If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t like eating the same thing for dinner every night. Sure, leftovers are fine once in a while, but having to stomach the same meal, even for just three or four days in a row, can get old fast.
So why should it be any different with our personal finances? While the time frames might be a little different, dealing with just one aspect of our finances – whether it’s expenses, income, or savings and investments – can get old. Therefore, changing things up occasionally can help keep financial life fresh and avoid constantly focusing on the same stuff.
There are multiple aspects of income upon which attention may be focused. I can look for ways to push income higher. I can try to find new forms of income or improve productivity standards with existing income streams. I can also look to sources of income like resale activities through downsizing or buying at garage sales and reselling at consignment or resale shops, or even selling online. Even if it’s just an extra $400 from a garage sale or a couple hundred bucks made through selling stuff on eBay, a side income can break the monotony of regular income streams.
Part of income retention may come with finding new ways to cut expenses, and this can come with a completely different financial focus.
From cutting costs on things like utilities and home repairs, to looking for ways to reduce transportation expenses, food costs, and entertainment outlays, there are numerous ways to reduce expenditures. However, one of the best ways that I’ve found to help focus on cutting costs is through tracking expenses.
By using spreadsheets to track costs relating to all aspects of our lifestyle and spending, I’ve seen where our money goes, in what amounts, and for what products and services.
Savings and investments
The final financial aspects that I concentrate on to keep my focus rotating and keep myself from becoming burned out when it comes to managing my finances are savings and investments.
There are multiple aspects involved in this portion of my personal finances. First off, I must figure out what to do with leftovers. Should I reinvest them in my work as a self-employed individual? Should I put them in my IRA? Should I pay off debt? Should I bolster a reserve fund? Maybe I should buy a government savings bond or certificate of deposit. Or is there another option for these profits.
Making the decision is often based on several additional factors. What are the rates of return for such options? What are the risk levels versus return? And how liquid will such funds be once I invest them?
There is also the responsibility of gauging the returns of existing investments through tracking their progress – or lack thereof. This then helps not only with the decision as to where to invest next, but also whether to retain existing investments or exchange them for other options, the return of which might be better or the placement of which could decrease risk.
So there are all sorts of options to rotate financial focus in an effort to keep personal finances interesting and maintain forward progress when it comes to managing money.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.