A Fresh Eye on Fiscal Fitness

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I’ve got a lot of plans for 2015. Going back to school to get some certifications in my field. Traveling to Central Coast California in the spring and returning to Scotland sometime in late summer or early fall. And maybe, just maybe, finally purchasing a home of my own.

But it’s gonna take money. A whole lotta spendin’ money. It’s gonna take plenty of money. To do it right, child. (Sorry for the earworm).

Over the last few days, I’ve been revisiting my finances with an eye toward plugging the leaks and finding creative ways to bolster my income. I already employ the 50/20/30 rule — 50% of my income is earmarked for fixed expenses, 20% for financial goals, and 30% for flexible spending — but I know I can do more. After a few brainstorming sessions, I’ve curated a handful of approaches to get myself closer to my goal of financial fitness this year.

Pay myself first

Instead of having my paycheck directly deposited into my checking account, I’m going to have it deposited into my savings account and then transfer the amount budgeted for monthly expenditures into my checking account. That way, I never really get to touch the funds that have been put aside for savings and paying down debt.

Pay myself twice a month

While many think a biweekly paycheck makes budgeting easier, I believe the opposite. A semi-monthly pay schedule enables me to truly structure a strict budget that doesn’t fluctuate (much) from month to month instead of grappling with paychecks that fall during irregular times of the month.

Start freelancing

Becoming a freelance writer is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. It’s probably number one on my list of things I’m afraid to do but this is the year I take the plunge. Hobbies and strengths are great places to start when building a strategy to bring in some money on the side.

That’s it. Although I’ve set some ambitious goals for my finances this year, I think they’re perfectly achievable if I remain focused in my approach. Whether your goal is saving money for travel or becoming debt-free (finally), I hope you’re inspired to take a fresh look at your finances in 2015.

What are your financial goals for 2015? What’s your plan for reaching those goals? I welcome any tips you might share!

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