The New Year is a time of renewal; use it to make wise financial changes. If you’re looking for resolutions to improve your personal finances, check out these seven ways to make 2019 the year of the dollar:
Track your spending
Determine where your money goes and carefully record every dollar you spend for a month. Keeping track of where your money ends up may ultimately encourage you to spend more judiciously.
Make a budget
About 70% of Americans live financially spontaneous lives, without planned spending. This is a circular problem: if your budget doesn’t include setting aside money for long-term expenses and savings, you’ll end up spending everything on unplanned items and events. Stop the cycle by creating a budget that modifies your spending to be more in line with your priorities.
Get out of debt
The biggest stumbling block to financial security and saving toward long-term goals is debt. Make the move toward debt reduction this year by adding an extra $50 or $100 to your credit card payments. Alternatively, focus all your payment resources on the highest-interest debt until it’s paid off, then move on to the next highest.
Start an emergency fund
The best way to avoid going into debt is to have some money available to handle the occasional, yet inevitable, emergency. Set a specific goal, like adding $10 per month to a savings account. At the end of the year, you’ll have more than $100 available in case something goes wrong.
Start a retirement account
When you have a retirement account, your monthly statements serve as reminders to think about and plan for your retirement. The challenge, though, is taking that first step. Don’t get hung up on perfection; any kind of retirement account is better than none. If your job offers a 401(k) matching program, sign up to get at least the full matching funds amount – it’s free money. Do a bit of research, then open the account that works best for you.
Automate your savings
Fighting that impulse to spend what you’ve earmarked for savings is a constant struggle; it’s easiest to take the decision out of your hands. Change your direct deposit to put some of your paycheck into a savings account, so you won’t even think about spending it impulsively.
Knowledge is power, and that’s especially true in the world of personal finance. There’s a lot of information out there. Resolving to read one personal-finance article a week will give you great ideas for improving your financial situation.
TruMark Financial has a number of savings options to help you reach your goals. Stop by to let us assist you today.