Congratulations if you have started saving or investing! If not, the good news is you can start all over again this 2018. It’s never too late to start working on your financial goals.
The new year is a great time to start.
Here are few things you can add to your financial new year’s resolution.
1.Set a realistic goal
What do you like to accomplish this year? Do you want to settle your credit card debts within the year? How much money would you like to save in the bank? Be specific and clear on the amount you would like to earn or save. If you are specific, goals are more measurable and actionable.
2. Study Financial Management
Financial literacy is important. Allot a time to read books and financial blogs. Attend seminars led by subject matter experts.
3. Pay off debt
Create a strategy for paying your debts. List down all your liabilities such as credit card debts, mortgage, car loans, bank loans, and others.
Assess which among them bear the highest interest rate and pay that first. Pay the most burdensome because you might just end up paying the interest but not your principal. You may also pay the smaller debts first. This will give you a sense of satisfaction that you are getting things done and will let you have fewer accounts to keep track of.
You may consider negotiating with your creditors if they can cut down interests. Remind them that you have been a good payer and a loyal customer. Surprisingly, they may agree and it is a plus saving for you.
4. Pay bills as soon as you receive your paycheck
The longer you hold your money with you, the bigger is the temptation to buy unnecessary items. Upon receiving your salary, separate right away the money you need to pay your bills. It’s recommended that you set up an automatic payment from your bank account right after payday.
Do you know that you can request your creditors to change your monthly statement date? The closer it is to your payday, the better.
5. Download a personal finance application/software and use it
This is very useful to keep track of your income and expenses. Record all your daily cash outs, be it for basic necessities, for haircuts, snacks, soft drinks, movie tickets, etc. You will be surprised to see where the chunk of your money goes. This will let you review your lifestyle and which of your expenses can be cut down.
6. Be healthy
Every year, people with new year’s resolution have this one on their lists. So how is this related to finance? Remember that if you are healthy, there would be no hospital and medical bills.
Instead of paying monthly membership in the gym, why not exercise or jog in your neighborhood by yourself?
Instead of dining in restaurants or fast foods, why not do your own grocery shopping and cook healthy food?
Instead of drinking sodas or alcohol, why not just drink lots of water? Quit smoking too.
7. Start A Business
If you are passionate about something and want to use it to profit or have the skills and knowledge to start a business, do it this year. You may be afraid of failures and bankruptcy, but if you are prepared, serious, and properly equipped with the do’s and don’ts of establishing a business, you will most likely succeed.
8. Increase your income
Perhaps, you can ask for a raise or ask your boss for a well-deserved promotion. Or maybe you need to look for a new high paying job somewhere else?
You may also look for a side gig after work or during weekends. Look for job opportunities online.
9. Start investing
Money cannot reach its full potential on bank savings alone. Maximize your money by investing in stocks, mutual funds or bonds. These are high risks financial instruments but give much higher interest income when managed properly. Talk to your financial advisors this year on how these work.
10. Put more toward retirement
How’s your 401k? Consider adding contribution on top of your employer’s share. If you don’t have one, open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and start to contribute. It’s critical to save for retirement during younger working years so you can have more time to make your money grow and enjoy your future.
Learn to stick with your new year’s resolution and you’ll be surprised to see a big difference and how you have improved by the end of the year.
Good Luck and Happy New Year!