Call me cliché, but one of my biggest New Year’s resolutions is to give my bank account a little lovin’ and learn how to be a bit more fiscally practical. Doesn’t it seem like déjà vu every year? Even the most financially savvy ladies out there can find room to improve in this area, and early in the year is the perfect time to start. In search of some expert tips, I went straight to the source Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, for her best budgeting advice. Let’s just say after reading what I did she has left me feeling inspired and motivated to pinch those extra pennies.
Without further ado, here are Alexa’s top tips for sticking with your budget in 2015…
1. Get a plan.
January can be the perfect time to put together your yearly financial outlook. All of your resolutions and goals won’t be able to work in your favor unless they are part of a larger, cohesive financial plan. She recommends sitting down with a professional to help you put together a plan for your money and actually make progress towards those goals.
2. Check your accounts daily.
This can be a good way to help keep your budget resolutions in check and hold yourself accountable. You can also use an app that syncs all of your financial accounts in one place and helps you stay organized.
3. Cut unnecessary expenses.
These might not seem like drastic changes, but a few small adjustments to your routine expenditures can very well have a large impact on your budget. Try bringing your lunch to work instead of ordering out every day. Or say “farewell” to your morning coffee shop routine, and instead, enjoy a home-brewed cappuccino or latte (Alexa suggests taking a look at the Keurig Rivo).
4. Spend on experiences, not material goods.
Alexa learned this from a Harvard Business School professor, and she stands by the suggestion. Studies have shown that we have greater levels of satisfaction and happiness from spending on experiential purchases versus physical goods. So spend wisely and consider putting your hard earned dollars towards a great trip or that awesome class you’ve been eager to try.
5. Prep for tax season…today.
If you can get yourself organized at the beginning of the year, the spring will not be nearly as stressful. Get yourself organized and set up for April while you’re getting the rest of your financial life in order this month.
What tips do you have for sticking with a budget?