When it comes to daylight savings time, most peoples’ reactions are anything but enthusiastic. This year, instead of rolling your clocks forward, try moving forward on your lost New Year’s resolution to tackle your budget and jump out of debt- after all, it is “savings” time.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or get out of debt, the process of accomplishing your goal is the same. You need to remain dedicated and focused beyond simply deciding to make a change on January 1st - or March 8th. Although I can’t offer any insight on losing weight, here are some helpful tips for proper budgeting to kick off your daylight “savings” time in style:
Pay Attention to What Your Stress is Telling You
Everyone experiences stress and the headache of handling their personal finances. Instead of trying to bury or ignore your stress, try embracing it and recognizing the opportunity for positive changes in your financial life. The stress you feel is an indicator that something isn’t right - and its not. Use this time to rededicate yourself to living within your income and paying down debts.
This tip may seem simple, but it is a common tale to hear of people ignoring their finances only to return to a pile of debt, repos, and foreclosures. That type of stress will take a toll on your mental health and doesn’t go away. Keep in mind that you are not the only one that suffers from poor financial decisions. Your family, friendships, and even your career depend on you making wise decisions and remaining free from the stress living paycheck to paycheck.
Pay Off Student Loans (And Other Debts) Early and Often
Although student loans are typically considered “good debt,” no one likes having any kind of debt hanging over their heads. Student loans are unique in that they are a little different from other loans. It is important that you identify what type of loan you have - subsidized or unsubsidized - and determine how much interest you are paying on top of the principal.
Reevaluate Your Income and Expenses
Try reevaluating your budget and determine which expenses you could cut back on and then allocate the difference to paying your off your debt quicker. Items like your cell phone, cable bill, and even food choices often have less expensive alternatives.
Evaluate the small, everyday spending decisions that you may have not noticed. By recognizing that you could save up to two dollars per day by making your own coffee and skipping the expensive coffee chain, will help you become for budget conscious. Digitally tracking when, where, and how often you are spending can be an invaluable asset when holding yourself accountable to your budget.
Sell What You Don’t Use
Be honest with yourself. Most of us hold on to old Ipods, phones, computers, furniture, and even designer clothing that we haven’t worn since high school. Turn to sites like Craigslist, Ebay, and other local classified-ad sites to help dump your unusables and turn them into cold, hard cash.
Unexpected cash flow is another great way to continue to pay down your debts if you can resist the urge to splurge!
Focus on What You Can Control
At the end of the day, there are some things you can control and others that you can’t. Always remember that you control when, where, and how you spend your money. When you make wise and considered financial decisions everything else will fall into place.
Overall, your finances rank at the top of the most important aspects of your life, so make this Sunday - daylight savings time - a time to change and a time to save.
How will daylight savings time change your life?
If you haven’t already, sign up for Mvelopes for free, and stop stressing and start saving!