We are a couple weeks into 2013. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have already bit the dust? As the saying goes – “it’s easier said than done” and when it comes to money, often we make it a self-fulfilling prophesy. We think it’s too hard and we just. don’t. do. it.
However, if we plan our work and work our plan, 2013 can be the year of BIG money success. Let me offer several pointers for making it happen.
Repeat after me: “I will know these important figures”:
1. MONEY IN, MONEY OUT
- Dollars earned (net, in your pocket, figure) for the month
- Dollars spent on recurring fixed monthly expenses (mortgage, car note, daycare, etc)
- Dollars spent on food, gas, lunches
- Dollars allocated for allowances (for adults – a percentage of the net, in your pocket, figure)
- Dollars for the piggy (should be a small percentage of the net, in your pocket, figure and used for birthday gifts, evenings out, and other miscellaneous items)
- Mortgage Balance and payoff date
- What-if scenarios. For example, if I add $50 more to the mortgage payment, how much sooner will my mortgage be paid off?
- The big picture for car loans, credit card debt, etc. For example, how much does it really cost to charge a big-screen TV?
3. SAVE NOW FOR LATER
- Current balance in retirement plans
- Contribution amounts (personal and company)
- Projected figures. For example, $10,000 now = $76, 123 in 30 years at 7 percent)
- Balance in the rainy-day fund and the definition of a rainy-day emergency
4. SAVE NOW FOR NOW RATHER THAN LATER
- Begin to save (even a small increments) for vacay and special events and keep up with the balances and savings rate
- Begin to save (even in small increments) for this year’s holiday spending
Investing the time to get these figures together (make a note in your calendar or journal) will keep you on target throughout the year. This time next year, you will be surprised how much you have accomplished.
Remember, a good steward always knows what they have, what they need, and the plan to get there.