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Behaving Your Way to Wealth

By Deborah Owens

 

Was your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or to get out of debt?  

 

Just like shedding pounds, shedding debt can be difficult no matter the time of year. If you’re like most, just when you get ahead something inevitably happens in life, however, with focus and drive, you can free yourself from unwanted financial burdens. Here are a few tips to help you stay the course and make this the year that you get financially fit.

 

Start a money diary

A money diary operates like a food diary. Take a 3 X 5 notebook, collect your receipts and write down every item you spend money on daily. This exercise heightens your awareness of how much you spend and where your dollars are going which can help you eliminate or downsize any spending habits that don’t help you meet your financial goals.

 

Increase your liquids

Think about it this way: Staying hydrated to keep your body clear of toxins is just as important as “liquidity” is to stay financially healthy. . You need a liquid cash reserve available to successfully weather life’s unexpected twists and turns — like losing your job and or an illness.

 

Detox your finances

Some dieters are able to jump-start their weight loss by following detox diets that involve fasting or limiting caloric intake. Detoxifying your finances by eliminating wasteful spending is a great way to create an emergency fund.  Housing, food and technology costs are the biggest budget busters.  Conduct a financial makeover to find the money you can use to save and invest.

 

Expense

Average Cost per Month

Alternative

Cost per Month

Savings per Month/Year

Cable

$200

DIRECTV NOW

$40

 $160/month x 12 = $1,900 per year

Cell Phone

$200

Change to Cricket Wireless

4 Lines for $100

$100

$100/month x 12 = $1,200 per year

Eating out

$200 (5 meals a week at $10 per meal)  

Prepare meals at home

$80

$120/month x 12 = $1,440 per year

Total

$600

 

$220

$380 per month or $4,560 per year

 

Sometimes the numbers on the scale seem to lock into a position and stay stuck for days, or weeks, even though you are following a diet plan religiously.  The same can be true in your finances, however slight changes and finding lower cost alternatives can really add up and make a big difference.  For example, a prepaid cell phone plan can save you hundreds of dollars and make it easier to follow your budget. As the saying goes, “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

 

Deborah Owens Deborah Owens is America's Wealth Coach™ and the founder of WealthyU, a financial wellness company that is on a mission to teach people of all incomes how to turn their income into wealth.  For more wealth building tips and tools visit http://wealthyu.com


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