Wow! I can hardly believe that I am actually doing a bit of writing again. I think it might take some time to knock off the cobwebs. I imagine you can see that my last post was in April of 2014. There is a good reason for that which I will get into a later post, but I thought I would start off the new year with something simple since it has been so long.
For those who haven’t heard of a SMART goal, you might want to review what I have said about them in the past. For this year, I think I want to focus on some physical goals and some fiscal ones. This post will be about the physical goals. I feel bad since I looked at my goals from 5 years ago and realize that I have gained quite a bit of weight. Maybe this online journal known as a blog will help me with some accountability since most of the weight gain has been in the past two years. The stress level was pretty high, but I am hoping that it will be better for 2017.
I still want to eventually weigh less than 200 pounds. Not sure that I can get back to 175 when I graduated from college, but after hitting 242 this past year, 200 will look mighty good. I don’t plan on dieting because I know that restriction doesn’t work, especially for me. What I plan on doing is focusing on 3 things:
- Drink more water and work on cutting down on diet and sugary soda.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Walk more.
I had been walking during the summer and lost about 8 pounds, but let up and put it back on during November and December. My wife got me a fitbit for Father’s Day. So, I plan on doing more walking these cold months. It is much easier for me to do when it is nice and warm outside and the days are longer. Winter and the short days get to me so I will have to challenge myself.
It is my goal to walk 16,000 steps on 80% of the days in the month. It is certainly specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and has a time frame. I was able to do this in August and September of last year, so I know that it is possible. I just have to focus and dedicate about 1 hour each day specifically for walking in addition to my usual daily activity. I know there will be some days that it won’t happen which is the reason for the 80% threshold. I don’t want to get down on myself if I can hit the mark every single day.
So far I am 2 for 3.
I will work on putting together my financial goals for 2017 and post those in the next couple days as well. It is certainly different to be writing again. I am not entirely sure how I feel about it, but I think it will be good for me in the end.
Despite less than favourable reports and portents at the start of the year, wage growth is set to blossom and outstrip rent rises throughout 2014. This also means that disposable income levels are likely to rise among British citizens annually for the first time since the Great Recession, which in turn suggests that the UK may be finally emerging from the shadows of debt and financial austerity.
What exactly does this mean for British citizens, however? It is not merely enough to have additional disposable income, for example, especially if you are unable to manage this wealth effectively and translate it into long-term savings. This article will look at how to achieve this, and how to create enough capital to fund big-ticket purchases.
With this in mind, here are 3 practical steps towards saving money and creating wealth for savings, investments and big ticket purchases:
1. Develop a Core Base of Knowledge and Understanding
Your ability to save is often shaped by your level of financial knowledge and literacy, so it is important to learn as much as possible before attempting to build your wealth. This applies to small as well as large details, as it is often the former that can derail your plans and cause you to lose significant sums of money. As a starting point, you may want to consider the impact that fluctuating exchange rates can have on purchase costs, especially when you buy or trade items abroad. This can help you to save considerable sums of money over time and build your wealth organically.
2. Budget in Pence rather than Pounds
Another key step towards successful money management is budgeting, which enables you to calculate your precise level of disposable income and use this productively. When you do begin to budget your income, however, it is important to deal in pence rather than pounds and adopt a precise approach towards detailing each transaction. By using exact amounts rather than generalising and making broad estimations, you can save small amounts of money regularly and develop your financial savings over time.
3. Consider the Role of Investments
The act of saving money must be continuous if you are to accumulate wealth, while you must also be prepared to adapt your outlook as your bank account begin to bulge. Once you have built a solid foundation of income, for example, it may be worth looking to invest some of this so that you can ensure that this money continues to accrue interest and additional revenue over time. This means that while you are continuing to work hard and commit a percentage of your income to savings, the money that you earn is being optimised and delivering the highest possible fiscal return.
These steps are part of a single process that can help you develop a more frugal lifestyle and get the most from your disposable income. Above all else, remember that it takes time to accumulate wealth and that you will need patience, focus and knowledge to achieve your long-term financial goals.
A bad credit history can be greatly unsettling and it’s something that you might only find out when you’re eventually refused a loan or mortgage that you desperately need. Many people feel helpless and confused when they realise that their credit history is less than ideal and they’re categorised as being unreliable or untrustworthy. As it’s not something that you’re necessarily taught at school, knowledge on the world of credit often comes from trial and error or learning from the lessons of others. If you have a bad credit history or think you might, here are four simple things that you can do to help yourself out of it.
1. Find out the Cause
There are many things that can cause blemishes on your credit history and some of them you might not even know about. Bad financial behaviour like failing to meet payments on time or having legal action taken against you because you have breached a contract can leave serious marks on your record. The less obvious problems actually come from not borrowing at all. This means that lenders cannot asses your reliability because your credit record is very short or doesn’t exist at all. Similarly if you only borrow small amounts for a short time you can have a worse credit history than those who have taken out loans of large sums for longer. This is because, ultimately, loan companies want to make money so if you can show that you can afford to pay interest on top of your repayments then you are more attractive to them. If you find out that your credit record is bad, then it’s important to first identify what may have caused it so that you can take the right steps forward.
2. Seek Advice to Improve
Next you should seek advice from money advice agencies or from friends or family you know that manage their money well or are in the financial sector. Beware of credit companies who constantly advertise that they can ‘solve all of your credit problems’ and ‘erase bad credit’ as many of them are likely to be scams. The fact is that there are no quick fixes when it comes to improving your credit rating. It takes time, patience and conscious effort with a disciplined budget or debt plan.
3. Make Some Changes
When you have a plan, it’s time to actually implement some changes into your lifestyle and money management habits. There are many ways you can do this depending on what problems you have. One easy way to help payments get transferred on time is by setting up payment reminders on your bills or signing up for direct debit, but make sure you monitor that you have enough in your account first so that you don’t get charged with nasty overheads.
4. Research Your Options
If you are refused a loan or insurance, don’t be afraid to ask for a report on why the company has made this choice. You are entitled to a report within 60 days of receiving the notice so be sure to do some research on your record. Some companies offer special deals for those with poor credit history such as guarantor loans so don’t worry as there are still options available to you. Credit report companies can also provide you with a free credit summary that will help you to spot inaccuracies in your rating.
Navigating the money minefield is tricky business especially if you’re on a tight budget or have been in troublesome situations in the past. But you don’t have to let it hold you back forever and with these simple tips you can move forward into a better financial future.