Improve Your Financial Wellness in 2022 with These Five Tips

 

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many of us are focusing on those special people in our lives and how we can show them what they mean to us. And that is certainly important…but I also want to challenge you to do something for yourself.

Self-love and taking care of yourself should be a priority - I'm sure you're familiar with the airplane safety speech…put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE assisting others. And that's great advice for other areas of your life too! 

As a financial advisor and money coach, I want to encourage you to do one thing this month that will help you improve your financial wellness. After working with hundreds of clients, I know that financial wellness can significantly impact a person's overall well-being. 

There have been countless challenges since March 2019, and now we're experiencing high rates of inflation and supply chain issues. So this is the perfect time to see what changes you need to make in the new year....

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17 Best Budgeting & Money Management Tools

 

Looking for the best budgeting or money management tools? There are so many facets of budgeting, and you’ll likely have to make some sacrifices, but using one of these tools can make those sacrifices easier and can take the hardest work out of budget. These are the best budgeting apps and tools to download now if you want to get your spending under control. 

Some of these budgeting products listed below offer both a desktop and an app version of the product. And some of these tools do the same thing. You don’t need all of these, so pick and choose which ones best fit your financial situation! 

YNAB

You Need a Budget is one of the most popular budgeting apps available. If you’ve never even had a budget before, this is the app for you. It’s a great way to get started with budgeting and will teach you about all the ways to manage your money. The app uses a “zeroed” out budget and makes sure that you allocate your money down to the very last...

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Staying on Budget & Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

It’s easy to overspend and go over budget during the holiday season! I’ve certainly done it plenty of times!! I know it’s hard not to get caught up in the gift-buying season with all of the advertisements and “special” deals that we’re bombarded with every day. And none of us want to be viewed as a “scrooge.” With some planning and research, there are so many ideas for creating a wonderfully memorable holiday season without stressing about spending too much. 

Here is a recap of some of our previous blog posts that share gift ideas for some people that may be hard to buy for as well as tips on how to stay on budget and creative ideas for decorating. 

8 Ways to Stay on Budget During the Holidays

Read about some tips to help you stay on budget, including setting spending limits, only shopping for the kids, using cash-back websites, and more! Even if you only want to incorporate a few of these tips, they are sure to help you stay...

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Improve your Financial Situation This Year in 5 Easy Steps

Improving your financial situation is always high on the list of resolutions I hear from my clients. After all, with a mindful eye on your finances, you can build stability for your family and be able to thrive for years to come without worry. (It’s such a hot topic, I created a list of 10 financial resolutions you may want to set for yourself to help in this mission.)

That said, surviving and then thriving takes a little effort in the beginning to get yourself on the right track. Case in point: How many dimes would you have for each person you hear claim that “This is my year”? You may have racked up a few dollars just counting all the times you’ve proclaimed it’ll be your year. And, I mean this gently…. What happened after that proclamation? Exactly. Never fear, these 5 simple steps will help you improve your financial situation once and for all so you can bask in the knowledge that this will be your year for years to come.

Make the Decision

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8 Ways to Stay On-Budget During the Holidays

This year, the holidays will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean that money issues will magically be a moot point. The holidays are prime times to overspend, not stick to a budget, and treat yourself a little too often.

It’s also time to stress about how much you should spend. Will someone think you’re cheap or love them less if you don’t share a gift that’s worth a certain dollar amount? Then, there’s the pressure to give a gift or visit everyone - which isn’t feasible during the best of times, but is definitely going to come under question right now.

But of course! We want to share gifts for a socially-distant gathering with our closest family and friends. It’s the season of love and joy and togetherness. Use these tips to stay on budget and still feel like you aren’t depriving yourself or your loved ones this holiday season. You can also take a look at all of my holiday posts for even more inspiration for holidays...

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5 Budgeting Mindset Shifts to Help You Stick to a Budget

When you’re trying a new budgeting system, it can be challenging to get started with it or stick with it long enough to see if it will work for you. With all the different tracking methods, it’s natural to try out a few before one clicks. Having the right mindset around money, saving, and budgeting will help greatly. Here are five of my favorite budgeting mindset shifts that will help you focus on your money goals.

Budgeting Mindset Shift #1: Facing Your Money is Better Than Ignoring It

There is nothing more stressful than having an emergency pop up and no money to cover it - not only will you have to deal with what happened, you’ll have to deal with the added pressure of scrambling to cover it.

What I love about a budget is that it forces you to face your money head-on before a disaster strikes. After all, it’s there in black and white. Embrace the budgeting mindset and habit to look at your bank account every day. Don’t get defeated by what you see,...

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Using a Spending Plan to Manage Your Money

Budgeting and spending is always evolving, so having a plan in place to manage your money is a very powerful tool. A spending plan allows you to pivot quickly and make changes on a dime should things suddenly go awry (or, on the flip side, you find yourself with a windfall of good fortune).

Having a plan that gives you a quick overview of what’s coming in and how much you can allocate to spend in which categories will make money management stress-free. As a bonus, when you look at it more often, you can start to spend less time “dealing with” your finances and feeling guilty for treating yourself to a fancy coffee because it’s been a hell of a week and you want to feel good for a moment.

The reality is that when you stop avoiding your finances, you no longer have to fear them and blow it up into a more challenging situation than it really is. A spending plan is simply an evolving relationship with your money and a guide to direct your spending. It will be...

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Frugal Tips for Refreshing Your Home Décor on a Budget

Your home is where you can relax and be comfortable. And if your home isn’t decorated to reflect yourself and your tastes, it can be hard to fully feel at home. Home decor is a great way to add your personality into your home, but it can be expensive.

My ultimate goal is to make my home the place we all want to be (especially since we’re spending so much time there now)! And I’ve learned a few frugal tips for refreshing home decor on a budget.

These tips are more than “paint and buy new curtains” - they’ll help you identify how you want to update your home, what will make the most impact, and clever ways to shop for it so you can refresh your home decor on a budget and still have it look good and like you.

Determine Your Goals and Budget

It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison, especially when you see a perfectly decorated home on Pinterest or HGTV. It’s important to remember that you have unique tastes and your family's needs will...

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How Online Bill Pay Can Save You Time and Money

Many people have switched to online bill pay, and most of them do it for the convenience factor. Did you know, though, that paying your bills online could actually save you time and money? 

What is Online Bill Pay?

Online bill pay is, most simply stated – an online and/or automated way of paying your bills online. You can set it up with your bank to pay all of your bills or with each individual merchant by adding your credit, debit or bank account to a payment processor.

In addition to the convenience, online payment processors typically send regular reminders about payment due dates! That means, no more late payments and no more late fees. 

 

Get Discounts Online 

Many online payment processors offer discounts for automatic or online payments. Why? Because online payments are immediately applied to the account, meaning that the company spends less money on manpower. 

More common than getting a discount for paying online is getting a discount for...

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Money and Relationships: How to Get (and Stay) on the Same Page

When it comes to new and even seasoned relationships there needs to be open and honest communication. This is especially true when it comes to money and yet it’s not always easy. Consider the following tips to get (and stay) on the same page with your significant other. 

Tip #1: Create a Budget

Start out by creating a budget. By doing so, you'll have the opportunity to talk with your significant other about how much you make, monthly and annual bills, and how much debt you've accrued. When you create a budget you'll know exactly how much money you do (or don't have) and will be able to make decisions together about what to prioritize. 

Creating a budget doesn't have to be complicated. With a notepad in hand, break it down by expense: electric, water, gas, credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal spending, rent, insurance, pets (if you have them), an average for groceries, and an average for dining out. Total it up and you'll both...

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