It’s the beginning of a new year! What are your resolutions for 2018? Whether you are planning on traveling to a new country, buying a house, or experiencing new adventures you need to plan ahead. If you want to start the new year on the best terms, make financial decisions to help you achieve your goals. Yes, we know it’s not that easy. That’s why we’ve gathered the most realistic money tips so that you can have the best year yet!
1. List your goals – Listing your goals is the first step to make better financial decisions. Once you do this, you can start focusing on the things that you’re working towards.
2. Put money aside for emergencies – Unexpected financial emergencies are overwhelming. However, an emergency account is important for unpredictable events such as unemployment and or other hardships.
3. Make a budget (and stick to it) – A budget is important to control your finances. Start by calculating your monthly income and listing your expenses. After subtracting your income from expenses, you will know your discretionary income. The last step it to set financial goals and monitor your expenses.
4. Take advantage of free money – If you have to make a purchase, at least earn cashback. You can earn cashback on a variety of items such as travel, clothes, books, electronics, food, events, beauty, and more! Lemoney has over 1,700+ stores and it’s 100% free. Also, you earn rewards when your friends shop too. Sign up here.
5. Save for your goals – Saving $50 per month means you’ll have $600 left at the end of the year. Figure out what your goals are so you will be able to afford them.
6. Contribute to a 401(k) – Start thinking about retirement. Contributing to a 401(k) is a great investment for your future. The best part? It reduces your taxable income. Learn more on our blog post: 10 Tips to Reduce Your Tax Bill.
7. Get creative – In this day and age there are various ways of making extra income. Think out of the box and figure out other streams of income such as freelancing and odd jobs. You can also sell things online, become a dog sitter, and more.
8. Periodically check your credit score – Your credit score determines if you’re a risky borrower. Your score may affect you if you’re interested in buying a house, applying for a loan, purchasing a car, or becoming an entrepreneur and opening your business. In addition, this score may be important for a future employer or landlord, or cell phone utility company.
9. Pay off debt – Although this can feel overwhelming, it is feasible. Make a plan to figure out how much you can afford and start by paying off the balance with the highest interest rates. Even small payments can make a difference.
Small habit adjustments can make a significant difference in your financial life. Plan ahead so you can achieve all your new year resolutions!
If you want to learn more about personal finance and investing we recommend the following books:
- Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties (New York Times Bestseller) by Beth Kobliner.
- Warren Buffett: Investing & Life Lessons On How To Get Rich, Become Successful & Dominate Your Personal Finance From The Greatest Value Investor Of All Time by Ashton Marshall
- The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read: The Proven Ways to Beat the “Pros” and Take Control of Your Financial Future (New York Times Bestseller) by Daniel R. Solin.
- Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number (#1 National Best Seller) by Chris Hogan, Dave Ramsey (Foreword by)