To say I need to work on my finances this year is an understatement. Last year was a year full of travel for me because I attended two destination weddings and with that came gifts, a bachelorette party and airline tickets just to name a few expenses. I had a blast in 2016 but when the New Year came, I decided that 2017 would be the year I would catch up on paying down some of the debt I incurred in 2016. So how am I going to take control of my finances this year?
Write down all my debt balances on a piece of paper
I have a notebook where I keep track of all my debt which includes my car payment, my credit card bills and a few other monthly expenses like my cell phone bill and internet bill. I like to write down how much I owe because every month when I pay my bills, I can keep track of how much my debt has decreased. I carry this notebook with me wherever I go and it serves as a reminder that I need to work on paying down my debt.
Pay down the cards with the largest balance first
On my down time, I like to read articles online on how best to manage my debt. One article I found suggested that I pay down my credit cards with the largest balances first and those with the highest APR. I follow that suggestion because the higher amount that you owe, the more interest will be charged.
Have close family and friends keep me accountable
I have found that it takes a village to help me complete my personal goals. With that said, I have made it a point to let all my friends know that this year I will be focusing on work and blogging. I will not be doing any travelling or going to any happy hours. This was a tough decision but after I went over my finances with a close friend, he looked at my notebook and agreed that I needed to focus on paying down my debt this year. He suggested that we have more coffee dates and skip the expensive happy hours. I also talked to my other friend who I normally travel with and I let her know that I would not be taking any trips this year.
Start a savings account
I’ve always followed a personal goal to keep a certain amount of money in my savings account in case I need it for an emergency such as car maintenance. My savings account is a bit low these days so I am going to work on building it back up to the level where I want it. This is going to take a lot of discipline on my end to say no to unnecessary expenses.
Blogging, blogging and more blogging
I started blogging in 2013 and at first I thought of it as a hobby I could do on the weekends. It then became my passion and all I wanted to do was write. Now it has become such a big part of my life and I am enjoying learning more and more every day. Blogging has also allowed me to have some sort of a social life and I get to spend time with new friends. With blogging, I have been able to experience things I would’ve never been able to in the past. I plan on blogging a lot more this year and dedicating any extra time to the business.
I’m excited for the year ahead and other than my “must-do’s” above, I’m going to use programs, including Turbo Tax, to keep me organized. Can’t wait to see where I’m at in a year.