It’s already November which means two things: the season of giving is fast approaching and the year is coming to a close. As the calendar will soon turn to 2018, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and make the incoming year a more financially stable one.
Quick question though: were you able to keep up with your 2017 resolutions? If not, it’s never too late to make things right and with the new year just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to make a change.
Your resolutions can be anything from limiting your daily morning run to your go-to coffee shop or saving up for retirement. If you’re still thinking what financial resolutions should you finally make, here are 6 things to add to your financial resolutions list:
Start tracking your expenses
Bought a new backpack? Note it down. Saw a screening with a friend and a dinner right after? Note. It. Down. Whatever and how much comes in and out of your pocket, take note of it and list it down. Tracking your expenses to save more is just as important as counting your calories to reach your desired weight.
Pay off your debt
When it comes to paying off your debt, it weighs more to think smart in strategizing how you’ll go about paying off your debts. If you can seek refinancing options for your loans, see to it that you try and discuss that with the lender. In addition, when you get that extra cash, don’t repay all of it to only one of your debts, divide it and repay; and make sure that you strategize in restructuring your repayments so most of it goes to the principal, not the interest.
Make your payments automated
Paying your bills can be stressful for it reminds you of your financial responsibilities that you work hard to fulfill. It can be a headache and a hassle to get in line to pay these bills; and even more so when you forget to.
Make bills and other payments easier and less stressful by adapting automatic billing. This will not only make payments easier but also help you in terms of budgeting—making sure that you put bills payments first and foremost before spending a chunk of your paycheck on unnecessary expenses.
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Alter your mindset
The key to achieving your financial resolution is to have a strong sense of discipline. With this comes training your mindset on what to prioritize and account for financial literacy. Know what works for your financial situation and make it a habit to budget, repay your debts, spend less and save more, and track your finances.
Start saving for retirement
No matter how young or old you are, it’s never too late or too early to save for retirement. Retirement contributions that are deducted out of your paycheck is a helpful way to ensure you have money saved for your future. Since this is automated and done monthly, you won’t have any bit of chance to spend it before you save it. If you can increase your contributions, do so if possible.
Build an emergency fund
Without a well-built emergency fund, you may find yourself in great hardship comes an unexpected emergency or need for extra cash. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is difficult and stressful since you’re constantly worrying about how you’d go paying your bills, repaying debts, coming to work, and the likes. This is a financial risk that could lead you to more problems in the future.
Prior to building your emergency fund, identify your source of income. Then comes budgeting, tracking your expenses, and saving. Categorize and allocate money for your expenses. Whenever you get a bonus or extra cash, automatically put it in your emergency fund. An iPhone can wait, savings need to be prioritized.
Financial resolutions won’t work without putting commitment and discipline into it. Make 2018 the year where you can finally and confidently say you’re financially healthy. Track your progress and remember to stick to your goals. Good luck on your financial endeavor!