Hey everyone, thanks for joining me for another Friday Finance with Josh! If you’ve kept up with my column here, you know that I generally talk about credit scores, credit cards, debt, dangers of overuse of loans, ect… That being said, I spend a lot of my time helping people with loans who are experiencing financial hardships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across situations where buying winter clothes has put a family into uncontrollable debt. I’ve received several emails with something like “I had to make sure my children were warm so, I took my credit card and did some winter clothes shopping. Now, I’ve got more debt than I can pay off. Can you help?”. Of course, I’d love to help you if this happens or has happened to you but, I’d rather help you to avoid the situation entirely.
Simple Tips To Make Sure You’re Ready For Winter Clothes Shopping
Tip #1: Start Saving Now: It’s so easy to think, “I’ll start with my next pay check, I’ve got a few months.”. But, the first time you do this, is the first time you start to cheat yourself. The second time, you start to create a trend and, the third time, you might as well make sure you have available credit on your credit card because, now, it’s a habit! I’ve fallen into this procrastination trap time and time again. Now, I’ve added a seasonal budget to my budgeting spreadsheet to help me make sure I’m taken care of throughout all seasons of the year!
Tip #2: Make Saving Fun: I recently wrote a post on my website about making budgeting fun. Let’s face it, budgeting is a boring task! But, if you spruce it up with a little color and a score board, you will be more likely to enjoy doing it. So, somewhere on your budget spreadsheet, create a cell for the amount of money you plan to save each month. Now, create one for how much you actually saved. Finally, create a cell that subtracts the the amount you wanted to save from the amount you actually saved. The equation for this in any spreadsheet program (e.g. Excel, Google Drive) is “=(Saved Cell)-(Goal Cell)” and it should look something like this “=A5-A4”.
Tip #3: Know How Much Money You Need: Under-budgeting is also a real danger to consider. If you only budget for $100 but you end up spending $600, you could be in trouble. So, think about how much money you spent on winter clothing last year. Chances are, you are going to spend about that or more this year. So, take your total, let’s say it’s $600 and multiply it by 1.15. In this case, your budget would need to be $690 to cover inflation and, a chance that you might spend a little more this year! Finally, divide your total by the amount of paychecks that you have coming in between now and winter time. That should be your monthly savings goal for winter clothes.
Tip #4: Try To Save More Than You Budget For: Having less money than you need is horrible but, having too much money only seems to be a problem for hip hop stars and basket ball players. For most of us, there is no such thing as too much money…we’ve always got somewhere to put it! So, if you have the opportunity to save more than you planned to, make sure that you take that opportunity and get a leg up. If for any reason, it’s absolutely impossible to save on one blue payday, you’ve already got the money in the bank to cover the loss!
Thanks For Reading
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