If you're in the Midwest, you'll eventually wake up to find your town has been buried under snow and that everything has shut down due to inclement weather. If you've lived in Rochester for the past year, you're well aware that this can happen several times in one winter. In other words, you've been snowed in.
Being snowed in can be frustrating, but it's also a chance to sit down, relax and give yourself some space to take care of some tasks that you may have been putting off, like reorganizing your closet or donating old magazines to the Rochester Public Library.
However, getting snowed in is also a great time to get ahead on your finances. This doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, you can even do some of these while binge-watching your favorite show and drinking a mug of hot cocoa.
1. Go Through Your Subscriptions
While you're binging some of your favorite shows, now is a good time to figure out how many of those streaming media subscriptions you actually use. Do you listen to Spotify and Amazon Prime music equally, or could you get by with one? Do you enjoy shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go and Disney Plus equally, or do you really only watch one?
Fear of Missing Out can be powerful when it comes to new shows, and it can be intoxicating to get all these shows and new content at your fingers for only about eight dollars a month. However, those eight dollars can multiply quickly. If you're paying eight dollars a month for four streaming services, you're actually paying $32 a month, or $384 a year.
2. Plan Your Next Trip
Planning on taking a trip this year? Why not get a head start on planning? You can start a digital or paper file on your vacation and start filling it with information you'll need to keep in mind.
You can fill the file up with information about hotel prices, restaurants where you'd like to eat and attractions you'd like to visit. You can also use sites like roadtripper.com to help you.
If you're traveling by air, you can also use apps like Hopper to get the best deals on flights and see what days are the most economical. If you're visiting an attraction, you can also visit the attraction's website or do some Internet research to look at the best times to visit.
Finally, you can also set up a savings account dedicated to your upcoming vacation and either budget new funds or place any additional money you get from a side job towards it. One of the best ways to do this is with a Club Savings Account, which will only let you access the funds you put into it at a pre-arranged date, such as the date you plan on going on vacation.
3. Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill almost always helps you financially. You might pick up a skill that helps you advance your career, or you might learn something you can turn into a side job. Even if you just learn a skill because it's something you've always wanted to try, you can network with people in your area who have the same interests.
You can choose from several websites, such as Skillshare, Masterclass or Coursera. If you want to choose a more economical route, though, you can always go on YouTube. Lots of people are eager to share their skills at anything from lock picking to packing for the airport.
4. Review Your Financial Goals
When was the last time you checked up on your financial goals? If you're saving for a car, how much money do you have? How is your retirement fund looking?
The problem with financial goals is that we usually set them and then forget to make sure we're actually taking steps toward our goals. By reviewing your financial goals, you can make sure you're making progress toward them. You can also set new financial goals, cross off goals you've already achieved and even get rid of some financial goals that no longer matter to you.
Let First Alliance Credit Union set you on the Road to Success
Even if you aren't going anywhere for the day, you can still take some fantastic steps to start you on your way to financial success. Set up an appointment with a First Alliance Money Navigator today to continue your journey. They can look over your finances with you and help you come up with a financial strategy that works for you.