4 New Year’s Resolutions You Need to Have
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of my favorite times of the year. The craziness of Christmas is finally over and the new year hasn’t yet started. This is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the past year and set new goals and resolutions for the year ahead.
Related: If you need some tips for the new year, check out 39 of them here.
I like to have my goals for the new year all figured out before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. This way I can get a good start on them from day 1 of the new year. Typically I set goals for a few different areas in my life, including my health, my wealth, and my happiness. While all of these things can be inter-connected, I still try to set separate goals for each of these areas.
When it comes to wealth, there are many different types of goals you might have depending on your personal finance situation. Here are 4 different financial New Year’s resolutions to consider if you want to get your finances in order this next year. Remember, setting goals is very personal, so do what’s best for you and your situation. These are just areas that can make a big impact on your financial situation.
Set up a Budget
Oh no – it’s the dreaded B-word – Budget! Living on a budget shouldn’t be something you dread or hate. Instead a budget should be viewed as a tool to help you use your money wisely for things you really want or need. I started living on a budget nearly 2 years ago, and even though I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m credit card debt free (like Grayson), I know my life is already better because of my budget.
If you’re not sure how to start a budget, check out some of these sites. Grayson recommends Personal Capital, but if you really want to run a budget, then Mint.com or You Need a Budget would be a better bet. You should choose a budgeting method that works best for you and one you can stick to. You can also just start with a simple budget calculator.
Pay off Debt – for Good
Many people go through cycles of having debt and paying if off over and over again in their lives. If you are one of those people, or if you are in debt and ready to make a change, perhaps 2016 is the year to commit to finally paying off your debt for good.
The important aspect of paying off debt is just starting to do it. Whether you choose the debt snowball or avalanche, you need to just pick one and start. You can always change your method throughout your debt payoff. Take some time to read the many articles on Debt Roundup about fighting debt. It’s a very important topic here and one near to Grayson. He battled over $75,000 of consumer debt and won. It can be done!
Start Saving for Emergencies
Before I started reading personal finance blogs, I had no idea that having an emergency fund would bring me so much peace. My emergency fund is still small because I’ve got debt to pay off, but it’s enough to help me have more peace of mind and restful sleep knowing that if something goes wrong I have money stashed away for that very purpose and I won’t have to take on more debt.
Did you know you can actually save money while paying off debt? This is a method Grayson used during his debt repayment and it worked well for him. It’s not for everyone, but if you try to find ways to save money, you can switch your mindset from a spender to a saver. Always try to believe the impossible is possible when it comes to debt and saving!
Take some time in the new year (or today) to read over some of the articles specifically around saving money. You might be leaving savings opportunities on the table without even knowing it. If you don’t think you can save any money, try a little harder. Sign up for Digit (a free saving app) and see what it does for you. Just try it for one month and see if you do have room to save. If you d, then learn how to create savings buckets to further your goal. You’d be amazed how effective they can be!
Find Ways to Make More Money
When I set up my first budget template in January 2014, I found out that after the minimum payments on my debt, my mortgage, my utilities, and other monthly bills, I had almost no money leftover for things like groceries, gas, and entertainment. This is when I decided I had to find ways to make more money. Luckily, my blog brought me some great opportunities and now I’m earning nearly double what I was at that point 2 years ago. But you don’t have to be a blogger in order to make more money. You can do something else instead, like taking on a part-time job, asking for a raise at work, or babysitting in the evenings and on weekends.
There are so many ways to make money both online and offline. Look at all the money making articles on Debt Roundup and you might be amazed at what you can do. Here are 7 ways you can make money this weekend alone! Come on, if you have some spare time this weekend, then you can earn extra money.
No matter which of these 4 financial New Year’s resolutions you choose to set for 2016, you’ll be taking that first crucial step in the right direction. While you can choose one of these four, the biggest hurdle is sticking to the one you choose. Heck, you might even choose all four to tackle and that might be a little too ambitious. Having said that, all of these are necessary to have a sound financial plan for yourself.