Are you someone who makes resolutions each year? You’re not alone. Most people want to lose weight or make more money. Interestingly enough, those individuals could probably do a bit of both just by making smarter financial decisions. After all, if you’re being savvier with your assets, you’ll be able to save more of them. Plus, sources have long linked high stress to weight gain. Consequently, without the stress of money management worries, you may wind up losing a pound or two (or maybe even more) as a direct result.
Sound good to your ears? Then read on and discover five money tips to make your 2014 stress-free and the best ways that you can save more of your well-earned dough and become a wiser financial manager in the new year.
1: Get identity theft protection
Okay, so this will cost you a bit of money upfront, but it can really be of benefit in the long run. You can’t be looking out for your financial safety all the time, but an identity theft protection organization can and will. If you have ever had someone try to steal your identity – or succeed in stealing it – you know how devastatingly helpless you feel afterwards. Even if you’ve never had any concerns about it in the past, know that thieves are pretty shrewd. You just have to stay one step ahead.
2: Open another bank account
Are you one of those folks who just can’t seem to save money? Do dollars and cents disappear as soon as you have them in your hand or your checking account? Open a bank account and have a portion of your income automatically put into the account every week or paycheck. This might just be the way to avoid your worry that one large disaster, such as a medical emergency, could land you in serious debt. Only tap into the account if it’s absolutely necessary. Otherwise, consider it your “untouchable” fund that you know is there, just in case.
3: Pay off your credit card balances, and keep them at zero whenever possible
Not only is it good for your credit rating, but it’s also good for your stress levels to know that you have no debts. Should your credit card balances already show nothing, keep them that way. If they currently have balances, get them down as efficiently as you can. You may even want to set up an appointment with a money management consultant to assist you in the process. The fewer people you owe, the better you’ll sleep at night.
4: Tackle your taxes early
Are you a habitual procrastinator when it comes to filing your taxes? Make this year different, and do a little bit every evening toward getting your tax in well before the April 15th deadline. Nothing feels better than having tax time off your plate, even if you’re not getting a big return.
5: Set up and use your Flexible Spending Account
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), remember to use it. After all, having it is a distinct benefit and can save you money at tax time. Though you can’t recoup monies you may have set aside in your FSA from 2013 and didn’t use, you can make this year – and the years that follow – different. That way, you’ll never be leaving money “on the table”, so to speak.
Eliminate money madness and you’ll shrink stress levels
Money isn’t the root of all evil, as the parable says, but it can be a source of serious anxiety. The sooner you control your money, instead of allowing your money to control you, the more power you’ll have. That power will then translate to lowered tension, and that’s good for you and everyone around you.
Alicia is a content coordinator for a law company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by Her Fitness Hut, Examiner.com, and Ask Miss A.