Easy way to make this your best financial year ever

December 30, 2016 8:01 am


You probably have a good handle on your regular expenses, but what about the ones that are irregular? Daycare costs that skyrocket when school is out, or auto insurance premiums that are due twice a year, or expensive maintenance on your car every few months?

Don’t let these drive you into debt or derail your month! Spread them out so the cost to you is the same each pay period, just like your regular bills such as phone, cable, and utilities.

It’s easy…. Figure up the cost for the whole year, divide that by how many times you get paid, and you’ll know how much you should take out of each check so you’ll have enough for that expense when it rolls around.

For example, your dog’s yearly checkup and vaccinations are $100. His heartworm medication is $120 for a six month supply.  That’s about $340 per year.  If you get paid every other week, or 26 times a year, divide 340 by 26 to figure that Fido costs you about $13 each paycheck.  Instead of having to cough up those amounts at the time of the service, put back a steady amount in your savings account and you’ll be ready when the time comes!

Instead of eating Ramen all summer while every dime you make goes to all-day child care, figure out the total amount you’ll spend for the year and start planning now.

How many oil changes do you pay for each year?  What about tires, or renewing your tag?  Turn those into steady expenses, too.  Let’s say you get an oil change every three to four months and tires every other year.  Four oil changes at $50, plus $100 for your yearly tag is $300 a year, or about $25 each month.  Add an extra $20 to it for tires or other maintenance and you’ve got yourself a car fund you can draw from when it’s time.

These are just some examples, but check through your 2016 statements to see where else you had big chunks of money that you could be saving for each pay period.  Transfer that money over to your savings account for safe-keeping until it’s time to use it and keep your monthly expenses roughly the same.  Make this your best financial year yet!