It is a New Year and that means a fresh start and a great time to get your money under control! Follow these tips to take charge of your finances in 2016!
1.) Write it all down! Figure out where your money is going. I can’t tell you how many people get to the end of the week or the end of the month and don’t know why they don’t have any money left. Get out all of your bills and expenses and learn how you spend your money!
2.) Get that emergency fund started. Now is the time to start putting away money in case something like a job loss or illness strikes. I always recommend having at least 8 months’ worth of expenses saved in case of emergency.
3.) Get a free copy of your credit report. Know where you stand with your credit going into the new year and if there are issues to be handled, get started. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every year.
4.) Trim the fat. This tip refers back to tip #1, when you grab all of your household bills to see where your money is going, you can also see where you can cut expenses. You can reduce the cable bill, your cell phone bill, even electric and gas bills.
5.) Get a side hustle! Do it now! We all have talents we can turn into income. Editing manuscripts, updating resumes, telemarketing from home. Find a way to get another stream of income in 2016!
6.) Keep a money journal. Write down what you spend your money on and try to keep receipts. You can do it by the week or by the month. This will let you know in black and white where your money is going; 3pm coffee, happy hour, too many “quick” shopping trips; then you will be able to see where you need to make changes.
Jennifer Streaks is a smart and savvy journalist that covers personal finance issues and lifestyle topics. Her byline has appeared in Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, the Motley Fool, Women & Co. & Yahoo!Finance to name a few.
She tweets @jstreaks and her website is JenniferStreaks.com.