At the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions but don’t always stick to them. Creating a budget is one of the most common New Year’s goals, but when it comes down to it, managing personal finances can be overwhelming.
With a bit of planning, some good advice, and self-discipline, you can be well on your way to achieving your financial goals this year. The key is being realistic and using a system that works. Here are 5 tips to help you make your resolution a success.
Set Realistic Financial Goals
Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Start by listing all the areas of your financial situation you would like to improve, then prioritize them in order of importance. As an example, if one of your goals is to pay off a credit card, take a look at how much debt you have and create a realistic weekly or monthly plan to start paying it off.
Set Up a Savings Account
Pay yourself first by setting up a high-interest savings account. Then, set up automatic transfers from each paycheck into this account. Make sure the amount you choose is affordable for you. Even $10 a week can help you save over $500 a year!
Be Aware of Your Spending
The best way to cut down your spending is to really get to know where your money is going. Write down what you spend money on each week and see where you can cut back. You can look through past bank statements to get the bigger picture when it comes to your spending habits and start growing your savings.
Set and Track Your Budget Monthly
By now, you probably know some budgeting basics and know how to budget for necessities like groceries and housing. Where many people mismanage their budget is when it comes to other expenses such as doctor/dentist visits, car inspections/repairs and new clothing. Consider using an app to help you manage your monthly budget and track both expected and unexpected expenses.
Know yourself and your habits. If you know you are someone who gets overwhelmed and has a hard time getting back on track, you might want to think about sharing your goals with a friend or family member and set times to check in with them and go over your progress.
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