Handling Your Expectations For 2019
Different people will have different challenges over the next year. Where you’re at and where you will be can’t really be codified across the board. Some families are going to go different directions than others. For example, if you’re in a military family, you can look over your transfers over the last decade, and plot out with reasonable certainty whether you’ll move this year.
If you’re likely to move within the year, you’ll want to make preparations. If you move once or twice a year owing to military employment, you should expect advantages and disadvantages. Kids are going to have to switch school districts regularly, and that can be trying on them, as they continuously must lose and make friends. But this is more like the reality of adult life, so in that sense, it can make them ahead of their peers in terms of life experience.
With 2019 fresh before us, it’s time to consider where you’re at, where you’d like to be, and how to get there. There’s a balance between erring on the side of caution, and deliberately overshooting your goals.
You want to sit down and calculate things out, then aim a little higher than what’s reasonable. Within a few months, you’ll forget you resolved to conduct things this way. By year’s end, you may not have hit the expanded target, but you’ll likely be further than had you simply focused on the lower goal.
Financial Strategies To Stretch Resources
You might set yourself several specific categories of development. Some might be physical, some might be mental, some might be financial. In fact, when it comes to your finances, what you might want to do is line out a way of cutting expenses. You know it’s realistic for you to save $10k from this moment forward?
Cut out expensive coffees from a coffee shop. If you spend $3 a day, that’s $1,095 a year. Spend $95 on coffee and coffee makers, then quit going out for the year; you’ve just saved $1,000. Next, quit eating out. How much do you spend eating outside the home? As much as $200 a week? That’s $800 a month.
Cut that in half and you’ll save $4,800 annually; now you’re at $5,800 in savings for the year. How about driving? Is your commute twenty miles a day? That’s forty miles round trip, or 200 miles a week.
That’s probably going to be around $35 in gasoline, or $140 a month. If you can ride your bike one day a week to and from, say, a military base, you just saved 160 miles a month; that’s $28, or $336 a year. If you can carpool half the time, you can save $70 a month, which is $840 in a year.
A System Of Savings To Start This Year
How effective is your coupon strategy? If you can save 10% on grocery purchases every month, and you spend $200 a week on groceries regularly, that’s another $80 a month you can preserve; or $960. If you’re in a military family, through these techniques alone you can cut a minimum of $7,096 from average annual spending.
Throw what you save into refurbishments on the property you’re living in while on assignment, and you can flip that house at higher value. It’s not without the bounds of possibility to save $7k, turn it into remodeling, and see $21k in appraisal increase. When you move, you can sell the home you bought at higher value, allowing you to invest in a larger property on your next assignment. Set up a system and you can initiate a kind of upward spiral.
Now this is an overly optimistic breakdown, but these suggestions aren’t without merit. Military families the world over have exercised similar financial strategy. Look at where you’re at, and where you intend to be. Look at the previous year’s spending, and figure out where you can cut unnecessary expenses from your budget.
Stephanie blogs at MilitaryTravelMama.com
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