8 Ways to Turn Your Finances Around in 2020
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Happy new year! Can you believe that we just entered into a new decade? Where did the last ten years go? As time goes by and my kids are getting older, I have started to see things differently. I feel more pressed to chase after my dreams and set new goals. But goals are just thoughts until you take action! You can write things down on paper all you want, but that’s not going to magically make anything happen for you. If you want to go to new places this year, just know that a teleportation device has yet to be invented. You will have to put in the effort and start taking steps forward. No one else is going to carry you to your new destination either, so get off of the couch and get started!
One of the main things I want to change in 2020 is our financial situation. God has entrusted us with so much. He is the owner and we are the managers. I have to admit, that I’ve been a poor manager. I have written in the past about trying to change our financial situation, but I didn’t keep pushing forward like I should have. I feel like the winds are starting to change finally, but it’s only because the veil has been torn from my eyes and I have been seeking the Lord for more help in this area.
So today I want to share with you 8 ways to turn your finances around in 2020.
1. Stop trying methods that haven’t worked in the past.
Just like goals, you can write out a budget on paper, but it won’t help you one bit if you don’t figure out a way to stick to it. Budgets just don’t work for me! Maybe you’ve found yourself in the same situation, so you’ve just given up time and time again and feel defeated over it. If budgets haven’t worked for you in the past, then why do you keep trying it again?
Budgets don’t work for me because my husband is on strict commission pay. Some checks are super awesome and others make me regret whatever I just purchased. I know there are ways to work a budget with commission, but trying to do it the way you’re supposed to has always ended up with tears and frustration for me.
A couple of years ago I finally found a solution that really works for me. It helps me as a visual person to see what all will need to be paid in the two week time frame before the next paycheck.
Here’s my unique way of keeping track of our bills:
First write the numbers 1-31 on a lined sheet of paper. Each number represents the day of the month. **Make sure you use college ruled paper. Wide ruled doesn’t have enough lines.**
Then, go through all of your bills and write them down on the date that they are due. If the date varies, then go through several recent bills and see what the earliest due date was and use that date. If it’s generally the same amount, I’ll write down the average amount. I also list if it’s set up for auto pay, so I know that I don’t have to worry so much about making sure I send out a payment.
Down in the right hand corner, I have listed the things that I take care of with every paycheck. For us, that means tithes, paying on a personal loan, and putting money in our savings.
***If you’re curious about the Dollar Shave club on the second line, it is a razor subscription service that we’ve been using for over 5 years now. My husband and I both use their razors and have been extremely pleased with the product, the price, and customer service.***
Insert your list into a clear page protector sheet.
Next, use a dry erase marker for the following steps.
Write the name of the current month at the top of the sheet. Then draw a line between the pay periods. For example, if hubby gets paid on the 3rd, 17th, and 31st of this month, I will draw a line between the 2nd and 3rd, the 16th and the 17th, and the 30th and 31st. This allows me to stay focused on what has to be paid with each paycheck.
As each bill gets paid, I simply cross it off with the dry erase marker. I usually work on bills each Friday, so if I schedule something to be paid on the due date, I’ll jot that down next to the name of the bill.
2. Find accountability!
For me, I’m more likely to stick to something if I have some form of accountability and that includes managing money. Your biggest form of accountability if you are married, should be your spouse. Talk to them about your goals. Admit your faults and work together to come up with a solution.
Another option is to find an accountability group on Facebook. If you can’t find one that you like, then form one of your own. You might be surprised how many other people are going through the same struggles and would love people to partner with them to work through the issues. My friend over at “Our Tribe of Nine” came to me with the idea of a no-spend January. It was just the spark I needed to light my fire. Because of her, I created a Facebook group to share the journey with other people. We’re only a few days in and it’s amazing all of the support and accountability I’ve found from it.
3. Take a good hard look at your spending habits.
I can’t believe it, but I fell into the trap of “make more, spend more”. I never thought that would be me because I come from very humble, hard beginnings. But little by little, the pay would increase and I would find my standards of life rising right along with it. As I reflect on the past decade, I want to hang my head in shame over all of the money that was wasted. We could’ve tithed more, gave more, and saved more, so much more!
Realize that every small purchase does add up to large amounts. Where can you cut down on the costs? Are you a sucker for a good clearance deal? That $5 purchase is still five dollars that you can’t get back. Spend some time reflecting on your spending habits and think of ways to make a real change.
Here’s one example of how small purchases add up. I like to rewards my boys with “stuff” for good behavior and doing well with their schoolwork. For the past TWO YEARS, I’ve used a small treasure box with treats inside as their reward. I don’t even want to know how much those rewards have added up to. Once the treasure box runs out, I’ve decided that I will start rewarding the boys with my time instead of things. They love to play board games. So now, they can earn time playing games with mom or dad instead of receiving treats that promote cavities and a sugar rush, or treats that all too soon get thrown in the trash. Money down the drain!!
4. Just like small purchases add up to a lot wasted money, the opposite is true for saving small chunks at a time.
If you can only put $5 a week in your savings, then do it! That’s adds up to $260 for a year. Just imagine if that was your minimum number and you put more in when you are able to.
Don’t forget about special apps that give you money back on purchases that you already make! What have you got to lose? It only takes a few extra minutes of your time before and after you shop. My favorite app so far is Ibotta. I’ve made $30 in just a few months from buying things that I had planned to purchase anyway!
You can also fill out surveys to earn rewards like gift cards. I love MyPoints. I’ve earned SO many gift cards that we’ve used at restaurants and stores!
One other thing that I personally do is sign up to review products. I consider that saving money because I often receive things that I wanted to purchase anyway. My favorite site is BzzAgent. Be patient because it may take awhile to get picked. But if you do get picked, be sure to give a great review because that’s how you can keep the goods coming. I have received hundreds of dollars in review items and I have been working with this company since 2008.
5. Cut services or subscriptions that you don’t truly need!
Do you really NEED cable on top of your local stations, Netflix, and Disney Prime? What about your beauty subscriptions or things like razors and deodorant? Do you already have a surplus? If so, you can call them and have them suspend your account for a month or two. Or maybe you should just cut the shipments down from once a month to once every other month.
What else can you cancel? I have canceled my son’s piano lessons just for this month while I’m doing the no-spend January challenge. I also went from lessons each week to just doing them twice a month.
6. Know your why!
Why do you want to turn your finances around in 2020? If you’re not fed up enough with the way things have been, then you won’t be motivated to change anything. So, are you really fed up and ready for this change? Why?
I’m tired of my husband working so hard for his family, yet too often we find ourselves putting money on a credit card or “borrowing” from the savings account just to make it to the next check.
7. Be a giver!
This probably should’ve been number one even though it doesn’t make much sense in the natural. The Bible talks about the law of sowing and reaping. What you sow (or give) is what you will get back in abundance. This doesn’t just apply to money. So what is it that you wish to obtain in your life? Forgiveness? Then forgive others. Love and acceptance? Then allow people into your circle and show them the love of Christ. Healing? Then watch your words! You are planting seeds of either destruction or healing every time you open your mouth.
But don’t just give in order to get! God knows your heart. Be a cheerful giver!
8. Tithe no matter the cost.
I saved my favorite for last because this is the reason that I believe that God has opened up the windows of heaven and poured out a blessing over our family that we cannot contain.
My husband and I have been faithful tithers throughout our entire marriage, even when times were REALLY hard! I remember when I had to make the choice between paying our mortgage on time, or giving our tithe. That was the ONE time our mortgage was late and I had to pay a late fee.
Another time, I literally had $2 to my name. I was going to treat my boys to a McDonald’s cheeseburger after church. I know I could’ve done something differently with the money, but I wanted to do something that would make my boys smile. Guess what happened? God told me to put that money in the offering plate. I had to fight back my tears on that one. I didn’t understand.
But God has shown me that every faithful step we have taken, choosing Him over worldly things, even when it hurt to do so, that our obedience has opened doors to bigger and better things.
Suddenly things began happening that brought us up a little higher financially. Unexpected checks would come in the mail, just in time (or what seemed like a little late in our eyes, but God is never late). People gave us money and treated us to nice meals or a day out with the boys. One time someone anonymously gave us $1,000. I’ll never forget it!
My husband has gone from working a job that paid $10/hour, to now being one of the top sales people in his company. He’s been a million dollar writer for the past 3 years and has earned amazing trips and bonuses. God keeps opening new doors for him by pouring out His favor on him.
I say all this to definitely NOT toot my own horn, but to hopefully encourage anyone who has been on the fence about tithing. You may not see the results right away, but little by little, your faithfulness will count!
My current struggles are things that I’ve brought on myself by not being the best steward that I could’ve been. Remember, God owns everything and we are just the managers of it. I haven’t been the best manager! But I’m thankful that my eyes are now open and I will do better from here on out!
Be blessed my friends!
***If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the Timberdoodle Blog Hop for more encouraging posts to get your new year started on the right foot!***
I’m Amanda and a Christian homeschooling Mom to 4 awesome boys from ages 4 to 20.
I have an amazing, supportive husband, a passion for encouraging others in their faith, and helping new homeschoolers find their way through their journey.
Thank you for stopping by and getting to know me better.