I’m feeling pretty ecstatic about what next year is going to bring me financially. Not just because January marks the New Year, but because I made some serious changes in my business over the last few months and now everything is coming together.
In fact, December should be my highest income earning month ever! And now that I have my plan in motion and am already seeing some amazing results, I need to get the rest of my finances in order.
Specifically, I want to save for a down payment on a home. And as crazy as this might sound that means I’ll be needing to save at least half of my (projected) income every month next year.
If you want to join me and save half of your income too, here are some steps that you can take.
Constantly Monitor Your Outgoing Expenses
In the last few months I’ve been far too relaxed with the amount of money I’ve been spending. I’ve been busy so I’ve often went with easiest solution. As you’re probably aware, the easiest solution is very rarely the cheapest solution.
If I’m going to save half of my income then I have to stay on top of my outgoing expenses, and so do you!
For the New Year I’m putting together a very simple, yet very powerful budget binder. It will have slots for projected and actual expenses, income, menu planning, and goals.
Having a simple system in place that allows you to monitor your finances without spending hours a day on them works wonders! Get a system in place and start using it now.
Lower Your Recurring Costs
I am definitely not the type of girl who is going cut coupons and search through sales fliers. To me, it’s not worth it.
I prefer to put in some upfront effort one time and reap the benefits all year. I am now looking to lower all of my recurring costs. This includes things like internet, phone, utilities, car insurance, and other monthly expenses.
Right now is a great time to take advantage of any holiday deals that allow you to lower your fixed monthly expenses.
Earn More Money
Saving a large portion of your income isn’t always about lowering your expenses. If you’re like me and already live a very low-key lifestyle the best thing you can do is earn more money!
But here’s the thing – I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week and I’m sure you don’t either. I firmly believe that earning more money shouldn’t control your life. (Because saving half of your income is about enhancing your life, am I right?)
Instead work on getting a promotion, start a side hustle, increase your rates if you’re self-employed, or ask for a raise at your day job.
Pin point exactly what you need to do to earn more money and then take action. Make a plan and work your plan! Check out this list of 5 ways to earn $500 for inspiration.
Count Your Debt Repayments, too!
I don’t want this post to discourage anyone who is deep in debt. If you can’t put half of your income in a savings or investment account, then count your debt payments as savings.
The more you put toward your principal the more you’re saving in interest and paying off debt should be a priority.
Make your goal to put half of your income toward debt and then go do it!
Find Some Accountability
Accountability is my best friend. One of my very good online friends and I email each other several times per week with our goal progress.
If you’re like me and don’t have someone that you can discuss your goals with in real life then find an online friend. (I’ve never met some of my best friends. I have a hard time finding like-minded people where I live. But online I have an entire group of great people I can go to for advice!)
At the very least you can come back to this post every month with your goal progress, leave a comment, and I’ll help you remain accountable.
If you want to make 2015 your best-ever year financially you can! It’s going to take some serious hard work and commitment but where there’s a will there’s a way.
What do you think? Can you save half of your income?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.