Let’s start off the new decade right! We can improve our financial circumstance by tackling our finances with these strategic steps:
Through prayer we acknowledge that God is the Provider. It is a submission to His authority and a request for him to meet our needs. I also recommend praying 1 Timothy 6:6-10. It is a humble reminder to be content with the basics and not to obsess over money.
Analyze Prior Year Income and Expenses
To financially move forward, you have to reflect on the past. Review all of your expenses and determine if any were excessive or unnecessary. Also, take a look at your income to determine if it fully covered your expenses and savings. Write down any areas in need of improvement.
Create a Cash Flow Plan to Cover Current Year Expenses
This step is key to avoid debt.
If you need a new car, plan to have a baby or add any large asset/expense in the new year, make sure you have the cash to cover it. If you don’t, come up with a plan to pay for it. Maybe you need to Uber on weekends, pick up a second job during the week or work more overtime.
Create a cash flow plan early in the year to reduce the amount of debt you will incur to cover large expenses.
2020 is supposed to be the year of the recession. This year you ABSOLUTELY NEED to have an emergency fund, sinking funds and any other applicable fund that you can dip into if your income decreases. Treat your weekly/monthly savings distribution as an expense item and make sure you have a cash flow plan to hit your savings goals!
Once you are able to estimate your income and expenses, create a budget and review it regularly. Make sure your budget fits your tracking style. If you track everything electronically - then you might want to budget with an app. If you track everything by hand - then a paper budget might work best.
If a budget is where you fall short, find accountability. Instagram and the App Store have plenty of “budget warriors” that can help keep you accountable. A budget will be key in keeping you financially strong in the new year.
Assign a Date to all Financial Goals
Let’s be honest. While most of us might complain about deadlines, the truth is, they motivate us. They motivate us to move towards a goal and encourage us once the deadline is met. If you are building up your emergency fund, set a date to when you expect it to be fully funded. That will help you know how much to save each month and remind you that the goal will eventually be reached.
Also, keep in mind that setbacks are NORMAL. Plan as much as you can, but realize that emergencies happen that require us to adjust our whole plan. That’s ok! Grieve, adjust and move forward.
Alright, we’re in this together fam! I hope you start the decade off spiritually, emotionally, socially, and financially strong .