Looking for a New Year’s resolution? How about breaking some of those bad spending habits? Nothing wrong with ringing in the new year with more cash in your pockets, right?! Here’s 7 tips to help set up your 2019 finances for success.
1) Visualize your goals
Before you take action, visualize what you want your financial future to look like. Is your goal to buy a new car, your first home, or to just save more money? Once you can actually picture your future in a positive light, you’re more likely to push towards the path needed to achieve them.
2) Identify what’s not working
Next, take a look at your past financial wins and losses. Evaluate what you did right and take a closer look at the areas that may need improvement. Has overspending been an issue? Were you late on any of your bills, or always right on time? What about saving for retirement; are you happy with your current contribution? Once you realize what is, and is not working, you can create a game plan to start making improvements.
3) Cut costs
One of the major money issues almost all of us are guilty of from time-to-time is overspending. Even if you’re not trying to be wasteful, the higher costs associated with not shopping around, having bad credit or not being enrolled in a solid student loan repayment plan can all cause you to shell out more money than you may need to each month. To cut costs, take a look at where your money is currently going and spot any areas where you could be saving. Eating out often? Shop sales and eat at home. Spending $5 bucks a day on specialty coffee? Brew at home to save more than half that cost. Next, take a look at your bills and see if you can get a better deal. Cable, internet and even car insurance can all be negotiated. If you’ve been a loyal customer, call your current company and request a discount. If they say no, shop around for a better rate. You may be surprised to see how much cash you could be saving on the bills you already owe. A similar concept can be performed for student loan debt. If your payments are breaking your New Year’s budget, consider a consolidation. Those who qualify for an income-driven repayment program could see their payments drop to as low as $0 per month. To find out which plans may be available to you, check out Docupop. They can help you better understand your options to find the right repayment plan for your unique budget.
4) Build a supportive community
No matter how dedicated you are to your financial future, it’s difficult to thrive without a supportive network. Sit down with family and friends, and encourage one another to share your goals for 2019. Rather than leaving each person to figure things out on their own, come up with steps and strategies for how to get there together. The more supportive you are towards one another, the easier it is to get closer to the goals you might be after.
5) Visualize your goals daily
Did you know that simply visualizing your goals may actually help you achieve them sooner? That’s how powerful our brains are. Take advantage of this! Make your goals a reality in your mind, write them down, and say them out loud everyday. Before you know it, you’ll start crossing things off of your wishlist sooner rather than later.
6) Use educational tools
Whether you love to read, listen to podcasts, or watch something on a screen, there are plenty of FUN educational opportunities to help you achieve the final future you want. A personal development book can teach you how to make strong connections, while a money management podcast can teach you how to pay off debt in the most efficient way.
7) Set time aside for YOU
Sometimes we focus so much on our big, ‘to-do’s,’ that we forget about ourselves. A good balance is key to not only conquering your goals but to also staying healthy while on your path to success. This year, take a break to focus on yourself for a bit. Allow at least 10 minutes each day to relax on your own. Take a walk on your work break, read a book before bed or listen to your favorite song in a quiet place. You might be surprised to find just how far 10 minutes of relaxation can go.