***This is a Guest Post. <3 from the Dames***
Four steps to starting the new year with a positive outlook on your finances
If you’re starting the new year in debt or with a little less than you like after Christmas, then you may feel that your prospects for financial happiness are gloomy. However, you can be totally money happy in 2017 by trying out a few of the suggestions below. Being money happy doesn’t mean being mega rich, but more about being happy with your situation and using the money that you do have to live a comfortable, happy life. So read on to get some handy hints for high happiness levels when it comes to your 2017 finances.
Take positive action on your debt
We all know that ignoring debt doesn’t stop us from thinking about it or becoming stressed about it. Rather, it can build up into something huge – both in our minds and in our bills. Taking positive action on your debt is a fantastic way to boost your self esteem and feel in control of your life.
If you’ve been putting off that phone call to your bank or debt collector because you’re worried about the conversation that might lie ahead, then remember that credit card companies and other creditors are bound by law to offer you reasonable payment plans that reflect your financial circumstances and any financial hardship you may be in. After a quick phone call to your bank, they will often reduce your interest rate, write off some of it, or offer you a much smaller minimum monthly payment than you’ve been paying.
If you’re really having trouble dealing with all of your debts, then ask for help. There are many services available that will create a personalized debt repayment and budgeting plan for you based on questions that you answer online or over the phone. There’s free help out there if you need, you just have to ask!
Don’t be put off from investing in stocks and shares by the myth that the markets are horribly complex and impossible to understand. Using investment platforms and automated software, such as that provided by CMC markets, means that you can set your computer up to simplify the market down to a set of simple decisions and then make the best investment decisions for you automatically. There are tons of resources out there, from Acorns to Vanguard to help you out along the way.
Budget every month
Be honest with yourself about how much money you earn and how much you have left over. It can be very easy to succumb to wishful thinking and to tell yourself that you can buy those expensive shoes or splash out on a taxi instead of taking a stroll and that everything will be fine at the end of the month. Rigorous honesty is so important if you want to get out of debt. So, make a list of your income and necessary outgoings (bills, payments for food and toiletries, debt repayments, rent and so on) for each month and then see how much you have left over for luxuries. Make sure not to spend all of that leftover cash, either – saving even $10 or $20 a week can quickly build up into a handy little pot of cash that you can break into when you truly need it.
Be happy with what you have
Our value is not determined by our possessions. Having a fancy new dress will not make you any more of a beautiful person, just as wearing an old dress does not make you any less of a beautiful person. Rediscover possessions such as those old clothes in your wardrobe, those old favorites on your bookshelf, or that jewelry stash that you never wear and you will have no need to blow all of your budget on new things. The average home is filled with plenty of unused items. Taking stock of what you do have will usually help you to feel much more happy and confident as you will realise that you have plenty of fantastic possessions already. And, in the process, you can sell any unwanted items and make tens, hundreds, or even thousands of pounds on the side.
It’s time to be money happy. You can do it!
What are your tips for being money happy this year?