Jan 04, 2018 / Money Tips
The New Year is here, and that means it’s time to hit the gym, put an end to all your bad habits, and resolve to be more financially savvy and sound in 2018. If you’re ready to be better with your money, here are 5 financial goals to include in your 2018 resolutions.
You’ve heard it a hundred times, but there’s a reason the universe keeps nagging you to make a budget. A budget is the best way to track both your income and expenditures, so that you know exactly where your money is at all times. In reality, creating a budget is half the battle. If all your other New Year’s Resolutions fail, stick to your budget and you’ll be financially healthier for it.
What fun is life if you’re not working toward some grand goal? Well, the same concept applies to your finances. Set some financial goals for the New Year and be specific. They could be as simple as saving for a family vacation, or as lofty as reaching a specific wealth threshold in your investments or savings. Whatever your goals, list out specific steps you plan to take to achieve them, and be sure to consult your budget along the way.
Smart money management isn’t all about making and saving money, it also includes getting rid of all your high-interest loans as quickly as possible. Whether you have lingering student loans or dreaded consumer debt, make a plan to pay off your loans, starting with the most egregious and expensive ones. Again, be specific about your plan and map everything out in your budget. Skimp a little here and save a little there in order to put extra dollars toward your loans every month. Before long, more of your money will end up in your savings and other accounts, instead of with the lenders.
If you’ve been putting off saving for retirement, it’s never too late to start. Make an appointment with a financial adviser to talk about what plan might be best for you and your situation. For many, the best place to start saving is with an employee-sponsored 401(k). But, alternative options include a certificate of deposit (CD) or an individual retirement account (IRA). Whatever plan fits your income and lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to save money for when your income stops coming in.
Finally, one of the best ways you can be financially healthier in the New Year is to get educated. Read a book every month about proper money management and investment, or find information on the internet, including blogs like this one. Pick a subject that’s a pain in your side and start reading. Better education and more knowledge always win in the end.