By contributing writer Laura
With the new year comes new resolutions and the determination to make this year even better than last. If your budget got busted after Christmas shopping and entertaining this December, then I have some tips to help you start off the new year on the right foot.
Don’t Be Discouraged
Try to keep a positive attitude and try not to be discouraged by your current debt or overspending from the past. This will help you face your financial challenges with more hope and determination. Instead of wallowing in past mistakes or the bleakness of your bank account, focus on positivity and change.
Set Up Regular Meetings
It is a good idea to have all decision makers and spenders on the same page regarding family finances and your budget. Set up a time each month, or even each week, for you and your spouse to discuss spending habits and the budget for the upcoming month. Also take a chance to set goals, determine the amount of money to be allotted to each expense category, and review bills or upcoming expenses.
Use Free Budget Tools
Take advantage of free budget tools and resources. Some of the top, reputable and free resources that can help you create a budget and assess your current financial situation include:
- Dave Ramsey Budgeting Forms
- Crown Financial Ministries Budget Analysis Form
- SavvyMoney Checkup
Plus check out the big list of The Happy Housewife’s favorite budgeting tools that help keep her finances organized.
Read Personal Finance Books
Reading how others have gotten their finances under control can be a huge help and motivation to those struggling to stay on budget. Your local library is a great resource for checking out literature on personal finance. Some of my favorite authors also have audio CD’s available of their books that I can borrow from the library and listen to while at home or in the car.
Some great personal finance authors that I’d recommend you check out are: Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard, and Joni McCoy (Miserly Moms), plus there are so many more!
With these tips, you’ll be better equipped to kick off the new year financially fit! Just remember, creating and sticking to a budget doesn’t have to feel confining. It is providing you the parameters to live well on less and meet bigger and better goals in the future. Stay positive and plan to make the new year a great one!