The new year is a fresh start – it’s a time to make the most of things. One thing everyone can benefit from is setting money goals. Whether you have a lot of money or just a little, you need to have a strategy as to where that money will go. Let’s take a look at the financial goals you should set for the new year.
Find Out Where Your Money Goes
Do you end the week or month with no idea why you’re broke? Then it’s time to start tracking your expenses. This can be daunting, but it can also be eye opening. Write down everything you purchase, even a cup of coffee or lottery ticket. You’ll soon see where your problem areas are and can address them.
Start or Rework a Budget
Everyone needs a budget. A budget allows you to control how much money you spend in certain areas. For example, instead of spending an unlimited amount on groceries, setting a budget forces you to really think about what your family needs and to get the items at the best price possible.
When you save money in one area, you have more money for another area – such as paying off debt or building your savings. If you already have a budget, determine why it’s not working. It may be that you limited yourself too much in one area or that you forgot to pay yourself.
Choose a Savings Plan
There are so many different savings plans to choose from. You may choose to put a percentage of your paycheck into savings each pay period or you may choose to deposit a certain amount each week. If you’ve never been good at saving money, consider the 52 Week Savings Plan. With this plan, you put $1 into savings during the first week of the year, $2 in during the second week, and so on until you reach week 52 and put $52 into your account. It’s simple, straight forward, and really adds up.
There are so many ways to cut back on spending. Some are so simple. For example, cut back on entertainment costs. Instead of going to the movies each week, utilize your Netflix or Hulu subscription. Instead of paying for cable, watch YouTube or another free service. Switch from Verizon to Straight Talk. There are so many simple things you can do to cut your bills by thousands of dollars each year.
Pay Off Debt
Last, but certainly not least, if you have debt this needs to be the year that you get rid of it. Do everything you can to make that happen. For example, take the money you saved by cutting back and use it to pay off debt. Did you know that the average satellite bill is $150 per month? If you cut the cord, you would save $1,800 in a year! That’s a huge amount to put towards debt.
Let this year be the year that you finally feel financially secure. Cut expenses so that you can have more money. Pay off debt so that you’re no longer trapped by it. Do what it takes to make the most of your income.