Why St. Patrick’s Day is the best day to think about your finances
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun time to drink green beverages, wear our most “Irish” outfits and, hopefully, find a few charms that will bring us a little bit of luck. All this talk about good fortune, however, shouldn’t just be about fun, but it should also serve us as a reminder to take a look at our own personal finances and make the necessary changes to improve our lives permanently.
On St. Patrick’s Day, a few questions you should be asking yourself about your personal stash of green are:
Am I saving enough money?
Having a healthy savings account is the best way to be prepared for unforeseen events, such as losing your job, unexpected car repairs, or medical bills. Unfortunately, studies have found that almost 30% of American households have less than $1,000 in savings.
A good way to plan out your savings is the 50/30/20 rule. The rule states that 50% of your income should go towards necessities, such as your mortgage and other utilities. 30% should go towards discretionary items like clothes or dining out. The last 20% should be going to savings. Click here to find out how you can get in the habit of saving — not just on St. Patrick’s Day, but every day of the year.
Am I cutting unnecessary expenses?
Did you know that in 2017, those between ages 35 and 44 spent an average of $4,249 eating out? A different study found that American households spending an average of $484 annually on alcoholic drinks, which amounts to about $40 per month.
Even though entertainment or “fun money” is an important — and necessary — part of adulthood, these expenses are, many times, the reason why people fall behind on payments and struggle to save. This month, ask yourself: Do I really need to spend another Friday night at the bar? Or, how much would I save if I have coffee at home instead of my daily latte from the coffee shop? Cutting unnecessary expenses might be exactly what your wallet needs. To get started, make sure to take a look at our blog post on how to save money when it comes to food and think twice before ordering that second round of green beer.
Am I prepared for emergencies?
Even though you probably don’t want to think of emergencies or unfortunate events on St. Patrick’s day — or ever, it’s important to ask yourself what you would do in the event of a car accident, a physical injury, or even a lawsuit. If asking this question causes you to panic, maybe it’s time to start budgeting for emergencies. Click here to learn more about budgeting for professional services in case you may need them.
Do I have a realistic budget?
If you’ve never had a budget before, starting one can seem like an impossible task as there is so much information out there. However, overcoming the fear of planning and actually doing it is key in order to achieve financial freedom and be responsible. A few simple things to know are:
- Stay away from credit cards! This will only add to your debt and take you a few steps back from your final goal.
- Consider cash budgeting. This old-fashioned method is simple and easy to use, as you’ll physically seeing where your money goes and hopefully be able to keep track of your expenses.
- Pay your savings like paying a bill. This ensures that you have savings for emergencies. If you have investments, those are treated as bills as well.
Am I making payments on time?
Falling behind on credit card payments can seriously hurt your credit score for an extended period of time and you can even end up in collections. If you’re struggling to make the minimum monthly payment on your cards, you should consider consolidating debt. This will help you pay your debt faster and decrease interest rates. Click here to learn more on debt consolidation and how it could be the four leaf shamrock you’ve been looking for!
This St. Patrick’s Day you should think green when you see green! Unless you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, having control of your finances is the only way to achieve freedom and security. Make sure to follow the LendingPoint blog to learn more about savings, budgeting and paying off your debt quicker.
LendingPoint is a personal loan provider specializing in NearPrime consumers. Typically, NearPrime consumers are people with credit scores in the 600s. If this is you, we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help you meet your financial goals. We offer loans from $2,000 to $25,000, all with fixed payments and simple interest.