It’s really a good thing that time is divided into portions. We can say “oh, that was yesterday” or “tomorrow will be a better day” when we are searching for encouragement or simply say “I’ll do it tomorrow” when procrastination sets in.
That time is divided into years is a real advantage. A year gives you enough time to mess up, get your ducks back in a row, and get ready to start again.
We begin anew with our New Year resolutions. For the most part we resolve to be better people. That is one resolution that you will have to handle yourself but this column, with the help of our readers, will help you with your resolution to improve your financial situation.
With all this time available, the important thing to remember is that it should be spent wisely, spent making the world a better place, spent spreading love and peace, and spent making certain that your family and friends know they are loved and respected. Time spent is forever gone, so spend it wisely.
Compose your plan of attack as far as your finances are concerned. There is no better method of making a plan than writing it down so it is in front of you in black and white.
When you have finished eating your blackeyed peas and greens and the football games are over, sit quietly and make your resolutions for the coming year. Write these down to review periodically.
It is very important that you have a definite plan. The best football coach in the world would never wait until game time and then tell his team to go out there and do the best that they could and you can’t wait until payday and see how you come out. You must have a game plan.
List all payments due monthly: mortgages, car loans, credit cards, insurance, utility bills, savings, charitable giving – everything. Don’t forget bills that may be paid other than monthly.
If you pay your auto insurance every six months, divide the amount paid by six to get the monthly payment.
There should be some contingency allowed for such things as when amounts due will vary, as when there is an exceptionally high electric bill as a result of a very hot month. This contingency fund is a smaller version of your emergency fund.
Vow to work toward accumulating at least an eight month emergency fund, substantially increase savings, systematically chip away at all debt — especially credit card debt — and eliminate the use of credit cards. Buy only what is needed; “wants” will go on a future budget.
Share what you have, or have left, including information that will help others save. Be supportive of family and friends and those less fortunate.
Stay current on the economic situation, but do not succumb to gloom and doom. Do not sweat the small stuff. Accept full responsibility for your personal situation as well as full responsibility for getting out of said mess.
By getting your financial ducks in a row, you not only improve your financial condition, you improve your chances of having a healthy year, as stress over money matters is very harmful. To put it bluntly, stress can kill.
This may be your best year yet. Make up your mind that it will be your best year and work hard to see that it is. Keep your attitude adjusted and your spirits high as you approach the new year and play your best game.
Sincere best wishes for a happy, healthy, and most prosperous 2013.
Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org