Before you know it, the New Year will be here, so now is the perfect time to make those financial resolutions that we seldom make time for. We tend to think about our health, our weight or other goals, but we really should focus on how to make our finances work for us and our family. I’ve found that learning to manage your money gives you great peace of mind, something that also affects your health and well being. It’s a win-win!
Don’t know where to even begin? No worries!
7 financial resolutions for greater peace of mind
Here are 7 financial resolutions that you can make right now to make this the best year ever:
- Spend less than you earn. Sounds easy enough but we all know how hard it is to manage our finances. Make it a goal to always save part of your monthly income, even if it’s a small amount.
- Make a realistic budget. Use an app or create a spreadsheet in which you can itemize your monthly expenses. Review your expenses over the past three months and you can set an average monthly goal. Always create a line item for unexpected expenses, such as doctor visits or car repairs. This budget will provide you with a roadmap that can help guide you each month.
- Pay off debt. Make a plan to pay off any debts you have on a regular basis so you’re not stuck with accumulating interest rates that only make you owe even more money. Try working out payment plans with those companies or institutions you owe money to. You can also use a free app that helps you organize your plan of action called Ready for Zero.
- Track your spending. Write down every single expense so you can see where your money is going. It might surprise you! If you use a credit card, many can provide you with a category breakdown so you can evaluate whether you’re spending too much in one area.
- Contribute regularly to your savings account. Don’t have one yet? It’s so easy to open a savings account that there are no excuses. Many banks even allow you to open one online! Experts recommend saving at least 10% of your monthly income.
- Get advice from the experts, especially when it comes to taxes. You want to make sure you get the biggest refund possible.
- Improve your credit score. Your credit history is key, especially when the time comes to buy or lease a car, and rent or buy property. It affects your mortgage rates, your credit cards and some employers might even run a credit check before considering you for a specific job. Don’t know your score? Obtain your credit report (you can get it for free here) and check whether there are any errors that might be affecting your credit score. Many people have realized that they’ve become victims of identity theft when they see credit cards they didn’t apply for on their reports, so make sure you recognize what has been included in your report. To improve your score, remember to keep your balances low in proportion to your overall credit limit. Also, only apply for the credit you need.
Do you have any other financial resolutions for this year? What are your goals to improve the way you manage your family’s finances? I’d love to read what you have to say in the comments below.