Many Americans are sticking with financial resolutions this year rather than resolutions like dieting. Nearly 48 percent of Americans plan to increase their retirement savings in 2019, pay off their debt, and spend less on common mistakes such as dining out too much according to Fidelity Investments. Therefore, here are a few financial resolutions to keep in mind.
Evaluate Last Year’s Financial Mistakes
Before attempting to set goals for the New Year, you must first be able to recognize what did not go right for you financially in 2018. Did you overspend? Did you get swallowed with debt? Were you late on payments? Whatever it might be it is extremely important to be able to identify your financial mistakes and examine that to avoid making the same mistakes in the New Year.
Identify Financial Goals
The first thing you must do is to identify the financial goals you would like to make. They can vary from going back to school and getting your degree, or perhaps paying off your auto loan. The more specific you are in setting them, the better the chances for success you have.
Pay Your Bills Right after Pay Day
Something helpful with budgeting is taking care of your monthly expenses before focusing on luxury expenses because it helps give you a better understanding of what you can truly afford at the moment. Furthermore, it helps you avoid any late payment issues that would occur if you failed to make your payments on time.
Payoff Credit Card Debt
According to Wallet Hub Americans owe roughly $1 trillion overall and over $8,000 per household in credit card debt. It is something that every American has to deal with in their life. Your credit card debt may vary from a lot to a little. If you have a lot of debt don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to pay it off all at one time, try paying off 20 percent of what you currently owe according to Wallet Hub. If you need extra assistance, try using a credit card payoff calculator to help you with your numbers and to check to see how large of a payment you can be made each time. Click here for more information on how to avoid Credit Card Debt in 2019.
Stick to a Budget
First things first, you need to set a budget. It is very important to make sure your budget is reasonable and attainable. According to Time, there are 3 basic steps which include identifying how your money is being spent, evaluating those expenses to see if they are in line with your financial priorities and cutting or tracking your ongoing expenses to ensure you stay within those guidelines. One way to identify how your money is being spent is to collect all of your bills from the past few months and reviewing them. You should consider ranking them by their importance, like your necessities to live like a house and food on one end and some lesser important expenses on the other end and cut some of those expenses that aren’t necessary for living or that you can live without or find a cheaper alternative for.
Grab a friend or significant other and have a no spend day or weekend once a month. Designate a day, or a few, where no money ever leaves your hands. This will help keep you from impulse buying or buying anything that you don’t need. According to Believe in a Budget, you should think about downgrading to a smaller wallet because it will help you eliminate some cards you keep in your wallet that you don’t actually need or use regularly, and it will cut down the temptation to use a credit card.
Learn about Money and Finances
You should learn more about managing your money and all of the different parts that go into it. You can do this through a number of different sources and channels. You can utilize tools online, in books, or magazines. Since we are speaking about goals a lot recently, try setting a reading goal to read at least a certain amount each week or month. The Balance gives a list of some of the best personal finance books for 2019 and The Simple Dollar gives a few of the best personal finance resources found online for free.