If your financial situation isn’t what you’d call ‘optimal’ we have 10 ways that you can use to improve it starting ASAP so that, by the end of 2013, you’re in better financial shape. Take a look, use them as you see fit and enjoy.
- Decide what your big goals are and stick to them. Whether it’s a bigger portfolio, to be able to retire at 55 or to increase your retirement savings by 10% every year decide what you want to do and then get started doing it. Brainstorm with your spouse or other family members if you need help.
- Automate your savings. This is probably the most powerful thing you can do to increase your savings and net worth over time. Directly depositing part if your pay into savings, and IRA or other vehicles to save will generate big rewards over the life of your career.
- Get rid of junk mail and spend less on junk. That new gadget that you can’t live without. We bet you can. Don’t get it and stash the money in savings instead.
- Make a diary to keep track of your spending. Even doing this for just 2 weeks will open your eyes to some amazing facts about your spending habits and how you can change them.
- Start eating more home cooked meals. In fact, take a cooking course so that you can learn to cook fast, nutritious meals instead of eating out all the time because of the convenience factor, wasting money on fatty, salty foods.
- Make an effort to use less gas, less electricity and less gasoline. If you truly make a conscientious effort to do this the savings could equal hundreds over a year and thousands over a lifetime.
- Ask the entire family for help with saving money, especially if your adult children are living at home with you. If they have a roof over their head they should pay for that privilege, not just their parents.
- Don’t obsess about the market. If you have made good choices and your portfolio is diversified you should be able to weather the small daily ups and downs just fine.
- Use the right credit card for you, don’t abuse it and always pay it off as fast as you can. Of course make sure you pay the bills on time as well to avoid finance charges and other penalties.
- Get rid of all your unused junk that’s collecting dust and stopping buying new unused junk as well.
Do all 10 of these things regularly and diligently and your financial situation will have nowhere to go but up. Good luck and we’ll see you back here soon.