It’s the start of another new year! And with the birth of a new year comes new beginnings, new opportunities, and new questions. Questions like ‘where did all my money go last year?’ and ‘did I spend too much on gifts this Christmas’ and ‘how on Earth am I going to get my beach body ready for the summer?’
These are all valid questions. The problem a lot of us face when January rolls around is we’re overloaded with questions regarding our physical health, our financial well-being, and our overall peace of mind. It’s tough to devote enough mental energy to every pressing issue.
And you know what? That’s ok. You might not have all the answers you want, but no one has all the answers.
The key is to ask the right questions. Asking questions helps you focus on the things that really matter.
Like your money. And your waistline.
So while you’re counting calories for the next month before you hit the gym, hit yourself with some of these important financial questions to get a better idea of your outlook in the year to come.
- What Does My Monthly Budget Look Like?
- Is This The Year You’ll Experience Growth?
- How Do I Get There?
- Real estate?
- Consolidated credit payments?
- How Much Does My Family Need (Cost)?
This year I have an extra expense for the first three months: a special levy to pay for new piping in my neighbourhood. It’s a necessary cost, but that doesn’t mean I’m over the moon about dipping further into my monthly budget.
That’s what this question is for - the big ticket items. Mortgages payments, vehicles, credit cards.
What do you need to pay off each month?
I like to get this question in right after the heavy hitting monthly budget. You may have experienced financial growth in years past - and that’s great! So, what would further growth look like? It’s all relative - asking the question means focusing your goals on the year to come.
And specific tactics to accomplish them.
Now that you’ve established this is the year to grow your assets, it’s time to ask how. And again, you don’t need to have the entire picture painted in front of your eyes in the first month of 2017, but it will pay off in the longrun to have a good idea of the methods you’re going to use to grow.
Yes, paying down debt from the past is a form of growth. It might not be as sexy as investing your money or buying a sharp new life insurance product, but it’s necessary!
You didn’t think I’d leave you without diving into the real meat and potatoes of the topic, did you? Of course not. Setting goals and allocating your monthly budget is all well and good, but if you’re a family guy or gal, we all know it’s not that easy. There are other interests at play. You’ve got school, sports, lessons, activities, clothes, and oh so much more to pay for to keep your family healthy and happy.
So how much will that cost? There are always going to be unforeseen circumstances, and that’s ok - just build the uncertainty into the budget.
Because everything left over is a bonus!