Hello and welcome back to our 5 Part Blog series on improving your financial health in the new year. We’ve already seen 25 excellent Tips and today we have another 10 that should help you to right your financial shape, meet your goals and accomplish a lot this year, at least financially. And now, on to the Tips! Enjoy.
Tip 26: Sent retail email alerts to your Spam folder. Yes, getting the occasional “great deal” from your favorite retailer is all good and well but if you’re receiving lots of them on a daily basis it just gives you more impetus to spend, and more temptation. Frankly, when the need arises to buy something new you can do just a little bit of quick research and usually find a great deal somewhere, so do yourself and your wallet a favor and send those alerts to your spam folder.
Tip 27: Your bank has free tools; use them. Most banks are keen on keeping you as customers and, to that end, they are always offering new types of services and apps for free. If you find one that helps you keep track of spending, put together a budget or pay your bills automatically, use it.
Tip 28: Everything can be negotiated. From the price of a new (or used) car to your salary, benefits, vacation hours and sometimes even your phone and cable bill, don’t be afraid to ask for a better price even if you’ve never done it before. The simple fact is that competition today is so fierce that most banks, lenders, retail establishments and so forth will negotiate a better price with you rather than lose to completely as customer.
Tip 29: If you have the time and energy, pick up a side job. Most of us, especially once we’ve reached our 30s, have several skills that are marketable and can be monetized. Teaching a second language, using your writing skills or even selling things on eBay that you find at yard sales are great ways to earn a little bit of extra cash. One of the best ways to find jobs that don’t require a long term commitment is on Craigslist.
Tip 30: Have a backup plan, just in case. Simply put, there’s no job or career today that’s 100% secure and, unless you inherited a large sum of money and have no worries (we wish!) it’s a great idea to have a “backup plan” ready just in case. It’s as easy as simply putting together a list of things that you could possibly do if your current job or employment were to end, so that if it does happen you know what you can do and have an idea of how to get started right away.
Tip 31: If you are keen on quitting, make sure you save enough money first. You’d think that in today’s economy very few people would actually quit their job but the fact is that between 1 and 2 million people per year do. If you’re going to be one of them you definitely should have at least 6 to 12 months’ worth of money saved to cover you in the interim.
Tip 32: Become the “go to” guy or gal. These days, especially with social media and Blogs, becoming the “expert” in your field is much easier to do and, if you can gain a bit of notoriety as the “go to” expert, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities, and extra income, that open up to you.
Tip 33: Don’t forget to invest in your career. The more skills that you have the more salable that you are as an employee. Learning a new language, how to code or a new software program can all go far towards getting you a better job or an advancement in your current job. If you have the time and opportunity, get together with more experienced colleagues and pick their brain for advice. Frankly, there is no better investment that you can make then in yourself.
Tip 34: Need something done? Do it yourself. Gone are the days when fixing your faucet, repairing a hole in the wall or even making your own candles was something that “someone else did”. There are so many projects that can be done on your own, especially with the help of a little bit of Internet research, that paying someone big bucks to do it for you doesn’t make sense. (Of course, leave the car repairs to the experts.)
Tip 35: Keep up on tax deductions. If you moved in 2013, used child care while you worked or started your own part-time business, you may be eligible for some tax deductions that you weren’t in 2012. Check out the IRS’s website or ask your accountant if you do and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Boy they go by fast these Tips, don’t they?! We hope that you’re getting something out of at least a few of them and if you have any questions or comments we encourage you to leave them for us and will get back to you with answers ASAP. And of course make sure to come back for Part 5 real soon.