Debates, polls, and impassioned speeches are all over your television and social media feed. And whether you’re excited about election season or you just want it to be over, you can learn some important financial lessons during this time of year.
Take a good hard look at your budget. After examining your monthly cash flow, would YOU vote for you to manage your finances? If not, here are some tips to clean up your money campaign.
Give your priorities a checkup
What you care about, your priorities or your “presidential platform,” should be represented in the way you spend your dollars. The foundation of most budgets includes housing, food, and transportation. After those, you need to prioritize debt payments, savings, household expenses, professional expenses, and entertainment. Take a look at your spending in these areas and see if anything seems off balance.
Find a running mate
Every presidential candidate needs a VP. If you’re not already using an online budgeting tool or app, you’re missing out on valuable resources. Websites like Mint or Every Dollar give you the information you need to start tracking more efficiently and making better financial decisions.
Admit your mistakes
You can learn a lot from reviewing your low points over the past few months. Pinpointing where you went wrong with your budget helps you learn from your mistakes. For example, instead of overspending on a back-to-school shopping trip or waiting too long to buy plane tickets, you’ll begin searching for ways to find the best deals.
Take on a challenge
Have you heard of the spending diary challenge? Put yourself to the test by writing down every single thing you spend money on. This is an eye-opening activity. After two weeks pass, review your diary and see what jumps out at you. Lunches out and morning coffees add up quickly, so see if you can find areas where you can cut back.
This year, make sure you clean up your personal finance campaign and elect yourself to manage money well.