Andrew Harmon


 

 

Having More Money in 2012
And Beyond

by Jennifer S. Matthews

The year 2012 is upon us, and itís a year filled with hope, optimism, and opportunities! Many people started off this year by telling themselves they are going to do things differently financially ó get out of debt, increase savings, or achieve some other financial goal. To make your thoughts and goals happen, you have to take measurable and sustained action! The good news is that if you havenít started yet, or you are not pleased with your progress so far, itís not too late to step up to the plate! 

There are two small, but important, steps that can be taken now, to start having more money in 2012, and beyond, and can start achieving some of your financial goals. First, remove every credit card from your wallet. When you are out and about ó anywhere within one or two hours of your home ó leave all of your credit cards at home!  Keeping credit cards with you is simply temptation to buy something you donít need or cannot afford to pay for with cash. However, if an emergency comes up while you are out, you are within only two hours of home and friends and family members are close enough to come and assist you. If you are concerned about flat tires and other possible car issues, contact your auto insurance company to see how much it costs to add roadside assistance to your policy.  You may also want to stop any online credit card purchases. If you know you lack self-control, freeze your credit cards in a large container of water. By the time the block of ice around your cards unthaws, hopefully you will have refocused on the importance of your financial goals and overcome the impulsive urge to spend!

The second action to take right now is to discover exactly where all of your money goes Ė beginning today! Buy a small notebook and keep it in your pocket or purse. Every time you spend money, whether itís as inexpensive as a gumball from a machine or a big expense such as your rent or mortgage payment, write it down in your notebook.  

At the end of every week, review all of your spending and expenses listed in your notebook. First, you want to identify, and then learn from, any spending patterns you see. Next, you are looking for opportunities to make adjustments that will allow you to spend less in the next week.   Examples of what you might find include spending $5 each day for breakfast on the way to work ó which adds up to $25 per week and $100 per month. This adjustment could be as simple as getting up fifteen minutes earlier to have breakfast at home or make breakfast to take with you.  You might see, in your notebook, money that is being spent on books and magazines that are available at your local library for free; or giving your children an allowance and then spending your money on things they should buy with their allowance. 

When you make adjustments to your spending, use half of the money you are saving to pay down your bills or put it toward one of your goals. Put the other half into a separate savings account so that you build up your emergency fund or your retirement fund. Itís best to transfer the money you are saving from your adjustments into your savings account on a daily or weekly basis. This will help ensure sure that you donít spend it on something else! 

Use the notebook for at least 60 days in order to track what you spend Ė and you want to get started today. You can staple a few sheets of paper together until you get your notebook. Procrastination and excuses are two negative actions that help keep your wallet empty! Everyone in your home, ages fifteen and up, should have their own notebook and should be writing down their spending! Yes Ė kids need to learn about money long before they leave home at eighteen years of age!

Go to my website for free resources to help everyone in your family learn more about money. If you follow these two simple steps, you will have more money in 2012!  

About the Author: Jennifer S. Matthews is a noted author, motivational speaker, and is trained as a financial coach. She is the author of the award-winning book 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job. The book shows readers how to create hundreds of dollars in cash every month from within their existing income. Visit Jennifer online at www.MoneySmartBook.com and sign up for her newsletter. While on the website, you can also purchase her book, take advantage of free downloads, and much more.

 

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