A Sandwich and Some Money
If your resolution is to get your finances in order, then here are some helpful tips on saving and building wealth that have worked for Kellie and I.
Eliminate credit card debt. Pay off higher interest cards first. After the higher interest cards are paid off, increase the payments on the remaining cards until all revolving card balances are eliminated.
Run your household like a business and be aware of all "fixed" and "variable" expenses. For example, utilities, rent, lease payments are fixed expenses. Eating out, alcohol, and entertainment are variable expenses. Look for lower cost providers for cell phone, utilities, cable, etc. Calculate how much you are spending on variable or entertainment expenses. Your income minus your expenses after every month, quarter, and year should show a "profit". Pay yourself by investing back into yourself with this profit.
Maintain a budget using Quicken, Excel, or other budget tracking software. This is the most accurate way to see exactly where your money is going.
Make your money work for you by putting ALL expenses on a point earning card like a Capital One VISA Venture card. Points can be used to reduce your debt, for cash, or to eliminate any travel expenses you charge to the card. Pay the entire balance off every month!
If your company offers a 401k plan, PARTICIPATE in it! A 401k plan reduces the amount of income tax you pay and the contributions compound over time increasing your future wealth. If your company matches your contribution, you're flushing money down the toilet by not participating. The matching contributions are FREE money.
Don't feel like you have to "keep up with the Joneses". Everyone's income vs. expenses situation is different and keeping up with appearances can sometimes hurt financially. Remember, making a-lot of money is great. Spending more than you make eventually leads to big debt.
Pay yourself before you spend money on personal vices or entertainment. The priority for most people with children should be college funds, then retirement, then other investments like IRAs, stocks, bonds, etc.
Here are more helpful tips from Business Insider for cleaning up your finances: