Strategic Personal Finance: Budgeting, Saving, and Diversifying Income Streams for a Better Financial Future in 2024

March 17, 2024

Long time no see loves! I know it’s been a minute and can’t believe this is officially my first blog post of 2024! *screaming*. On the bright side, I am alive and well and wanted to kickstart my blogging journey this year with a self-development post talking a little bit about personal finances.

As a full-time Digital Marketing Specialist, business owner, and content creator, I have always been very mindful of my finances, but with the recent inflation, I realized the need to be more strategic in how I budget, save, and diversify my income streams.

One of the ways I am being strategic about my finances is by considering the paycheque I receive from my 9-5 job. Although it is a stable income stream, I recognize the need to be cautious and plan for ways to save and invest some of it to secure my future (Reality check: I am turning 25 this year and trying to get myself together!). So, I am taking advantage of my company’s employee benefits wherever I can and contributing a portion of my earnings as much as I can to a high-interest savings account, knowing that it will grow over time. I started this off with Wealthsimple for my readers who are based in Canada.

Another way I am adjusting my budget is in my travel plans. I love to travel, but I am becoming more intentional about the trips I embark on each year. 2023 was my year of going all out with my travels with no specific strategy but I now carefully research and evaluate the cost of travel and accommodations to ensure that I get the best deals and that my travel expenses do not exceed my budget.

In 2024, I am also taking advantage of travel points from the airlines I fly with. At the moment, I am currently doing this with Air Canada (Aeroplan points program) and Delta (Skymiles program which links with partners like Uber, Lyft, Hilton Honours and Starbucks) to ensure that any trip I book has some kind of incentive in the long run. With Air Canada, I decided to switch my credit card type to the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card which is the one with travel points so when I spend on groceries, gas, Uber Eats and more, I am earning Aeroplan points. Fun Fact: This credit card type also links with my Aeroplan account which means I am earning points from everyday spending.

PS: If you are like me who spends money on gas frequently, another good rewards program to join is the Journie Rewards program in partnership with CIBC.

Additionally, I am taking a more strategic approach to how I can diversify my income streams. As a digital marketer, I am taking advantage of freelance opportunities and offering my skillset to help small businesses with their marketing needs through my experience as a small business owner and founder of E’s Element and also my personal brand; StylebyEmmanuela. I am also exploring other business ventures that align with my passions and strengths in 2024.

But one of the most helpful tools in my financial journey is incorporating a budget planning calculator like the one I found on Calculator.Me. By using this calculator, I can identify the suggested percentages to allocate to necessities like food, housing, transportation, and recreational spending based on my net income, instead of having to do this manually with my iPhone.

Moreover, this calculator helps me understand where I can save more and also establish my savings-to-debt ratio. It helps me create a budget that covers all my expenses and also makes money available for unplanned spending. With this tool, I can make informed decisions, track my expenses accurately, and build a better financial future which is what we all need to do all year round.

From my perspective, the recent inflation has made me more aware of the need to be financially proactive. By being strategic about my finances, being intentional about my travel plans, and diversifying my income streams, I can secure a better financial future. Also using budget planning calculators like the one I found here will be crucial in my journey towards financial literacy and awareness.

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