One of my New Year's resolutions is to increase my cash flow. Notice I didn't say I want to increase my income, although increasing my income would help me increase my cash flow. Cash flow is the money I have left over after all my bills are paid. If I get a raise at work and the money disappears because my bills increase, I am no better off than before I got that raise. Here are a few strategies I plan on using to increase my cash flow in the upcoming year.
- Focus on one financial goal at a time. Taking on a bunch of different financial goals at the same time is overwhelming and unrealistic. If I focus on achieving just 1 financial goal a month I have a much better chance of succeeding. Writing those goals down further increases my chances of success.
- Lower my insurance and other bills. When I was recently notified that my health insurance is going up I decided to check into my options for new plans and I have already identified some plans that would be cheaper than what I am currently paying but still offer the coverage I need.
- Pay myself first. The problem with waiting until I have "enough" money in the bank to add to my savings account is that unexpected expenses are a part of life. If I don't set aside part of my income every month into a savings account it's not going to happen. Having my bank automatically transfer a set amount from my checking to savings account when I get my paycheck every month guarantees that my savings will continue to grow consistently. Even a small amount adds up over time.
- Pay off my credit card. Due to some large unexpected expenses I have lingering credit card debt that I am aggresively paying down. By increasing my credit card payments to $50.00 more than what I am currently paying I can get it paid off a few months earlier and save big on interest.
- Spend money on fun stuff. I am not talking about going on a shopping spree. Living like a miser is depressing. If I make fincially smart decisions I should have enough money left over for budget friendly indulgences, like getting a cheap facial from a local beauty school or buying a stylish fashion accessory on sale.