Tips for Planning Your 2017 Finances // February 20, 2017

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So 2016 is now behind us which means you also need to let go of bad financial choices you may have made in the past. It’s time to make a difference this year; managing your money properly.

This is not about those New Year’s resolutions that you never get to commit to. It’s time you learn the best tips from financial gurus on how to cut money wastage and free up more of it for savings (read more on finance.)

Make Some Extra Money

This doesn’t mean you should take a second full-time job; it won’t be that easy, especially if you have kids at home to take care of. There are plenty of ways to make money online which only require a few minutes of your time. One way is to make money via paid surveys.

Companies like Google or Nielsen will pay you to use a new product or app they have launched. You can also get paid to read emails for companies, do online surveys, or control a company’s chat interfaces they use to interact with customers. By the end of the year, you can earn close to $400 or even $900 by doing this alone.

Another great way to make extra cash is joining an online trading platform. There are plenty out there like CMC markets that will show you how to trade your few dollars and turn them into a fortune. Opening an account is free and you also get a free demo account to practice on before putting your money into the stock market.

 

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You don’t need another full time job to earn more money

 

Open a Locked Savings Account

If you found yourself broke by the end of 2016, perhaps a big problem was tracking your spending. The truth is that a lot of things we buy aren’t really necessary and we may  have done well to save the money. So for 2017, open locked savings accounts to put that extra cash in.

It’s even better if you have opened several savings accounts that you can regularly deposit money into. Let them have a withdrawal limit of say once every 3 or 6 months. Now make it a habit of depositing money into these accounts. You can assign roles to each account like one for your Christmas spending, another for your vacation and a third one to pay off your mortgage.

What you will notice is that you forget that you have extra money lying around and when a rainy day arrives, you will have your finances ready. In some cases, when opening and properly utilising savings and ‘locked’ accounts, you may find that there is a significant chunk of money available for anything from investing in an existing business to covering Christmas or other holiday costs. If the amount saved amounts to a few hundred or even thousand dollars, you may even seek to improve your property in order to increase its resale value. A popular way to do so is to insulate your property (ABC Estates), which will see you, your family and any tenants save money on heating bills and live in increased warmth and comfort for many years to come.

Come Up With a Savings Plan

It’s understandable how hard it is to have the will to save money regularly, which is why you need to come up with a solid savings plan that will hold you accountable. There are many plans out there you can follow. One of them is the now popular 52-week money challenge.

The idea is to start with $1 in the first week then $2 the next and so on. Always add a dollar in the next week until you are done with all the 52 weeks of the year. You could also start with $20 then add $15 to the following week. You are free to determine how much you start with and how much you are going to add every week until the end of the year.

Pay Off Current Debts

Clear any outstanding arrears on your credit card, student loans or mortgage. Don’t ignore your debts this year because they won’t go away on their own. Each penalty accrued just means a bigger depression in your financial pocket, so making the decision to do away with debt this year could be huge for you.

You don’t have to pay it all as a lump sum either. Manage your debt by making regular deposits each month. Financial lenders are more lenient to people who are willing to pay small amounts each month until the final debt is paid off and you may also earn a waiver just by showing such a commitment to paying your debts off.

 

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Unlocking yourself from current debts will greatly help you

 

Avoid More Debt

As you pay off earlier arrears, don’t go creating more debt along the way. If you cannot afford that new flagship phone, just let it go. If your friends still have extra money for a mini vacation this January, it’s okay not to join them. The biggest lesson here is learning how to live with your current financial plan. If you really need a new product or holiday, then open an account and save up for that, don’t touch your current savings.

For 2017, make it your goal to save money and not lose it and by the end of the year you will discover how easy it is to manage your money, even retaining a little extra for leisure.