We all have New Year’s resolutions. Some stick and others don’t. But when it comes to finances, you shouldn’t let your ambitions slip away. The key is setting realistic goals. As you plan for 2019, here are a few financial goals to help you stay on track.
Start a Budget
Kicking off the year with a budget is an easy way to start heading down the right financial path. There’s no need to make it super fancy with spreadsheets. Start by just handwriting a list of your expenses and your income. You can do this while watching Netflix. When you finish your budget, put it on your refrigerator or another highly visible place to remind you of your goals. Revisit the budget often to try and reduce your spending in specific categories every month until you get it where you are financially comfortable.
Freeing yourself from debt should be one of your top goals to reduce the amount you pay in interest and take control of your finances. How quickly you can get debt free will largely depend on your financial situation, the type of debt you have and your income. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. If you have credit card debt, start by reducing that. Any other small debts you have should also be early targets. Crossing off any debt, no matter how small, will make you feel better and help you gain confidence.
Saving money is vital to your financial success. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but to save properly, you must have a plan. Your first goal should be to save at least 10 percent of your income each month. If you can afford it, this 10 percent should be saved in addition to your retirement contributions. Try cutting back on eating out at restaurants, use coupons, and look for store sales to help save more money each month. The earlier you get used to money-saving techniques and establish a savings habit now, the more money you’ll have down the road.
Learn More About Money and Finances
If you want to get really good at saving, investing and budgeting your money, take the time to learn more about how to do it. Do some research online, pick up a book or a magazine, subscribe to financial newsletters, enroll in a personal finance class or have a chat with friends or family who have successfully managed their money over the years.