10 Financial New Year's Resolutions
It's that time of year again: time to make resolutions for the new year. If you're like most people, your list probably includes some common resolutions like losing weight, getting fit, or eating healthier. But have you ever thought about including financial resolutions on your list? Here are 10 financial New Year's resolutions to consider:
Create and Stick To A Budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most important things you can do to get your finances in order. Start by making a list of all your expenses. This includes everything from your rent or mortgage payment to your grocery bill to your monthly cable bill.
Then assign a dollar amount to each expense. This may be difficult at first, but it's important to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on each item. Once you have your list, review each category and decide how much you want to spend on it.
A budget isn't a restriction. It's a road map for spending your money responsibly and getting the most out of every dollar you make. If sticking to a daily budget is too difficult, break it down into weekly or monthly steps instead.
Stick with it! It may take some time to get used to, but if you stick to it, you'll be amazed at how much money you can save.
Build Your Savings Each Month
Saving money is one of the most important things you can do for your financial future. But it's not always easy to do, especially if you're living paycheck to paycheck. One way to make saving easier is to set a goal for yourself. Decide how much money you want to save each month and make a plan to reach that goal.
Automate your savings so that a set amount of money is transferred from your checking account to your savings account each month. This will help you to meet your goal without having to think about it (and don't forget to allocate it to your budget!)
Invest in Yourself With Online Classes and Training Courses
One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to take online classes and training courses. Not only will you learn new skills, but you'll also be able to network with other professionals in your field.
There are a number of great online resources for classes and training courses, many of which are affordable or even free. Check out websites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning for a variety of course options. By enhancing your skills, you can increase your earning potential and set yourself up for a successful future.
Pay Off Your Debt With The Debt Snowball Method
If you're struggling to pay off your debt, the Debt Snowball Method may be the solution for you. This method involves creating a list of all your debts, from smallest to largest. Then you focus on paying off the smallest debt first while making minimum payments on the rest.
When the smallest debt is paid off, you move on to the next one on the list and continue until all your debts are paid off. Each time you move to the next debt, you take the previous minimum payments and the extra amount you can contribute, and "snowball" the payment to each debt until they're all paid off.
The Debt Snowball Method has been shown to be more effective than other methods because it provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation along the way. It gives the person in debt a sense of accomplishment as each credit card or debt is paid off in full.
If you're ready to get out of debt, give the Debt Snowball Method a try!
Create a Plan for Retirement and Act On It
Saving for retirement can be a bit daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Start by making a list of your savings and investments. Typically it is recommended you save between 10% and 15% of your income pre-tax over at least 25-35 years to be able to retire comfortably. Though Social Security will be there to help supplement your income, it is not advisable to rely solely on this.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but there are some easy steps you can take to begin saving for retirement. An IRA or 401(k) are examples of tax-advantaged investment accounts that you can establish on your own or through an employer. If your employer offers matching funds for these plans, it is advantageous to participate so that you can get "free money" in addition to your savings.
For most people, retirement planning boils down to systematic saving and investing. Even if you start small, it's never too late to begin saving for your golden years!
Improve Your Credit Score and Credit History
Having a good credit score is important for a number of reasons. A high credit score can help you get approved for a loan, and it may also lead to a lower interest rate. A low credit score can make it difficult to get approved for a loan and may lead to a higher interest rate.
It's important to monitor your credit score and credit history so that you can track your progress and make sure your information is accurate. You can get your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. This report includes your credit score, as well as information about your credit accounts and loans.
If you find any errors in your report, be sure to dispute them immediately. You can also take steps to improve your credit score by paying down high-interest credit card balances, paying your bills on time, and reducing the total amount of debt you have. Try the Debt Snowball Method, mentioned in a previous step!
Build Up One Month's Savings in Your Emergency Fund
It's important to have an emergency fund to help cover unexpected expenses. Start by saving $1000 so that you have a cushion in case of an emergency. Once you have saved the $1000, focus on building up a month's worth of income. This will help you cover expenses in the event of an unexpected job loss or other emergencies.
There are a number of ways to save money for your emergency fund. You can open a savings account specifically for this purpose, or you can invest in a money market fund. It's also important to make sure you don't spend the money in your emergency fund on unnecessary expenses.
Be sure to keep your emergency fund separate from your regular savings account so that it is not easily accessible.
Pay Off or Refinance Student Loans
Student loans can be a huge burden, especially if you're struggling to make your monthly payment. One way to reduce your monthly payment is to refinance your student loans. This means you take out a new loan with a new interest rate and term length. This can help you save money on interest payments and get your debt paid off sooner.
If you're struggling to make your monthly payment, it's important to take action as soon as possible. Refinancing your student loans can be a great way to reduce your monthly payment and get them paid off sooner. By getting a lower interest rate, you'll also be able to save thousands of dollars on unnecessary interest paid overtime.
Reduce Your Waste Spending
Wasting money on unnecessary things can significantly impact you financially. Not only will you be spending more money than you have to, but you'll also be taking away from the money that could be saved for important things, like retirement or an emergency fund.
One way to reduce your waste spending is to become more aware of where your money is going. Track your spending for a month and see where you can cut back. You may be surprised at how much money you're wasting on unnecessary things.
Another way to reduce your waste spending is to get rid of any extraneous expenses. Cancel any unused subscriptions, sell unnecessary belongings, and cook more meals at home. By making small changes, you can easily save hundreds of dollars per month.
Look For Ways to Boost Your Income
It's important to have multiple sources of income so that you're not relying on one source. If something happens to that source of income, you'll be in a difficult situation.
There are a number of ways to boost your income. You can start by looking for a higher-paying job or by freelancing on the side. You can also invest in stocks or start a side business.
It's important to be proactive about increasing your income. If you wait until you're in a difficult situation, it will be much harder to find a solution. Start brainstorming ideas now and put together a plan to increase your income. This will help ensure that you're not relying on one source of income for financial stability.
Holidays can be stressful!
With Rivermark's Holiday and Tax Savings Account, you can save ahead and enjoy stress-free celebrations. Start saving for the holidays today!