How to Improve Your Financial Situation in 2017

Do you want to improve your financial situation this year?

I know many people make new year resolutions that this will be the year. But too many don’t.

New year resolutions

New year resolutions are fine. Because you recognize something must change! Let’s turn those resolutions into goals. Our goals are:

  1. Own what we drive.
  2. Get out of debt (and stay out of debt).
  3. Save $1,100 on our monthly family spending
  4. Own where we live.

Goals are fine and dandy. But…

Where do we start?

Honestly, I have never been a home budget kind of person. That’s just me. But other people live by their household budget.

I pay myself first. Savings and investments. “Saving for a rainy day.”

So the first thing that you should do is figure out where and how much money you are spending.

Track your spending!

Before you can fix your situation, you need to know where you are.

So sit down and list your money coming in and going out. Track the last three months. Tracking the last six months is even better.

The aim is to determine your cash flow. What’s flowing in and what’s flowing out.

Your cash flow will tell you much about your life situation. Your life situation is food, shelter, clothing, family responsibilities and bills you must pay!

How do you compare to the average American family?

According to the financial advisors at Motley Fool, the average American household owes $90,336.

The top American consumer debt is:

  1. Residential mortgage debt
  2. Revolving consumer credit card debt
  3. Student loan debt
  4. Tax debt owed to the IRS
  5. Auto loan debt
  6. Farm loans
  7. Small business loans
  8. Payday advances

(Source: Motley Fool)

Now that you have a picture of what you spend, let’s move onto the goals.

Improve Your Financial Situation

Before I tell you exactly how we cut $1,100 a month from our family budget, I need to ask you an important question. This is the tax accountant in me.

If you could choose between making $1,100 more a month or cutting $1,100 a month, which one would you choose?

Most people go for the extra earnings. But that is the wrong choice.

Why is that the wrong choice?

For every dollar more you make, you get to keep maybe seventy cents after taxes and such, if you’re lucky. But for every dollar you save, it’s just like earning a whole dollar more.

Think about that for a second.

This means if you managed to cut spending by $1,100 a month, it’s just like earning $1,700 a month more in income!

That’s right!

Saving money is much more effective than making more money.

That is why there are so many “thrifty” millionaires! When I learned this a few years back, I decided to see where I could save and surprised at how easy it was.

7 Ways to Save $1,100 a Month

Here are the 7 ways we slashed more than $1,100 a month off of our family spending.

  1. I switched all my insurance (home, auto, life) to one carrier. (Total savings $50 a month.)
  2. I cut our cable TV service and went to WiFi and over-the-air. We now use a Roku with Hulu for on demand TV and we love it! (Total savings $100 a month.) I bought a Tivo Over-the-Air DVR from Best Buy for $50. So we can record and watch the broadcast channels when we want.
  3. I switched our cellphones from AT&T to Virgin Mobile. We now have pre-paid month-to-month service with unlimited voice, text, and data. (Total savings $120 a month.) Our cellphones are not the latest models! So we saved on the cost of the phones.
  4. I now order my vitamins, supplements, electronics, household items, etc. at Amazon and ebay. The costs are about 25% off retail. (Total savings $100 a month.)
  5. I decided to drive a late model vehicle instead of buying a new one every few years. This saves $500 a month on payments, interest and insurance. (Total savings $500 a month.)
  6. We raised the thermostat in the summer and lowered it in the winter. We save on the electric and gas bills for our two zone air conditioning and heating. (Total savings $180 a month.)
  7. I get my golf tee-times through my GolfNow app, for as much as 50% off regular prices. I also buy used golf balls and golf clubs instead of brand new ones on ebay. (Total savings $50 a month.)

Of course, there are so many other ways to reduce spending. For example entertainment and dining out can be expensive.

On the business side, there are ways to reduce spending.  I use deep discount coupon codes to buy premium WordPress plug-ins or tools for my websites. I try the many free trial offers to see if tools are useful or worth buying.

Here are a few of the plug-ins I use and recommend to help you get more traffic and income at your sites. Each page contains a review of the plug-in and coupon codes or free trial so you can get them at discount.

  • Jaaxy keyword research tool.
  • Commission Black Ops affiliate marketing strategy review and coupon code.
  • WordPress Affiliate Plug-in review and coupon.

Even if you take just a few of these steps it will help your budget. The more you save on a regular basis, the more you will have to save and invest.

And that can mean less time working and more time playing!

[Rest of the article is about starting a home business.]

And it gives you money to build a home business! After all, this website is about creating home businesses.

The following is important to remember.

Insufficient funding is among the leading causes of business failure according to the SBA. A lack of funding will hamper any company’s growth and stability.

Small Business Administration business failure rates

I say this because one of the main reasons people start a home business is getting more money!

I have heard people say they want to start a home business that makes money now. They are living paycheck to paycheck.

So this “make money now” mindset is self defeating. Unfortunately, so many unscrupulous scammers take advantage of this mindset. They promote get-rich-quick schemes.

Starting a Home Business

There are many different reasons to start a home business. This article is about your life situation. This is about you providing food, shelter, and the basics for your family.

I am not talking about the other motivation factors. I’m not talking about discipline, talent, intelligence, patience, or even persistence.

Creating a successful home business takes planning and budgeting. The business failure rate is the highest in the first year according to the Small Business Administration.

So how much time and money are you going to commit to build a home business. In other words, what is your exit strategy for failure, or even success?

Consider these factors:

1. Businesses fail because there is not enough capital or money to fund the business. Estimate your start-up costs. And look for low-cost entry points.

2. Businesses fail because they spend too much up front. They use credit and then can’t make the payments.

3. Businesses fail because they cannot sustain their business model. They have to be in business long enough to build an adequate customer base. Most businesses create success over time. You can see this in the SBA chart above. This is especially true if you are starting with little or no money.

SEE MY #1 HOME BUSINESS RECOMMENDATION REVIEW

I have been building my online business since 1996. If the Wealthy Affiliate training had been available at the time, it would have been much easier.

Over the years, I learned about website design and building, Search Engine Optimization, and more from a variety of sources. Also, I used other sources for website hosting and domain name purchases.

Wealthy Affiliate provides everything necessary to build a successful online business. WA provides training, hosting, community support, and more under one roof.

Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop shop to help you create a successful online business. All for an affordable price.

This gives us the opportunity to achieve success for the long term. But it will take work and effort to succeed.

We have the tools, training, and knowledge to build a positive cash flow month after month. No more worrying about the next paycheck.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have enough “food for thought” to improve your financial condition this year. To read more, I recommend Matt Becker’s Mom and Dad Money. While Matt’s website is aimed at new parents helping them find financial balance, he has good information for everyone.

Adjust your spending on life necessities so that you develop a positive cash flow. Use your extra cash to save and invest. To create a better future for you and your family, investigate having your own business.

Start by taking a free trial in Wealthy Affiliate. See if it fits into your plans for a better future. I promise you won’t be disappointed with what Wealthy Affiliate offers. 800,000+ members all can be wrong.

2 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Financial Situation in 2017

  1. Hello Glen,

    I’ll take your recommendation on Matt’s website. I have a lot of friends who are newly married couples and I would share his niche focus. Kudos to you for bringing it up here. About home business, I hope there will be more people joining WA community, especially the newbies. The last thing they, or in fact, all of us, is to fail and give up on something which messes everything up in the end due to scams and making losses after losses. With WA, they have the knowledge and know-how how to cope such issues or even, avoid those problems.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Tar. I agree hoping more people find and join the WA community. So many members are amazed by the help they receive in creating successful online businesses. I hope you had the chance to review the showcase of Wealthy Affiliate members who happen to be military veterans. They have some amazing home business websites created with the help of the WA community.

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