The new year is an exciting time to start fresh and conquer large financial goals. Whether you are trying to save for that house or aiming for your dream car, aligning your finances with your goals isn’t always easy. Make financial success your main intention this new year.
You might have started strong with a decent checking account in the beginning of 2019 but perhaps you let yourself splurge this holiday season. Get back on track with some tips for this upcoming year. Accomplishing financial goals that you have never met can be right around the corner, make this your financial come back year.
Set Time Sensitive Goals
Creating a time line is one of the most efficient tools for checking off those boxes for meeting financial goals. When you set a certain deadline for your financial goals you are creating a sense of urgency. Time sensitive goals will keep you motivated to make the next step in your plan for living a more financially secure life.
Do you want to pay off a credit card by this spring? Would you like to make more by your two-year work anniversary? Asking these questions and setting yourself up with time sensitive goals can be exactly the push you need to propel you financially.
Prioritize Your Emergency Fund
Feeling secure financially means that you’re more than likely ready for life’s curve balls. Be financially successful this year by forming an emergency fund. Health emergencies, automobile malfunctions, or weather-related incidents can come in many forms you wouldn’t expect, be prepared for whatever the case may be. Start by setting aside a portion of your savings for these unforeseen life events.
Shatter the fear of living paycheck to paycheck and grow your confidence with your emergency fund. This will not only set you up for success this year but will also give you a piece of mind. When life gets hectic being financially prepared is the greatest ammunition you can have in your back pocket.
Spend Less Than You Earn
Living below your means is the best way to reach your goals fast. Most would say they need the newest phone or a luxury car, but this is never the case. You could “want” many things but “needing” many things is completely different. Keep up with your finances by not splurging, refrain from the pressures of having the best or the newest things.
Justify your purchases and ask yourself if you need something versus wanting something. Cut down on coffee runs, research a cheaper gym, or possibly start biking to work. Revaluate your rent-to-income ratio, maybe it’s time to live somewhere more affordable. The summer time and holiday season encounter a spike in consumerism so watch out for this specific period. Budget strictly during these times to maximize your long-term savings. Prioritize your finances to match your bigger goals to live a more financially successful life.
Save for Retirement
Actively saving for you retirement can be tedious if you don’t know where to start. Begin small in 2020 by finding out if your company has a matching policy. By seeking their retirement matchings you’re taking advantage of all their offerings. Attempt to ask for their highest percentage match to increase your retirement fund.
Monitor your retirement fund closely this year to track your progression. If you’ve already started saving, start increasing the amount you contribute. One way to do this is by allocating the raise you receive at work to your retirement fund. This way you’re not spending your pay increase and instead it’s going straight to your 401k. Additionally, you won’t be missing the money that you allocate towards this fund because you didn’t have a chance to spend it.
Tune into a Finance Podcast
Incorporate a financial lesson out of those idle moments this year. In between your morning commute or your work out session at the gym, tune into a financial podcast. This easy and new habit could lead to some breakout advice and a new financial perspective this upcoming year.
You can never have too much guidance, tuning in could help give you some updated insight on how you should manage your finances. An immense variety of podcasts can be found from investing, to frugality, to baby-boomer retirement. Find one that works for you and stick to increasing your knowledge on how to improve your own financial accounts.
Track Every Expense
Keeping a record of all your expenses serves as a study in your spending habits and helps create better financial decisions. Becoming the type of person who writes everything down is important when it comes to your finances. Use an excel sheet to track your spending and savings and don’t forget to occasionally write down your future goals. This will help you learn what you can cut down on and where most of your money is going.
Take a few minutes out of the day of your day to log everything. You’ll be surprised by the end of the month to see how the quickest things to add up are small purchases. For this upcoming 2020 making a financial journal with your goals can also be a great start to measuring your financial journey. Begin by thinking about where you are and where you need to be, then go into detail about small goals you wish to achieve.
Download a Budgeting App
Financing can be tricky and sometimes you might need a little prompting to getting yourself organized. If you find yourself in situations where you can use your phone to track your water intake but not your Starbucks purchases, you might want to download a finance app. A finance app can help you budget easier this year.
You can receive alerts to know when your bills are around the corner or if your account balance is running low. Making credit card purchases can easily be tracked when you enter the transaction on your phone. With some apps, you can even experiment to see how certain purchases can make an impact on your budget. This upcoming year is a great time to grow your finance tool kit by including a handy finance app.
Check Your Credit Report
Major banks check your credit score before they lend you a loan for a house or a car. Having many options regarding these major life purchases all start with a healthy credit score. If you’ve started ignoring your credit health start paying close attention this new year. Many times, people don’t pay attention to the small fluctuations and tend to miss possible errors.
You could encounter some innocent mistakes, errors about late payments or even unfamiliar debt in-consistences. Monitoring your credit as closely as possibly this upcoming year would make for good practice. Don’t let the small mishaps slip through the cracks, aim to have a stellar credit report to strengthen your buying power in 2020.
Eliminate Your Debt
It might seem like a great feat to climb however, eliminating your debt this year can become a reality with some hard work. Make this a priority by setting every day goals to change your spending habits. Can you find a free neighborhood activity, or do you have to see the latest movie? Are you eating leftovers today or going to that new restaurant with friends? The small things through out your every day life make the greatest overall impact.
Undertake your debt by focusing on the small things so when you start making bigger moves, like allocating more to your credit card bills, you’ll be comfortable making sacrifices. If your debt is hefty, drastic spending cuts must be made to increase your earnings to pay off the debt faster. Take different spending measures this new year to completely eradicate your looming debt for good.
As this year draws to a close, setting new goals and achieving greater financial heights is right around the corner. Review your budget, set realistic goals, and commit to spending less this new year for greater financial stability. It’s never too late to start making better habits surrounding your money therefore spring into action in 2020 by figuring out new strategies with these financial tips.