Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Financial Matters
In a series of blogs about taking care of yourself and the important things in your life, finances are this week’s focus. Most people are very concerned about money – how much they have, spend, save and make. It is important to note, everyone has a different idea about what their financial status means in life. What is important to some, may not be important to others. We will be focusing on your well-being when it comes to money matters.
Get organized. If you have bills all over the place and you miss payment due dates, interest starts racking up. Keep a folder for current bills and stay on top of cleaning it out as soon as the bills are paid. There are different rules for times to hold onto statements and financial papers. Keep them all boxed or in files while saving (nice and labeled with dates!) and invest in a good shredder for purging.
Make a budget. Know your numbers; what comes in should exceed what goes out. Don’t put off talking to your spouse or partner about what should go into a realistic budget. If you live with others like we do, everyone must be on the same page. You might be frugally keeping a certain amount of spending money in your wallet each week while your spouse is regularly visiting the ATM on an “as needed” basis. Either way is fine as long as you both decide on a system that works for everyone and keep the “spending lines of communication” open.
Plan ahead. It is important to have a little money saved for emergencies. You never know when an appliance may break or a big car repair may be needed. Also think about saving for the future, your retirement, possibly college for your children and maybe for shorter term goals like a vacation. Try starting with saving a small amount – maybe a percentage of your paycheck? We do these two things: Save change in a jar. It’s an oldie but goodie piece of advice – within a matter of months we sometimes have enough money to buy a small piece of furniture! The second thing we do is: Save a dollar a day. It’s easy and adds up before you know it. Once a month, you have enough money to have a nice lunch out or even a mani/pedi if you want one 🙂
Make getting your finances in order a priority in your life. It is a big step toward your emotional well-being. Knowing you have that part of your life in order frees you up to do other important things. You never know – that extra money you save or time you have by being organized could go towards your favorite charitable endeavor!