Monday, June 24, 2013

Three from Me!

For the month of June, we'll be looking at what we can do to be financially fit!

Right now I'm working on my Fourth Get It Together Girl! workbook. This one is all about money-saving tips. It isn't about investing or budgeting, it's about little things you can do to make sure you have enough money at the end of your month. Most of these are things I do myself, so I wanted to share my three favorite tips with you.

1. The Gift that Keeps Giving
We all know that gift cards make good gifts but did you know they make good budgeting tools as well? A while back things were really tight and I would be stuck on the day before payday with an empty tank and no money to fill it up. When I tried to put aside a $20 for gas, I’d inevitably end up spending it on something else. The solution: I found agas station chain that had stations near my house and my job. When I got paid, I would fill up my tank and get a $25 gas gift card. The gas gcard can’t be spent for dinners out or movies. So it gets used for it’s intended purpose: gas.

This was so successful that I started using it for movies, a my favorite stores. Instead of walking into a store with my debit card, I can purchase a gift card for the exact amount I want to spend. If I want to spend $100 a month on clothes, I purchase a $100 gift card from a store I want to shop in. If I budget so much for the movies, I buy a gift card once a month to cover all of those movies. This way I am never caught without.

2. Levelize
In the winter, gas bills can climb to astronomical heights and the electric can do the same thing in the summer. When you levelize, or enter an equal payment plan, you pay for your service at a consistent rate year-round. This way there are no surprises when you open your bill

3. Find Your Triggers
Money and food are often hard to manage because we overlook the emotional component. Yet, spending can be very addicting and like most addictive behaviors you need to know what your triggers are. Do you shop when stressed or unhappy? Maybe you spend to retaliate against the spouse? You could associate shopping and spending money with feeling good and hanging out with friends. Know what your triggers are and plan accordingly.

What else can you do when you are feeling those feelings. Who’s help can you enlist. Ask your girlfriends to rein you in when you start on a binger. Acknowledging the emotion behind your actions is half of the battle. As long as acknowledgment is followed by action, you’ll know you are on the right course!

Want more tips? Buy the book when it comes out! LOL!

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