2021 Spending: How to rethink, reset and repair
What is your New Year’s Resolution when it comes to your money? Was it how to get a handle on your finances, taxes and accounting?
I have good news – rethinking, resetting and repairing your finances doesn’t have to be overwhelming or scary.
In just a few exercises here are four easy ways to rethink your 2021 finances.
FOUR WAYS TO RETHINK YOUR 2021 FINANCES
Take a look at how the Covid lock downs effected your spending in 2020. When the rolling lock downs started, most of us stopped traveling, socializing, eating out and spending on personal services.
Look at your 2020 April, May, and June bank and credit card statements and compare them to the same months in 2019. The difference in spending will be eye opening. Review all that extra stuff from 2019 you lived without in April, May, and June 2020. Now that you know what you spent on 2019, but didn’t in 2020, can help you budget responsibly and cut down some extras in 2021.
At the minimum, you should keep a monthly household budget that identifies the necessities, monthly loan and debt obligations, discretionary spending, savings, and financial goals. Make a list of major categories and then organize your expenses under them. Some of the major categories include, Housing, Medical, Transportation, Personal, Children, Pets, Entertainment, Taxes, Retirement and Life Insurances.
Then you can break them down further. Let’s start with housing. List all minor categories that will help you budget:
- Property Taxes
After you have worked your way through listing each major and minor category, finish up by placing dollar amounts next to each category. Congratulations on creating your 2021 monthly household budget! This is known as the starting point. Now that you understand where you are, you can set goals toward where you would like to be financially.
A proven way to enforce savings is to open a bank account at the bank that you don’t usually bank at or even an online bank. Next, set up monthly automated deposits/transfers into that account. When you set your savings plan on auto pilot, you will be surprised by how fast and effortlessly the savings piggy bank can grow.
Start a savings challenge with a “savings buddy” and track your financial progress together with scheduled weekly or bi-weekly check ins. Don’t forget to keep good written records in your financial journal to help visualize your savings goal.
Don’t let the past inform what you are going to do now. Reframe how you see yourself. You ARE good with money! Money flows easily to you. Finding a way to manage it is easy. Say that again three times!
And here is the biggest key on how to rethink your 2021 finances?
Start small. Even a small amount of progress towards your financial goals will end up making a big difference.