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Monday, June 21, 2021

Here’s how to reach your financial goals: money challenge week 4

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We’re down to the last week of our money challenge! Congratulations for making it this far. Your finances will be all the better for it.

For our final week, we’re focusing on taking action to reach your overarching financial goal. Of course, everyone’s goal is different. But we have a few suggestions that should work for nearly everyone. 

If your goal involves spending less money or increasing your savings, this should be helpful.

Look at your recurring expenses and see if you can reduce them in any way.

Many bills can actually be negotiated. Especially during the pandemic, everything from utilities companies to WiFi providers to meal subscription services have become more flexible with pricing. It doesn’t hurt to call your cellphone provider, mention your customer loyalty and see if you can get a better deal on your recurring expenses.

Look at your biggest expenses like your housing costs, mortgage, car and student loans and explore your relationship with those.

Is it possible to refinance or negotiate in some way? Is it time to move and take advantage of lower rents in some cities? You likely won’t be able to lower these expenses in a day, but it’s always worth evaluating your biggest expenses to look for more affordable options.

Lastly, let’s keep the good habits from this month rolling. 

Choose a software or a system for tracking your finances going forward.

Checking in on your personal finances is a form of self-care!  We’re not advocating that you track every penny, but instead find the right system for you. “Passion budgeting” is a system that encourages you to spend on what makes you happy and try to save in other categories you’re less passionate about. We’ve also rounded up a few apps that can make your life easier, like Mint to establish a budget and stay current on bills and Honey to take advantage of online coupons. 

Remember that any little change to your spending habits or any bit you can invest is important. Compound interest can work wonders, and it only takes a little bit to get started.

And that’s it for our challenge! If we want you to take away anything from our first-ever money challenge, it’s this: Everything you do to spend, save or invest your money in a way that will serve your financial goals is worth it. It’s time to remove the shame we feel about money and instead take little steps toward our goals, whether that’s becoming financially secure, paying off debt, helping others or investing for retirement. 

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and let us know how you liked the money challenge. We want to hear your feedback: You can reach us at mlamagna@marketwatch.com and esnow@marketwatch.com.

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