7 Financial Resolutions to Start 2018 Off Right

The holidays are over, which means it’s time to buckle down and take a serious look at your financial goals for 2018. Here are 7 financial resolutions for the New Year to help you get this year started off right.

Resolution 1: Track Your Expenses and Create a Budget

One of the first steps to understanding your finances is understanding how you spend your money. Take the time to track your expenses and really look at how you’re spending each dollar. Write down your monthly income in one column and then write down your monthly expenses in another column. If you’re spending more than you’re earning, take a closer look at where you can start to trim your expenses. Making a budget can help you develop a plan and stay on track.

Resolution 2: Invest in Your 401(k)

As you develop your budget, it is essential to find a way to save money for emergencies and for your retirement. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you can automatically deduct money from your paycheck and have it invested directly into your savings plan. Some employers will also match a certain percentage that you invest, so that’s a bonus! Investing in a 401(k) plan can also provide some long-term tax advantages, so not only are you saving for the future, you’re also helping your tax bill.

Resolution 3: Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

You’ve racked up a holiday credit card bill and now it’s time to pay it all off. Credit cards can come with high interest rates, so if you’re ready to tackle your debt, your credit card bill should be among the first places to look. Once you’ve covered your essential monthly expenses (like mortgage, utilities, food, etc.), try directing your extra income towards paying off your credit card debt.
 

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Resolution 4: Deposit a Certain Amount Every Month from Your Paycheck Directly to Your Savings Account

Like the automatic deductions for your 401(k), your employer can automatically direct a portion of your paycheck to a savings account of your choice. By automatically saving some of your paycheck, you are making your savings a priority. While you might feel the pinch at first, by building a solid budget you eventually won’t even notice the change and you will be well on your way to having a healthy emergency and retirement fund.

Resolution 5: Ask for a Raise

You’ve worked hard and shown your boss that you’re dedicated to your job and are a rock star. Now it’s time to ask your boss for a raise to match your performance. Take a moment to list out your accomplishments and develop your rationale for why you deserve a raise. Going through the process of talking to your boss about your compensation is a way to remind yourself just how skilled you are at your job and also get a few more dollars into your pocket. It’s a bonus if you can take the raise in income and send it all into savings or debt reduction!

Resolution 6: Close Unnecessary Accounts

Do you have money in multiple accounts? Keeping track of where your money is only gets more difficult if you have multiple accounts. Just remembering all your passwords gets to be tricky! Aim to streamline your accounts so that you can get a quick overview of your financial situation. Less time figuring out your accounts means more time working towards your financial goals.

Resolution 7: Forget About the Joneses

Everyone is trying to keep up with the neighbors, but a financial goal for you in the New Year should be to forget about what everyone else is doing and focus on your own financial health. Others might appear to be financially set, but instead, are actually racking up credit card bills and debt. Instead of wasting your money and energy trying to keep up with what other people have, focus on your own financial situation and positioning yourself to be wealthy and secure. Pretty soon, people will want to keep up with you!

Conclusion

The New Year is an opportune time to commit to your financial health. By sticking to even just a few of these resolutions, you can make 2018 the year that began your journey towards financial independence.

 

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Other articles that may interest you:
A New Way To Think About Spending
Seven Ways to Stick to Your Budget
How to Build Credit When You Are First Starting Out

This information is intended for informational and educational purposes only and not as legal advice. If you have concerns about your credit report, harassment, identity theft, illegal collections activity, garnishments, or property liens, you should consult an attorney who specializes in consumer rights and defense.

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