Starting 2019 On Better Financial Footing
A new year signifies the possibility of change - a fresh start. Will 2019 be the year you get your financial life on track?
More than anything getting into a good place financially is all about finding areas of improvement and creating better habits. Whether your problem is spending, saving, opening cards, not making payments on-time or lots of outstanding debt there are always small things you can do to put yourself on the right path.
Break Open Those Statements
To better understand the habits you need to adopt you first have to break down the data to find the problem. Regardless of your situation taking a look at the previous year’s spending and saving is a great way to put it all in perspective. If you can, chart out your expenses for the whole year or even just a month. How much of your income is spent on necessities and how much on everything else? How much did you save? How much did you spend on credit card interest alone?
Make A Plan
You cannot just be aware of the problem; you have to create a plan for tackling it. Do you want to spend less on dining out this year? Plan ahead every week so you can still celebrate and socialize but manage that aspect of your spending. Make Starbucks an occasional treat rather than a daily pilgrimage.
Want to save more? Create an automatic transfer of a manageable amount (doesn’t have to be big!) every time you receive a paycheck.
Want to spend less on credit card interest? Look at the cards you have and do the math to see if transferring balances to a lower-interest card is the better long-term move.
Hold Yourself Accountable
The only way to turn a change into a habit is making sure it’s getting done. Set up reminders for yourself so you don’t forget. Add a photo to your calendar or someplace you do your finances of the goal you would like to achieve - like buying a house or car - so that end goal is never lost. Or you could use a little guilt-based motivation by involving a friend, child, parent or spouse to keep you honest.
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