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5 tips for managing Finances in 2018

As Moms, I know my self that I am always super aware of our finances.  Do we have enough money to pay the bills and dance class?  Can we splurge with a date night?  What if I got my hair done finally?  Every time I am at the store my brain starts calculating how much of the grocery budget I have used this month or if we can afford it.  To kick off 2018, I wanted to share with you 5 tips for managing Finances in 2018.

No matter your kids age their are always going to be expenses, from daycare to braces to new shoes, kids always need something.  But unless you have a Daddy Warbucks, you usually have to re-arrange finances to make ends meet.

The 5 tips for managing finances in 2018 will provide tips to save and how to make better decisions as a consumer to save money.

1 – Ensure you are saving money weekly

As Moms we all know that it is important to keep a rainy day fund.  Whether it be for the unexpected new tire that you have to put on your husbands car, or the water heater that went out, it is important to have money saved up.

Even if you can only put away $5 a day (about a Starbucks drink) you would be able to put away $1,825 a year.

It’s a small start to saving the money needed.

Check out this bi-weekly savings challenge that would help you save $1,378 before the end of the year by starting out by saving only $3 the first week. There are plenty of savings plans on the internet, so find the one that work best for your family and work with it.

2 – Pay more on your higher interest loans

After you established how much you want to save a week/bi-weekly/monthly, it’s time to put some more of your money to work!

Interest is a killer!  Whether its credit card interest or interest on your student loan, the amount you pay monthly in interest does not help to pay off your debt and goes straight to the bank or company.  Your goal, is always to pay off your debt with having to pay as little interest as possible.

To do this, I take all my loans, credit card bills or student loans, lay them all out on your kitchen table with a post-it note.

Check each bill and write the interest rate on the post-it note and then stick it to the bill.  Once all the bills have a post-it notes on them, arrange them from highest interest to lowest.

Then, continue paying all your bills like normal, but try to budget $50+ to put extra onto the highest interest rate bill every month. Continue to do this until the largest interest bill is paid off.  Once completed, move onto your second biggest interest payment.  Continue to do this till all your bills are paid off.

3 – Use your Credit Card like a Debit Card

A debit card (also known as a bank card) works by pulling money out of your account to pay for your purchases. A credit card, on the other hand, allows you to spend up to your limit and then sends you a bill to pay them back.

I have ALWAYS used a credit card like debit cards, but instead of paying it instantly, pay it off at the end of the month.  I treat my credit card more like a bank card opposed to a loan. If I know I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it.

The good thing about credit cards is that many of them offer cash back, points or rewards for you the consumer.  You can redeem cash back/ points/ miles to pay for future purchases without using the money in your account.

Many offer cash back by splitting the fee charged to the vendor between you the consumer and the credit card company.  If I spend $100 a month on my credit card, my credit card company gives me $15 dollars back.  That is money that I would have spent anyways with a debit card and received nothing in return.

$15 x 12 = $180 a year.  Spend $2000 a month = $360 a year.

Not only that, but if you have any issues with services, your credit card company will withhold payment and help you resolve an issue.  A debt card payment is like a cash payment and is official once sent.  A lot of the times, banks, ATM’s charge you to use your own money with a debit card which is just ridiculous.

4 – Buy Generic

Now this is an easy fix that can be done at your local grocery store.

I can tell you that I haven’t bought  a bag of lays chips in years, but the Kroger brand for $1 are amazing!

I have found very little difference in the store brand verse name brand while shopping and I can promise you my family doesn’t notice. Sure, I splurge on Oreos opposed to the knockoff brand, but you can save up to a $1 or more by purchasing the generic brands without compromising taste.

By buying 5+ generic items on a grocery store trip, I can save more money that can be put into savings or applied towards a loan or mortgage.

5 – Pass on the Luxury Items

Yes, I know the coffee I make in my kitchen can’t hold a Triple, Venti, Soy, No Foam Latte to an amazing Starbucks drink, but it does save my pocketbook $5 a day. By avoiding splurging on Starbucks, lunch out with coworkers or going to the movies, I am able to have more wiggle room in my budget to save money or pay off more of my loans.

Now, this Momma splurges on things she needs, or a cup of coffee (or wine) here and there, but like everything else, splurging should be done in moderation.

2018

Try out these great tips for managing your finances better in 2018.  With these simple tips, you can work to improve yours and your families finances in 2018.

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