Start The Year Out With Some
Financial Goals You Can Attain
2018 is wrapping up to a close. As the holidays come and go and the new year hits,
you’ll be looking back as well as looking forward to what 2019 brings.
Looking back now, how do you feel you did financially? If your answer is anything but positive, it’s time to make some changes. Not only can you make a new year’s resolution to start being more financially responsible in 2019, but you can even start formulating a plan on how to do it.
Start Learning a Budgeting Method
One of the most fundamental aspects of getting personal finances under control is budgeting. There are many tools to learn how to do it as well as different ways to budget, though most financial experts like Dave Ramsey recommend using zero-based budgeting which is where you start by seeing how you can cut your expenses to where the total income and expenses are matching zero. It can be a little tricky to learn this if you’re not a math whiz or have never been good with numbers, but you might look around and seek help from people who have done budgeting before. The bottom line is knowing where all your money is currently going and knowing what you need to do so that you’ll be living above debt in the future.
Eliminate Debt First
Once you’ve got the budget ready and the change is being set in motion, it’s time to pay off your debts first. First, you need to see what kind of debt you have, and then start making plans to devote payments to cutting it down and away. If it’s credit card debt or easy personal loans you’ve accumulated over time, start making plans to pay off more of your outstanding balance and figure out how to get it down to zero. If it’s another loan or bills that you’ve fallen behind on and need to catch up with, work out a plan with your creditors if you need to so that you can pay in smaller installments but still get it paid quickly. In the meantime, you just might need to cut your cable television off, eat out less, buy cheaper food, and sell off other assets until you can get your debt paid off. You don’t have to live like that forever, but temporarily taking measures like that can get you back to living more frugally and having more income to pay off debt with.
Make a Savings and Investment Plan
Once you get your debt under control and have more money to spend, a portion of that money should go into savings or investments. What you can do as part of your budgeting plan is to start saving more money by dedicating a portion of each paycheck to go into a savings account, where it can be held either for emergency needs or for something you want to buy for your family down the road. If you not only want to save but have money that generates more money over time, you should open an investment account. Usually, people open these accounts to have money ready for retirement, but you could also have money ready for goals you’re setting in the next few years by doing this. It’s perfectly fine to manage your investment accounts, but you may want to solicit advice from a former professional who has done it if you’re new to it.
With a new year on the way, it’s time to have a new approach to your personal finances. There’s no reason why you can’t make 2019 the year you finally attain a greater level of financial freedom.
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