MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Let's start the new year off right by making smart decisions with our money.
According to Stacey Hyde with Envision Financial Planning, setting a realistic budget will help monitor your spending and help you plan ahead.
CREATING A BUDGET
“You don’t want your budget to be too restrictive,” said Hyde. “Some expenses are normal, like car or home repairs or a doctor bill. They don’t happen every month, but you still need to plan for them.”
Another small change is checking your bank and credit card statements to see where you’re spending money.
“Many times, we spend money without thinking,” said Hyde. “I believe that we should spend money very deliberately. Spending on experiences, time with friends, making our homes more comfortable for example, those are the types of spending that we rarely regret.”
Also, limit ‘mindlessly shopping’ online and cook more meals at home.
MONEY MAKING TRENDS IN 2022
If you’re hoping to make more money in 2022, according to Hyde, wages are increasing.
“I'm actually seeing people getting raises, sometimes substantial ones either by changing employers or employers proactively raising wages to keep employees,” said Hyde. “I'm seeing fewer people working multiple jobs. Many times, they are able to work overtime or add hours or responsibilities to increase their pay."
TACKLING STUDENT LOAN DEBT
If you owe student loans, President Joe Biden extended the pause on some student loan repayments until May 1.
According to Hyde, there are several ways to take advantage of this time period.
“If you have credit card debt or any high interest debt, definitely take advantage of the pause to pay down that debt,” said Hyde. “You should definitely be including the payment in your monthly budget but use it to pay off the higher interest debt.”
Hyde also advises if you suffered an income loss during the pandemic, to apply for a new income-based repayment plan for your student loan debt.
“Go ahead and get a head start,” said Hyde. “The reverse is also true, if your income has increased, wait for them to tell you that your payments will increase.”
Hyde shares more free, financial advice on her podcast ‘Better Financial Health in Fifteen Minutes or Less.’