We get it: Budgeting is hard. Throughout 2018, you may have felt a lot of frustration as you watched your credit dip deeper into the red, while your savings accounts fell to the wayside. But now it’s going to be a brand new year, which means you can make some New Year’s resolutions to yourself – and your budget.
At Lam Law Firm, our Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer Huong Lam knows how difficult it can be to stay out of debt. But with the right budgeting strategy, and the commitment to follow it, you’ll be well on your way to a brighter and better financial future, in 2019 and beyond.
Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions that may help save your budget:
- Review your spending habits from the last year. It may be painful, but in order to make a better budget next year, you’ll need to understand exactly what went wrong in 2018. Perhaps you tend to go overboard on personal care and grooming products, or maybe you have a weakness for expensive coffee that elevated your grocery bills. Whatever your bad budgeting habits, you can start fresh by identifying when you’re most tempted to go over your budget, and then making a plan to accommodate for that tendency.
- Give every dollar a job. When building your budgeting plan for the New Year’s, always remember to budget for each and every dollar you have at the moment. By giving every single penny a role in your budget, be it to fill your savings account or pay for that Starbucks latte, you can hold yourself accountable and prepare for emergencies more effectively. It’s a simple concept, but a powerful one.
- Save for the fun stuff! One of the biggest mistakes people make in their budgeting strategy is failing to allow for fun. Deprivation isn’t an effective way to save money, as it simply feeds the impulse to shop. Instead, take the time to really think about which luxury purchases make you the happiest. Is it a monthly spa retreat? Maybe time spent at a nice dinner with friends each week? No matter what it is, incorporate it into your budget. That way, whenever you’re tempted, you can look forward to enjoying your pre-defined “splurge” guilt-free.
- Set up a small recurring savings deposit. It can be frustrating to place your hard-earned cash into the equivalent of a locked vault, only to be used for emergencies. However, by setting up a smaller, more frequent auto-deposit, you can build up your savings in the background and add to it whenever you have some extra cash. You may be surprised to discover how much even $20 every week can pad your savings account by the year’s end.
- Get a budgeting app. Analog budgeting methods still work great, but for many of us who have become inseparable from our smartphones, a high-tech budgeting app can be the best defense against overspending. From Mint to You Need A Budget (YNAB), many apps can sync seamlessly with your financial accounts and report to you in real-time when a transaction goes over the limit. You may even come to enjoy the little notifications, as you sort a pre-meditated purchase into the correct category and feel more confident in your purchase.
At Lam Law Firm, we want to wish you all a very happy New Year’s! If you ever need legal assistance with debt management or finding alternative solutions to bankruptcy, we’re here to offer a helping hand and a listening ear. Our experienced attorney Huong Lam has made it her mission to help those who are struggling, and she can provide just the kind of compassionate counsel you need to move forward from serious debt.
Call us at (843) 695-7700 for a free consultation!