It’s almost the second week of February. Do you know why that date is significant? No- not Valentine’s Day. Research shows that by the second week of February, approximately 80% of people will have failed or dropped their New Year’s resolution. Even if you’ve already given up on your food/health diet, it’s not too late to put your budget on a diet. This vlog will give a few great tips for trimming some of the “fat” from your budget in 2022, as well as getting your finances into better shape.
- Comparison shop….for your bills.
So many bills are on auto-pay and auto-renew, it is easy to lose track of what we are spending. Many providers such as TV, internet, phone, and even homeowners and car insurance, start off with an introductory rate for a period of time but then the rates increase at renewal time. Take a look at each one of your bills and shop around! Homeowners and Car insurance policies should be reviewed at least every two years. TV, internet and phone should be reviewed at least annually. Set aside one day to focus on calling each vendor and seeing how you can save!
- Know where those financial “pounds” are coming from.
Many diet plans recommend tracking everything you eat or drink to know where your calories are coming from. We should also have a way of tracking every dollar we spend to know where it is going. Consider utilizing an online budget/spending program like www.mint.com or Quicken. Kramer Wealth Managers clients also have exclusive access to eMoney, a powerful financial management website that can also track expenses for you.
- Make a savings goal.
When losing weight, it is recommended that you set a specific target goal weight to work toward, sometimes with interval goals in between. When setting a savings goal, make sure it is specific and measurable. Whether it be to max out your retirement savings this year, or to save $1 Million for retirement, write down your goal and share it with your financial advisor. They can work with you to see what needs to be done to help you achieve it.
- Trim the fat.
Get rid of subscriptions, apps, and memberships you don’t use. See if you can go in with a friend on your Netflix subscription. Look for free alternatives to paid apps you may be using. Forget about sunk costs- don’t feel you need to hold on to a membership just because you haven’t gotten your moneys worth yet. You’ve already spent the money and it’s gone, whether you used it or not. Cut your losses and save the money going forward.
- Let the bots do the work.
While there may be no way to lose weight without any effort, there are effortless ways to save money! Consider adding browser extensions such as Ratuken or Capital One Shopping which find discounts or provide cash back for online shopping. Camelcamelcamel.com and Honey can track price history on items that you’d like to buy to get you the best deal. Just be cautious not to buy things you don’t need just because it’s a good deal!
Once you’ve identified the many ways you can save, take a look at how you can reallocate those cost savings toward achieving your financial goals. Consider increasing your 401k contributions or setting up a monthly automatic investment into a long-term investment account. Consider this: a $100 investment growing at 8% per year* will turn into almost $55,000 after 20 years!
So go ahead and take a look at where your budget needs to diet this year.
*Hypothetical return- not based on any actual investment. Actual investment returns vary and investing involves risk, including loss of principal.