The New Year is a clean slate for a fresh start for many aspects of life. With the next 12 months at your feet, the beginning of the year is the best time to start implementing strategies to tackle goals. Here are a few money moves to make this year to better your finances.
Stick to a Budget
Create or re-evaluate a budget that you can stick to throughout the year. Look for any expenses that might have crept up from the last year. Take a look for any ways to cut down on your budget. Review all services as you may be paying too much and should shop around. With any extra cash you are able to save, start planning on where that money goes.
Pay Yourself First
Paying bills before paying yourself is part of being an adult. However, I can’t disagree enough with that philosophy. Paying yourself first is a must in 2017. If you don’t think you can afford to pay yourself, treat it like a bill. On the 1st paycheck of the month you have to PAY YOURSELF. Doesn’t matter what amount you start with. Getting use to the habit is what is most important
Maintain Good Health
What is the use of making it to retirement age but being bed ridden to the point you can’t enjoy life fully? Start making smart decisions this year by living a health conscious life. Limit sodium intake. Stay off too much fast food. And of course visit your doctor often and put that insurance to work. You will thank yourself later in life.
Push Your Emergency & Saving
Emergencies are bound to happen no matter what. Set new goals for your emergency and/or savings so that any emergency that may come your way is handled easily. Move out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. No one will ever say, “I saved too much.”
Max Out 401(k) Matching Programs
Last year thousands of employees did not max out their 401(k) matching programs. This is the equivalent to leaving free money on the table. If you were one of those people that left the money on table make this year different. Talk to your human resource department to request your 401(k) percentage be moved to the same amount for the matching program. For example: If your employer offers 6% matcher contribution you should set your 401(k) withdrawal to 6% minimum.
Set Financial goals
It’s imperative to set financial goals and write them down. Think of what you want to accomplish financially short and long term. Whether you want to pay off a credit balance. Start investing in bonds, mutual funds or stocks. Buy a home or new car. Write down each goal and hang it on the wall you pass by often. If you need some ideas check out my 2017 goals.
Start Giving Back
This tip isn’t just here for the tax benefit. Get involved with a charity that is close to your heart. You can donate money but also your time and resources. The benefit to your outlook on life will change for the better while helping others. Everybody wins.
Meet With a Finance Professional
Insight is information beyond the obvious. It’s common knowledge to save money, spend less and invest. But take it an extra step and sit down with a professional for a review of your finance situation. They not only provide their expertise but an objective outlook to bring you closer to your goals.
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