Your 6-Step Financial Checklist for 2021
Whether you’re trying to save money or make money, a financial checklist can help. If you do a financial check at the beginning of the year, you’ll be patting your back the whole way through. Getting all your loose ends tied up to finding possible pitfalls is a real stress reliever.
So, what are some things you should keep in mind when planning your finances? What steps can you take to save money? How can you keep those pesky expenses in check?
In this article, we’ll talk about five steps you can take on the path to better financial stability.
1. Make a Spending Inventory
If you really want to save money, you’ll want to keep your spending in check. While it’s fun to take a trip to the local shopping centre and drop a hundred bucks on clothes, you might not be able to swing it.
And while you might think you know your financial situation well enough, there might be bills just waiting to pounce.
Instead of getting caught with an empty account on bill day, make sure you have your bills in line. Even having a note in your notes app with bill amounts and dates will put you one step ahead of the game.
The consequences of not having your bills and your expenditures in line are many- most of them stem from spending too much at the wrong time. Lay out your expenses for the week, and make sure you’ve got wiggle room between bills before you spend. Doing so can save you from bank fees and charges that you hadn’t accounted for.
2. Review Last Year’s Spending
While most people don’t have any need to write down all their expenditures for the previous year, it can help. Looking at past spending habits can help you adjust your behavior. From this point, you can take yourself down the path to bigger savings.
If you don’t already record your expenditures, try to start. It can be a stressful ordeal to write everything down, but you’ll get used to it. When it comes to saving money- knowledge is power. Knowledge of yourself and your own spending habits is critical.
Also, you can track your expenses on things like interest payments and rent to see if you need to adjust terms. If you’re used to letting your bank automatically take from your savings account, you probably won’t notice a rate-jack. Noticing this in a review can help you renegotiate terms or find out why you’re paying more.
3. Account for Externalities
Alright, so you’ve got your basic expenses in line. Rent, interest, bills- they’re all there. But what about plans for the future- investments, savings, retirement?
If you don’t look forward to the idea of working at 90, you’ll want to start planning for such things now. Creating a savings account for externalities like retirement and medical expenses helps- a lot. Life will take every chance it can get to blindside you, so make sure you’re one step ahead.
One typical example of an externality is a car accident. You don’t expect it- you might even expect yourself to be able to avoid one. After all, you’re a good driver, and you’re always looking out. However, disaster can always strike. It seems that no matter how good we think we are at driving, someone or something always comes along to poop our party.
If you’re in a car wreck, you may have medical expenses, mechanic’s bills, and increased insurance rates to deal with. Not accounting for the possibility of winning the lottery, a rainy-day fund will be about the only way to take care of all these expenses.
4. Have Goals
Want to save this much? Want to put money down for a loan? Maybe you want to save up to pay cash on a big purchase. In any case, having your financial goals worked out can help you to get your finances in line. If you want to get on track to a better tomorrow, make sure you’ve got financial goals that align with your budget.
And don’t just think about your goals- write them down! Writing them down can make them seem more permanent. This will make you less likely to toss them out.
5. Get a Hustle
Got too much time on your hands? In this day and age, there are infinite ways to make a little money on the side. From services apps like fiverr, where you can market your skills, to basic job-type apps like Uber, there’s no shortage of ways to make a few extra bucks.
6. Get Your Credit in Line
Getting your credit situation together can be a great way to get better deals on pans, get better apartments, and all-around advance your standing. There are many ways to do this, but a quick google search will reveal the best quick tips to boost your credit.