Remember those New Year’s Resolutions you made in January? Odds are they included some financial vows—promises to stop charging, start saving and improve your overall financial well-being. How are you doing?
If you’re not as far along as you’d hoped to be as Financial Literacy month progresses, don’t be discouraged. There’s still time to make a positive difference in your finances and start 2013 in a much better place.
At Springboard, we believe that small changes can yield huge results. As a matter of fact, putting $20 to work for you can improve your entire financial picture. Consider the following and see how you can best utilize $20:
- Debt—Find an extra $20 per week for the remainder of the year, and put it toward debt reduction. Not worth the trouble? Consider this: If you currently owe $1,000 on a credit card, have an Annual Percentage Rate of 18 percent, and are making a minimum monthly payment of 2 percent of balance, even if you never add further charges to the account, you won’t have that $1,000 paid off for 12 years. You don’t want to still be paying for 2012 charges in 2024. Adding that extra $20 per week to your minimum payment cuts your debt in half by the end of this year.
- Saving—If your savings account is low or non-existent, do something about it. After all, it’s not a matter of if the financial emergency will occur, but when. Prepare for the inevitable by socking away $20 per week until the end of the year. When December 31 rolls around, you’ll have $700 in your savings account, a cushion that should see you through most everyday emergencies.
- Holiday Expenses— Remember the old Holiday Accounts where everyone methodically deposited money throughout the year and then drew it out during December to pay cash for their purchases? That idea is due for a comeback. Now is the time to establish your own personal Holiday Account. Find an extra $20 per week and start making out your gift list, as you’ll have $700 to spend. And the best gift of all will be the one that you give to yourself…a debt-free holiday.
Imagine starting off 2013 with debt paid down, savings built up, and no holiday bills in the mailbox. This could be a reality, but it all starts with a commitment from you. If you can’t tackle all three areas, address the one that troubles you most. Odds are that you’ll enjoy moving toward financial stability so much that you’ll make your good habits a permanent part of your life.
If you need help finding an extra $20 per week, creating a realistic budget you can live with, or tackling overwhelming debt, call Springboard at 1-800-431-8157.
Photo: redjar via flickr cc