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NeighborWorks can help you budgets in 2021

Hoping your Christmas was merry, bright and safe! Can you believe that 2020 is almost in the books?!

Before we begin with some ideas to start 2021 with fresh resolve … and some good goals for your house and finances, let’s talk for a moment about how to get you safely through the last bit of 2020. For starters, wear a mask!

More tips for a safe New Year’s

Because of all the events of 2020, we’re guessing that events ushering in a brand new year might be extra festive – albeit smaller and socially distanced.

So, not to spoil your fun or excitement about a fresh new start, we want to mention that this time of year is historically high for residential fires. That’s the last thing any of us needs!

After Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day is statistically the third most common day to have a residential fire caused by candles.

Let’s defy those statistics here in Grays Harbor! Please take a look at some of the following tips. The last thing you want to deal with in the New Year is recovering from a house fire!

Here are a few safety reminders for this holiday season.

  • If you have a live Christmas tree, do not neglect watering it daily. When you do take it down, consider recycling it for safety’s sake. Keep your ears open (or check social media) to see if some group such as the Scouts will haul yours away. (Remember to generously compensate them for this service.)

  • Do you have candles as part of your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day gathering? Keep a close eye on them. Keep them far from wafting curtains and flammable décor.

  • Hectic kitchens can be a concern. Keep your wits about you. Avoid loose clothes and keep pot handles turned in.

  • When the bubbly is flowing, judgment gets weaker, so plan ahead to have a safe environment.

  • Remember, if you have moved furniture to accommodate the tree, make sure that you haven’t blocked any entrances or exits.

  • Many imbibe a bit more on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you have smokers, make sure you have plenty of deep ash trays available. Before you head to bed, check upholstery to make sure a stray cigarette isn’t smoldering.

  • Consider ringing in the New Year with pots and pans and whistles instead of shotguns, fireworks and cannons. (Fireworks are the most common cause of fire during New Year’s.)

Plans for the New Year

After the celebrations, and putting away the beautiful décor of Christmas, consider taking a few minutes to take a fresh look at the coming New Year, at least as far as your house goes.

Start-fresh budget

After this crazy year of uncertainty in so many ways, many people might have spent more than intended on Christmas gifts just to celebrate life – and the disposal of 2020.

When jobs are gone or uncertain, and the bills from Christmas start rolling in, for too many it can seem overwhelming – and therefore not a great time to think about a new budget. However, the good news is that Jan. 1 gives us all a chance to celebrate a new start with a fresh balance sheet, new budget and the tools and resolve to actually deal with our finances in a responsible way.

A vast majority of Americans are in deep credit card debt, but many are fighting their way out. Still, many people in our country live from paycheck to paycheck and even a $500 car repair bill or doctor’s bill throws everything off-kilter.

Throw in a global pandemic, sick relatives or friends, shuttered businesses and economic uncertainty and even some who have prudently saved are finding themselves in a difficult spot.

Even though it can seem overwhelming and beyond your control, take the time to plan to control that which you can.

Let 2021 be the year where you establish some good financial goals and habits – and are determined to increase your emergency fund of six times your monthly wages by using an automatic savings plan that removes savings first from every paycheck.

If you aren’t employed right now, spending plans are even more crucial.

Also, research has shown again and again that specific, demonstrable, written goals and a budget make all the difference! If the money is not in your hand, you are less likely to spend.

This is something we at NeighborWorks can help you with – for free. Give us a call in the New Year if you’d like a hand with getting out of debt or putting together a realistic household budget and emergency fund.

Adding our expertise and fresh eyes on your family’s finances can get you started in the right direction. Everything with our housing advisor is in strict confidence and never shared without your written permission.

Next week we will talk about budgeting for home repairs and even remodeling.

Until next year, all of us here at NeighborWorks wish you a safe, happy and healthy 2021! Cheers!


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