There are plenty of simple strategies for starting a sensible savings plan in 2016. One need not be wealthy to build wealth, according to Jameson Van Houten, CEO of Stonegate Capital Advisors in Scottsdale, Arizona. A good way to get started saving at any age is to focus on three factors: health, debt, and food.
Long-term health is a smart place to begin a savings plan. Taking steps right now to improve one’s health can pay huge dividends in the long run. Consider getting a medical checkup early in the year to find out if there are any serious issues that need attention. In addition, it is wise to do an insurance checkup as well, making certain that policies are paid up and are able to cover any serious health issues that might arise.
Keep an eye on food prices
One place where everyone can usually do a bit of budget-tightening is at the grocery store, says Jameson Van Houten of Stonegate Capital Advisors. Because food prices go up with solid predictability, every consumer should do an annual review of the family food budget. Are there items that could be cut? Can some non-nutritious items be replaced by healthier choices? What non-essential foods and drinks can be removed without any difficulty? An emphasis on healthier food choices and changing prices of various food categories can go a long way toward trimming the food budget significantly.
Credit card debt
One area of personal finance that has the greatest potential for saving is credit card debt. For consumers who have any card debt, 2016 is a good time to consider getting rid of it. There is no reason to carry a balance if it is not necessary to do so. Card rates, even for “reasonable” credit cards, are among the first things that smart consumers should cut out of their budgets. Consider paying off the smaller balance cards first and then tackle the larger ones, making a priority of the cards with the highest interest rates.
Credit card debt, food budgets and personal health are three areas where it is relatively easy to find potential savings for just about anyone, regardless of income level or family size. As the cost of food and healthcare go up regularly and because credit card interest is almost universally high, savvy consumers should look to those three categories as a first step toward a comprehensive saving strategy.