilities.
For more information or to find the latest promotional codes and discounts, visit PromotionalCodes.com or follow the site on Facebook, Twitter, GOOGLE+ or Pinterest. Android and iPhone users can also find the latest deals on the free PromotionalCodes.com Coupon App.
PromotionalCodes.com is a coupon savings website that provides thousands of free online coupons and promotional codes from top brand names like Macy’s, Target, Home Depot, Travelocity, Dell and many more. The site is developed by Santa Monica-based SurfMyAds.com, Inc., which also owns and operates Coupons.ca, Codes.co.uk, CouponWinner.com and myShoes.com. For more information, visit SurfMyAds.com.