Tax Tip: Keep Your Records Organized
Tax time will be here in the blink of an eye. Many people are very disorganized when it comes to keeping proper records toward the filing of their income taxes. If you don’t keep good records, you’re probably not claiming all your allowable income tax deductions and credits. Create a system now and use it all year. It’s much easier than scrambling to find everything at tax time, only to miss items that might have saved you money.
Speaker, Author, Coach
For many people, fitness resolutions are a common purpose to tackle with the turn of the calendar. Many of these same people also make plans to change their financial situations. What isn’t often recognized, though, is that the approach to being successful in both areas is correlated.
Below, we will explore three wellness methods to getting financially fit. By utilizing the same mindset in both areas, it will hopefully help with a singlemindedness of goals and the roadmap taken to achieve them.
No New Temptations – Keep the Bad Stuff Out
I remember watching shows where an exercise guru would visit a client’s home to help them get on track. The first thing they would do is go to the person’s kitchen and clean out the refrigerator and cabinets of all the unhealthy food, leaving only the items that were beneficial towards their goals. The next step was the client’s commitment to only shop for items that fit into the new fitness plan.
In order to change our financial situations, we need to follow a similar process with our expenses. First, take a look at your expenses and see where you are spending your money. A great way to do this is to track your spending for a month. If you use a debit or credit card for all spending, it should be easy to look at the statements online or from a monthly statement that is mailed to you. If you use cash, then it is important to save every receipt.
After itemizing every cent, it is time to identify the things that are unnecessary! When all the areas of wasteful spending are identified, eliminate them from your expenses going forward. Finally, commit to not taking on any new debt. Spending less is the only way to safeguard your financial success throughout the year.
Keep Track of Spending with a Budget
According to USA today, in a nationally representative online survey of 1,024 people, only 12% accurately guessed the amount of calories they should be consuming. As a matter of fact, people often can’t correctly account for the number of calories they are currently consuming! By accurately accounting for what you eat, you are able to be realistic about your dietary decisions and the decisions you want to make in the future.
Likewise, tracking your money allows you to wisely spend and then gives you the freedom to make future financial decisions without delusion. By making a budget , you can also make healthy adjustments to how much you contribute to each category of spending to better suit your goals. For example, if you track your expenses for a month (using our first point) and realize you are spending $200 on eating out, you may adjust that amount to $75 to better reach your financial goals for the year.
There are many online tools available, such as Mint or YNAB, to help you to budget and track your progress. These applications will also email you if you have exceeded a budgeted amount for a category. If you use online banking, you can set up alarms to be notified by email if your balances drop below a certain amount. Utilize these tools to help you on your way to financial success this year!
Build Up Those Monetary Muscles through Savings
When trying to lose weight, diet alone can help someone achieve his/her goal. To meet the goal even quicker, and for optimum health, it is a proven fact that exercise should be added. When the muscles are engaged, it is uncomfortable at first, but over long periods of time they grow and the efforts are finally seen.
Simply cutting back on spending isn’t enough to ensure financial security. It is important to add savings to increase financial health. Saving money is not easy, and does not reap quick and obvious benefits, but the rewards are seen in times of emergency like sudden job loss, expensive health costs, or other financial catastrophes.
Saving enables you to face problems without having to max out credit cards, take out loans from banks, or beg from family and friends. Remember those expenses I recommended you cut from your monthly expenses? Sending that amount to your savings account is a great way to get started saving. Another option is doing a monthly savings challenge where you can see the benefits at the end of the year.
Consistency is Key
Starting something new can be really challenging, especially with a jarring to your usual way of doing things. A year is a long time and a great way to stay motivated is to set mini-goals and have rewards for meeting them. For example, maybe in the beginning of your goal setting, you can build into your budget a category for an inexpensive item to purchase for yourself once you hit each quarterly milestone.
In both fitness and finances, rewards like these are helpful in staying on track. By applying these methods, and being dedicated day by day, you are guaranteed to have a financially fit 2016!
Rules For Living Healthy
Less soda, more water
Less alcohol, more tea
Less sugar, more fruits
Less meat, more vegetables
Less driving, more walking
Less worry, more sleep
Less anger, more laughter
Less words, more action