Special to the Financial Independence Hub
The new year is a perfect time to set goals for yourself to help keep your finances in check. It’s not too late to make a few resolutions to get your finances in order, so start your 2018 off on the right foot!
Cut down on needless expenses
An easy way to save money in the new year is to stop spending cash on things you don’t need. Cut out that daily run to your favorite coffee shop and make your own coffee before you leave for work. Do you get your nails done every two weeks? Make your salon trip exclusive for special occasions instead. Unnecessary spending habits can be broken, so cut costs where you can.
Tackle your debt
Make it a point to get your debt under control this year. If you can afford it, start paying more than the minimum required payment and pay off any interest you’ve accrued over the years. A majority of debt comes from student loans, so check out your options for refinancing. Earnest is a great option for student loan refinancing! The sooner you make a plan for repaying your debt, the better.
Set short-term goals
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting a huge goal you know you can’t reach. Start small by giving yourself a short-term goal. If you want to build up your savings account by the end of the year, start by putting away $20 each week. After a while, your long-term goal of saving more will be accomplished!
Create a budget and stick to it
One thing to do this year is stop overspending. Pick a day in January to sit down and make a budget that’s realistic for your lifestyle. Create a spreadsheet with your monthly income versus your monthly expenses. Prioritize your bills and necessary costs first, then see what money you have left. Stick to the budget you’ve made for yourself so that you’re not creating more debt and spending money you don’t have.
Prepare for the future:
Don’t set your future self up for failure by forgetting about the future. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, even if you think you can’t afford it. Start putting away whatever you can. If you have kids headed to college in the future, start an account that they can put toward their education when the time comes. Being over-prepared will help you out in the long-run.
Setting goals is necessary to keep yourself on track in the new year, and to make sure you keep motivated all year long to accomplish everything you’ve hoped to! Get started by making 2018 the year to improve your finances.
Jamie Wharton is the Marketing Coordinator for Earnest. She has a passion for making finance friendly to everyone and loves to help others save money. Jamie enjoys drinking lattes in the morning while reading the news.