If you plan to make one resolution for 2019, it should be to get your finances in order. Don’t let your money and your ambitions slip away. Here are 5 tips for making sure you get on track for a sound financial year.
Build Your Budget
Everything starts with your budget. You don’t have to know how to use spreadsheets to make one. Simply handwrite a list of your expenses and your income to start. 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.
Educate Yourself About Money and Finances
Properly investing and budgeting your money takes time to learn. 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.
Learn to Save Money
Saving money is an important part of all successful financial plans. The earlier you get used to money-saving techniques and establish a savings habit now, the more money you’ll have down the road. 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.
Get Out of Debt
How quickly you can get debt free will largely depend on your financial situation, the type of debt you have and your income – but no matter what your circumstances are, eliminating debt should be a top goal. 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 minor, will make you feel better and help you gain confidence. Remember, you don’t need to do everything at once. Start small and build from there.