Warm weather is in the air and it is not simply due to the fact that spring is right around the corner. Forgotten are the resolutions made in 2010 where we pledged, come rain or shine, to get our financial homes in order. Many of us do not want to face the state of our finances, but it’s a new year, so it’s time for a new you with respect to finances.
For those of who have fallen out of touch or are seeking a quick refresher here are some tips from five experts, on what you can all start doing today to make money your work for you. Here are some, ‘I will,’ mantras you can repeat to yourself.
1. I will always use cash. “When you go into a store to yet again purchase another sweater or pair of shoes, as you stand at the register counting out the fives, tens and twenties you are going to think twice before you buy because the money is tangible,” says “Live It, Love, Earn It <liveitloveitearnit.com> ,” author Marianna Olszewski. “When you use your credit card you are in denial; you just sign your name and don’t see how much you're spending. Cash makes it real.”
2. I will not consider my debit cards the same as cash. “Don’t use debit cards,” advises Galia Gichon, founder of Down-to-Earth Finance <downtoearthfinance.com> . “I think it’s obvious to say not to use credit cards. With a debit card you are still spending unconsciously. Secondly, when you use a debit card it is not showing up on your credit report, and not helping your credit score, which you will need later on down the line, for example: a home purchase.”
3. I will track my spending. “Get a money diary, a 3x5 notebook carry it in your purse wherever you go,” advises Olszewski who is also founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management LLC. “When you go into a store, write down how much you spend at the time of the purchase. For example, every time I went into a drugstore I went in for a lip gloss and would come out with $70 worth of stuff. Now I know how to watch myself.”
4. I will never buy anything from a store that has a 'no return' policy. “I only shop where I can get my money back and not just a store credit," says Olszewski.” Her reasoning is that sometimes we get that “gotta have it urge,” and later realize we don’t have to have it.
5. I will be scrappy. “I have always been scrappy,” says Genevieve Dumorne, a certified public account, “but for those of you who are not - ask. If you're at the biggest one-day sale ever and forgot your additional 20% off coupon, ask the person behind you! The same goes for grocery points cards and asking the bartender for free drinks for you and your sexy friends.”
6. I will make a date with my money. “Pick a day and time, and get out all your bills and credit statements.” says Olszewski. She urges this action so that you may lessen your anxiety concerning your money.
7. I will work hard. “No matter where you start, work hard to make a good impression. When your bosses remember you that way, they will be fond of you. This translates to her talking about you on the job and a recommendation if you decide to leave. This tip has paid me dividends,” says Dumorne, who is also a senior tax associate at a major financial firm.
8. I will take advantage of what the company is offering. It’s pretty obvious that you should sign up for the company 401(k) plan. What is not obvious, says Gichon, is sitting in on the seminars explaining your benefits and the like.
9. I will ask the proper questions before I lend money. Questions including, “Why do you need it,” says Jacquette M. Timmons, author of “Financial Intimacy <http://www.sterlingchoices.net/welcome.html> ,” and “being clear that you are not asking with any sense of judgment,” will help you come to the best decision.
10. I will not place myself in a detrimental situation to help others. “If you’re barely getting by but you have a little saved up, don’t let your boyfriend, mom, brother or uncle borrow it,” says Dumorne. “Should an emergency come up, who will then help you if you’re helping them out? Don’t lose your financial footing to help someone else out or else you'll both be drowning.”