September is just around the corner and for many of us (or our children) school is starting. Even if you do not have kids, the momentum always picks up, summer is over and we are refreshed to start new projects. Here are some back to school tips for your pocketbook:
* DO YOU NEED TO BUY MORE? Instead of rushing out to buy more, take stock of what you already have. By just cleaning out your closet, desk and cabinets, you will realize that you have more than you think you have and don’t need to spend as much in the stores. At the same time, turn off the commercials, throw out the newspaper inserts advertising back-to-school specials and stay away from the mall. However, if you realize you do need something after you have cleaned out your closet, then you are more focused on what you need and actually buy what you need. This prevents impulse buying (yes, we have all been there!)
* WATCH THOSE CREDIT CARDS. I keep coming back to this tip. If you are using your credit card, take your check book with you. Every time you use your credit card, write down the amount that you spent in your checkbook and subtract it immediately from your balance. But…. Think twice before using your cards in the first place. If you really love something, put it on hold for 24 hours. If you still want it after 24 hours, then go back and buy it.
* SIGN UP FOR A CLASS ON MUTUAL FUNDS. They are the backbone of retirement plans and mid-term goals (5-7 years). The market has been very unstable recently so it is even important you understand what you are buying or already own. Some analysts are even saying the stock market is on sale! Focus on no-load mutual funds that have low-expense ratios.
* BRING IN MORE MONEY. If you are a mom, that is not working full-time, I recently found a website, Moms for Profit www.moms-for-profit.com, I got very excited about. It is an organization for entrepreneurial moms that either own their own business and are looking to hire or are consultants that are professional women turned stay-at-home moms. It is a great resource if you are looking to earn more money and need flexibility in your schedule.
* CHANGE YOUR BANK OR SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Banks have gotten very competitive about no-fee checking. Do not stay at your bank because you have been there for a long time. They stopped rewarding customers for loyalty a long time ago. And if you have not noticed a new bank is popping up on every corner in your town (I have 5 in one block radius!). Shop around for one that is convenient to you (so you do not pay extra ATM fees) and have free checking.
* BRING POSITIVE MONEY ENERGY INTO YOUR LIFE. Clean out your wallet, get your files organized and get your desk in working order. It will allow you to focus better on your finances and bring more money into your life. At the same time, start saying financial affirmations regularly to change the way you think about your money. Put a positive spin on it!
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