Some Financial Tips For 2024

Many people are still having problems with their finances, and it’s scary. Some know they’re not making enough money, which is obviously a problem. Some don’t think they’re making enough money because they’re in debt, and what they probably need is some budgeting advice. And some know they’re making enough money, they’re spending that money, and not planning for the future.

Alexander Grey on Unsplash

As always, we’re here to help. This is an easy money to-do list to help give some guidance for everyone as it regards how to handle your money. It’s not overly comprehensive because we don’t want to confuse anyone, but we believe it could help a lot of people. Let’s begin.

1. Track your spending

Did someone say the word budget? We address it regularly around here, and even rich people need to know what their money situation is to make sure they’re not overspending. For those of us who aren’t rich, this becomes even more important to make sure that we always have enough money to pay our bills, buy our food, and put gas in our car. And hopefully, by tracking our spending, will also have enough money left over to have some fun.

2. Calculate your net worth

This is a little harder to do, but it’s a nice little test to try from time to time. Basically, you first figure out how much money you have right now, which is the easy part.

Next, go around your living space and assess the value of items you have to try to determine how much capital you have access to if you had to sell your stuff to survive. This is hard to do because most of us overestimate the worth of our items based on how much we spent on them when they were brand new. You may not like this part, but deduct at least 50% from everything you value, because you may see something as valuable that potential buyers buyers won’t.

3. Check your credit profile

Getting a credit report at least once a year is a smart way to see what the rest of the world thinks of your credit. In general terms, looking at credit scores are worthless unless you’re thinking about wanting to buy something that costs a lot of money and you want to apply for credit to help you get it. Regardless, you should probably know where you stand with your creditors. You also get to request a free credit report yearly from the 3 major credit agencies; check out this link to Annual Credit Report.

4. Cut spending by at least 10%

This is another tough one, but if you’re following a budget and doing better than barely getting by, it might not be as hard as you think it is. Something you can think about trying is having your checking account and savings account at the same bank, and when you get paid moved 5-10% into your savings account. If you can access your account online this is even simpler to do. That way, if you feel you need it, you still have access to your money.

If you find that you often don’t need the money you moved, and you’re giving it a chance to accrue some interest for you, you’ll increase your money even more. If that feels a bit scary, think about putting money into a container somewhere in your house to use in an emergency fund; just make sure everyone doesn’t know where you’ve stashed it. 🙂

5. Shop for insurance deals

Most of us purchase different types of insurance and stay with it forever, without ever thinking about looking around for insurance that costs less and still offers you the same amount of coverage you’re already getting. We’re not advocating that anyone should switch their insurance, whatever type it is. so someone else if you’re comfortable with it. But if your insurance goes up every year and you feel taken advantage of, it never hurts to take a look at other options.

6. Check out a credit union

Credit unions are not only viable options to banks, but if you qualify to join, some of them can actually be much more beneficial than a bank. Credit unions tend to work with you better if you need loans or any other financial help. They also seem to offer better options for saving your money and getting a better return. Some credit unions work better with people in certain professions, like the military, so it’s worth looking into.

7. Challenge your property-tax assessment

You have to think a bit about this one before you go doing it. Whereas it’s possible that you’re overpaying on your property taxes, it’s also quite possible that your house is being valued at less than what you think it is and you could end up paying more taxes. After the pandemic, many homeowners learned that their property was worth a lot more than they thought it was, and many of them took advantage of the increase, sold their properly, and looked elsewhere. Even if you don’t want to sell your properly, it never hurts to know the worth of your property just in case a situation comes up where you might need the money more than your current home.

8. Boost your emergency fund to cover 9 months of living expenses

The recommendation for savings in case of an emergency used to be 3 months. The pandemic changed that recommendation a lot, and many people throughout the United States were lucky to get some monetary Covid relief, but it didn’t go well for many others. Thus, the new recommendation for home savings has gone up to between 9 months to a year. It’s not easy to do, but it’s definitely something to think about.

Many people are losing their jobs en masse, and the reality is that even though the unemployment rate has dropped significantly, the open jobs might not be in your area of expertise. That means it might take longer to land a new position elsewhere, and having some cash in reserve to be able to pay your bills and buy needed food and supplies will help relieve some of the stress associated with trying to find something else.

That should be enough for you to think about; if you’re willing, please share some of the things you try to do to stay ahead of the potential of financial distress.

© January
TL Wall Accounting Blog

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