Fiscal Tricks and Treats: 5 Simple Steps for a Brighter Financial Future

Posted October 31, 2019

If your finances are more frightening than The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, treat yourself to these five tricks so your financial future doesn’t end up a horror story!

Have you ever been all alone and all of the sudden things just don’t feel right, like maybe the hair starts standing up on the back of your neck. Do you have that same feeling about your money? If your finances are more frightening than The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, treat yourself to these five tricks so your financial future doesn’t end up a horror story.

(Trick)
Ask for receipts whenever you spend money

(Treat)
Have you ever been victim of leaving the restroom with your zipper unzipped? You probably didn’t have any idea until someone pointed it out to you. That same analogy works when it comes to money. People have no idea just how much money they are wasting until they are somehow made aware of it. For the next 30 days, ask for and keep all of your receipts every time you spend your money. When you get home each night write down in detail where, when and how much you spent for the day. The Treat: at the end of the month you should have an extra $100-$250 in your account because you become aware of exactly how much you are wasting on non-essentials A $4.00 coffee beverage doesn’t sound extravagant, but if you purchase one every day you can rack up a $120 coffee bill. Now it starts sounding expensive, and you will quickly realize that there is some low hanging fruit when it comes to cutting back on your spending.

(Trick)
Give Some Money Away

(Treat)
It might sound like a trick but believe me once I explain it you will see that it is truly a treat. See, it doesn’t make sense that by giving money away, you can end up having more. I am not here to tell you where you should gift your money. It is not important to which charitable organization you give… only that you are giving! Here’s where the Treat comes in: I believe that if you give, you will receive. The rewards of generosity are many, but first and foremost, it feels good to give, so when you give you will fill a void that buying can never fill. And when you start giving you will have no choice but to learn how to live on less, and the cornerstone to financial security it learning to live on less than you make. Depending on your situation you might even get a deduction on your taxes from your charitable giving so keep track throughout the year.

(Trick)
Reduce the Number of Personal Exemptions You Are Claiming on your W-4

(Treat)
If you are married with 2 Children and are claiming 4 people, consider reducing the number of personal exemptions on your W-4. I know I will have some people that will say I’m dead wrong because you are essentially giving the government an interest free loan. The fact is, some people just can’t save and put money away. By claiming fewer exemptions on your W-4 you will have more money withheld in taxes. The Treat: you will either have a bigger tax refund which is a nice unexpected windfall the following year that you can used as the foundation for your savings, or you will owe less money to the IRS when April 15 rolls around by working this bill into your monthly budget.

(Trick)
Freeze Your Credit Cards

(Treat)
(Yes, I want you to literally freeze your credit cards) Take your credit cards and put them in Tupperware bowl, fill the bowl with water and then place in your freezer. If you get tempted to use your cards, you will have to wait a while until your cards thaw out. The Treat: When you are NO longer charging on your credit cards, you have taken the first step in getting yourself out of debt! You will build your savings faster when you are receiving interest on your money instead of paying interest to someone else. A great website to help you put a get out of debt plan is www.powerpay.org.

(Trick)
Open a “Me” Account

(Treat)
Spend, spend, spend will lead to the poor house, while save, save, save gets old after a while. I relate it to people who want to lose weight and solemnly swear to never eat dessert again. Extremes seldom work and I have found that people who can find balance are generally happier. Open up a “Me” account and allot a small portion of what you bring home towards this account. Set it up as a draft or bill pay just like you do with many of your other expenses. The Treat: you can spend this hard earned cash any way you want to and you won’t bust your budget.
Doing things differently can be scary sometimes. But if you don’t want your financial house to turn into a house of horrors, it is imperative that you start doing something different with your money. Cut out wasteful spending by first finding out just what you are spending your money on. If you want to have more, learn to give. If you find it hard to save, try to be a little creative so you can have some money stashed away in case of an emergency. If you want to earn interest on YOUR money, quit paying interest to someone else and finally incorporate some balance in your life and before you know it, you can shut of your porch lights because all of the trick and treaters have gone home for the night.

posted by Steve Repak
on October, 31
Source: Good Reads