New Year- New Budget

 In Ozarks Live

And welcome back to Ozarks Live! It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for dollars and cents.

Tom joins us now from the resource center. Tom, what’s going on?

What’s going on is we have some more advice on how to not only keep your money, but help it to grow. And this man is going to help us. Of course, it’s Bruce Porter, president and advisor here at the resource center. Always good to see Bruce-

Good to see you.

… All right. A new year for financial growth because it is about keeping and growing.

Yeah. Remember-

But you have to understand things.

Yeah. You remember last year?

Yeah, I do.

Water under the bridge.

Okay, good.

Now we got to move forward-

All right.

… Got to keep moving in the right direction. So this year we’re going to approach things a little bit differently. We’re going to take our needs, our wants, and we’re going to prioritize some things. And we’re going to get off to a good start because this year you want to change your financial future. You want to start out right, here’s what you do. Take this month, get everything organized. List all your fixed expenses. If you’ve never done this, I suggest you do this right now.

Take your checkbook this month. Every bill that you have to pay every month, there’s your priority because you got to have a place to live. You got to have groceries, you got to have utilities, you got to have gas. All of those important things, you list. Now, what’s left, decide how much is going to go into savings. Do it right now. Do it every month. Make it a habit. Do it every single month. If you got an extra $10, an extra $50, an extra $100, put it in a savings account. Put it somewhere out of sight, out of mind. Plan for your goals. Plan for traveling. Plan for important purchases. Try not to just knee-jerk and buy something. Try to plan this a little bit more.

This graphic is really important because you may want something, doesn’t mean you need something. So you’ve got to be able to prioritize in order to stay financially healthy.

See, all we’re trying to do this year is improve our position over last year. If you weren’t satisfied with the result of 2023 in your checkbook or in your savings account, then do something about it. Plan to make it better this year. Don’t try to eat that elephant at once. So now let’s get off to a good start early in the year. And let’s get some things in priority, and let’s try to improve our position over last year. That’s all we’re trying to do. Now-

Makes sense.

… let’s do a little cleanup. You may have some subscriptions, and I know with electronics this can a little crazy. I was shocked at how much stuff was coming in that I had no idea. Pay off high interest debts and credit cards. Well that all sounds good, right?


All right. How are you going to do that?

Good question.

If you can’t save money, how are you going to accelerate debt? So back to the first screen-

The first screen, right.

… You got wants, needs, and priorities. If you have high debt, pay it first. Pay lower debt, lower interest debt last. So you prioritize that debt, and you take that bull by the horns, and you grasp it. Max your employer matching benefits. So if you have a matching contribution out of 401k or anything like that, find out what that is. Educate yourself on that, and make sure you’re getting the maximum amount from them because that’s free money for you-

And it doesn’t make any difference how much it is. It’s there. You can take advantage of it-

That’s right. If you’re making contributions on your own to an IRA or a Roth, make it automatic so that it’s out of sight, out of mind. And you put it into your budget, and you already know that $100 goes out every month or whatever. And you don’t see it, you don’t spend it, you don’t think about it. So you clean up things a little bit to where you know exactly where your money is headed. I would highly recommend that. Get a customized plan. If you don’t know where to do that, find somebody that you can talk to and have a conversation with them. Yeah, tax-efficient solutions. Yeah, tax laws change all the time. So the bottom line is you get somebody to do your taxes and get somebody to give you tax advice.

They’re experts. Yeah.

And they’re going to say, “Look, if you need a deduction, buy an IRA. If you don’t need a deduction, get a Roth.” But get something. Don’t just spend it. Tailor it-

Educate yourself a little bit. Right-

That’s right.

All right.

Tailor your savings plan for you and your present future goals. See, that all sounds good. You’re the one that has to make that happen. Now-

All right.

… if you need any help, there you go.

There’s your QR code. 882-1800. Give Mr. Bruce Porter a call right here at the resource center. So there, there’s some good news. There’s something we can all learn. Back to you.

All right. Thanks so much, Tom.


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