If 2012 was a hard financial year for you, you might be wondering if the outlook for 2013 is any brighter. The worst thing you can do however is get in a slump and force yourself into a rut that you can’t get out of. And, if 2012 had been a bright year for you, you must have home worked on the strategies that worked. You must now think about polishing them further and getting sweeter rewards in 2013.
You need to take decisive action to get all aspects of your finances under control and you need to be able to prioritize appropriately in order to ensure that you are getting to the point where you want to be financially at your own pace.
Money Coming In
The first thing you need to worry about is money coming in to your bank account, you need to make sure that it is enough for your vital expenses and you need to make sure that at the end of every month your balance is positive. Once you can guarantee this, you can be sure that you won’t get into any further debt. If your current income is not sufficient, you might need to look for a new job, in order to do this you are going to have to advertise yourself to employers with a great CV.
First things first, do not lie on your CV, you have to understand that a qualification only gets you the job; it is your actual skills and performance that get you to keep the job. Therefore don’t lie on your CV, just make the most of what you have got and flaunt it for all its worth.
Once your CV is ready, you need to start seeking employment in every avenue possible, upload it online so head-hunters looking for your kind of skills and qualifications can come looking for you. This is the first thing that you should do as time will pay dividends, the longer it’s on line the more chance you have of getting spotted.
You can now use the internet again to search for relevant companies; many large corporations have careers sections at the bottom of their websites that have job advertisements on them or otherwise you can go through online job listing websites and see if you can find anything.
If however you are looking for a local job, again you can start with the internet and email your CV’s out or you could go on foot and deliver them yourself. If this is what you intend to do, you might want to consider dressing smartly and try to exude confidence even if you are only talking to the receptionist, she might just mention it to the appropriate person and you will have a little bit more help.
Money Going Out
Once you have found a new job, or you didn’t need to or couldn’t you are going to want to consider lowering your expenditure, this means carefully reviewing your finances so that there you know what you are spending your money on and it will help you notice any unhealthy and unwanted financial leaks so that you will be able to plug them.
When reviewing your finances you are going to want to go through a past statement, and you are going to want to highlight what is going out and consider if you really need it or not. Start by thinking about if you really need to be making them spends. The main thing you will need to focus on is regular spends like eating out, nights out, frequent online purchases. These you need to cut to a minimum.
Next you need to look at your monthly bills, are any of them larger than you would expect and why? You can save on these by just being more considerate, keep the heat in rooms by closing doors and shutting windows, even wear an extra sweater so that you can turn the heating down by a couple of degrees. Remembering to turn lights off is another one from the good old book of common sense. There are quite a few things that you can do in order to tighten your belt when the money gets tight.
Another task you might want to think about doing is checking your direct debits and standing orders. Are there any services that you subscribe to that you don’t actually use? Do you really need those optional extras on your phone contract? Do you ever watch the extra channels you are paying for with your television company? These are all questions that only you can answer but as long as you are honest with yourself and have the right goal set out in your mind you will be able to make quite a saving.
Saving For A rainy Day
The third and last part of sorting out your financial status out is to ensure that you have a backup plan in case things turn sour in the future. You need to start a concrete savings plan that will allow you to have a “get out of jail free card” so that you can never go into the red again. Every month once you no longer have any debts you are going to want a separate bank account that automatically gets a set amount paid in after you get paid.
Having it separately will allow you to forget that it’s there and not use it, again you will have to manage what is left over, but you will have something to fall back on. After that if you have anything left over at the end of the month, you will be able to treat yourself and feel proud of how far you have come.
About the author – This article was written by Kevin Donovan from Businesstimes.org.uk, on his blog he tries to write how the large-scale economic issues affect our very own personal finance.
SB’s thoughts – Another important aspect of getting finance under control is to get the investment accounts in order. Be it your share investment, mutual funds, 401 (k) or an IRA investment. Log on to their respective website (all stock/fund/IRA brokers maintain their website with rich features to help you be on track of your investment performances) regularly to check the its value and performance.
Analyze the profit/loss figures, in last 12 months or since you bought them. Check if they are in a uptrend or down-trend. Compare the stocks and funds with other shares and funds in similar category. See if there’s any potential danger looming around the corner. Consult with your finance adviser or money coach and get advice on the future plan-of-action. You may also want to explore newer avenues to invest your money. Don’t just let your money sit, make a better use of it.
Readers, what are you doing to get/keep your finances in control this year?