Here are the monthly money moves you should know to make sure 2015 ends in a boom, not a bust:
NOTE: Repeat each Monthly Mantra five times when you wake up in the morning and five more times before you go to sleep at night.
Money Mantra: I am worthy and deserving of the best that life has to offer.
Monthly Spending Plan: Start your new year off right. Estimate monthly expenses on the first day of the year, and begin to set aside funds for any April income tax liabilities. Create long- and short-term saving objectives. Subtract all expenses from your net income. Is your cash flow positive or negative? If it’s negative, can you increase your income to cover the amount? If not, make small—$5, $10 and $20—deductions from various line items until you break even. If there is positive cash flow, allocate extra monies to your savings cushion or debt repayment.
Diminish Your Debt: Don’t create any new financial obligations. Free up more cash to reduce debt and save more.
Call your creditors and ask for lower payment options, new service plans or lower interest. Increase Your Income: Raid your house. Declutter and identify any clothes that are not being worn and appliances or items you have not used in the past year. Sell extras on eBay, through consignment stores or at yard sales.
Save Something: Find a container and start to save the spare change you have in your purse or pants pockets at the end of each day.
Money Mantra: I choose my future by what I do today.
Monthly Spending Plan: Whether using pen and paper or a free online personal finance program such as Mint.com, it is critical to estimate expenses and track actual expenditures in a detailed way. The process feels tedious, but you’ll likely spend less if you have to write down how you’re handling funds.
Diminish Your Debt: Check each credit card statement for the section that reveals the number of months it will take to pay off the balance, or use a debt calculator, which can be found at Bankrate.com.
Increase Your Income: Can you work overtime or get a part-time job? Explore using your marketable skills, gifts and talents. Think entrepreneurship.
Save Something: Add any $1 bills with your initials in the serial number to your container at the end of day.
Money Mantra: I will not let the fear of financial failure deter my faith.
Monthly Spending Plan: Continue to tweak your spending plan as you analyze each month’s actual expenditures. Don’t forget to include Easter expenses as you prepare April’s budget.
Diminish Your Debt: Prioritize your debts. Pay off the lowest balance with the highest interest rate first. Use discipline, not deprivation.
Increase Your Income: Assess your contributions and value to your employer. Time to ask for a raise.
Save Something: Review retirement funds and their allocations. Enroll in a retirement plan if not already contributing.
Maintenance Mode: Ready to up your game? Establish or increase payroll deductions or automatic transfers to your savings cushion.
Read more in the February issue of EBONY Magazine.