It’s hard to believe that the year is nearly halfway over. You’ve likely recovered from the financial strain of the holidays and might be planning a summer vacation. These are just some of the reasons that you’ll need to take special care to stay organized when it comes to money in the last part of the year. After all, summer will be over before you know it and it will be time to start planning for the holidays and next summer, so it’s best to get a hold of things now.
Literally keeping tabs on yourself will help you finish out the year strong when it comes to your finances. Keep folders for each of the money goals you’re trying to accomplish by the end of the year. For instance, if you want to pay off a credit card or have a few more car payments left, keep track of this and put a little money aside each payday to accomplish this goal. Every time you make a deposit in your savings account for the goal, make a note of it. When you make a payment toward an account, note this in the folder. This is also a good way to make sure you have a record of your financial habits if there are any disputes with your creditor.
It’s also a good idea to start making some life adjustments if you want to accomplish a short-term financial mission before the year ends. If you tend to eat out every day for lunch, make it a point to make some of your favorite foods for dinner so you can take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day. You could save between forty and sixty dollars a week (sometimes more) in most cases, and this money can be used to pay for your gym membership without having to touch other parts of your finances, or the money could fill your gas tank up for the week. For larger financial goals, refinancing your mortgage or downsizing your living space could also help you save money so you can invest in the projects you want to pursue in the coming year. For example, if the startup costs for your business can be taken care of when you move to a place where the mortgage is cheaper, you’ll have to make these adjustments to make sure you have what you need to get your company off the ground.
Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself when you display integrity when it comes to organizing your budget. For example, if you’re at the grocery store and you stick to your list and search for a few coupons, reward yourself by getting your favorite ice cream. Or, if you have money left over from paying off one of your bills in full, use the money to buy one thing for yourself, then put the rest in savings. A large part of keeping your budget organized is realizing that unexpected things will come up, so remember to be prepared for surprises so that your living expenses and major financial goals won’t be extremely compromised.