We are in the last few days of 2016, and if you have not started your New Year’s resolutions you still have time. One of the most common resolutions usually features some form of monetary gain. In fact, in a survey conducted by GOBankingRates, researchers found that saving more money in the new year was in most people’s top five. What most people fail to do though is expand on a lot of those financial resolutions. The new year is approaching quick make sure you get out in front of any financial burden you may have.
So, where do you start when building your financial resolutions list? That first thing you should do is take note of your fiscal year as a whole. Look at your budget (if you made one). Next take a look at your salary. Was it enough to sustain you? Were you in the red more than you wanted to be? Maybe there is something that you could switch around or change that could help you in the next year. After breaking down your year you should make resolutions that are specific to what you want to accomplish.
First things first you need to start saving
This is one of the most common financial resolutions that people have. Saving money, if you do not monitor your habits, can be one of the most difficult things in the world. So, what can you do to make it an easy transition? First and foremost, do not jump in the pool without testing the water first. What we mean is, you do not need to go full throttle when you start saving your money. Most of the time when people do this they tend to veer off shortly after. Instead of trying to save a large lump sum of money, instead, save a little over an extended time period of time.
For example, you could try doing a variation of the 52 Week Money Savings Challenge. Basically each week you save a portion of your income, and at the end of the year, you will have a large lump sum of money. Whether you are stashing it in your mattress or opening an IRA, the bottom line is, save you money.
In 2017 we all need to live within our means
No, we did not intentionally write that in rhyme. Seriously, though, many people need to add this financial resolution to their list. A big problem that people have is spending money they do not have. Have you ever had to decide whether or not you would rather eat noodles for two weeks or use those decorative candles for light? Most likely it was due to the fact that you went to that festival all three days and spent a large portion of your money. Most likely you were living without any regard to tomorrow’s bills.
If you feel as though you are pressured into buying things because you see them or it is the newest version, stop. You have a problem and to need help. We are just joking. Seriously though Americans in general waste their money of frivolous items why not cut some of them out to have a solid fiscal year. Who are you trying to keep up with?
This is the most important financial resolution of all
In 2017, you have to take care of any outstanding bills that you have. This goes double for you students. Ideally, you do not want to go into a new year with a mountain of debt. But for most of us, this is easier said than done. At the top of the year tax season will be in full tilt; this year should use your refund on bills you have compiled throughout the year. Judging by what you are able to receive this year you could potentially put a dent in a lot of those unwanted bills. Just think of it, no more using one credit card to pay off another. No more blocking calls from collection agencies.
This year you could have the most financially liberated life, but you have to work for it. Will it come easily? Of course, not. But you have the power to change everything that is wrong financially in your life. You just need to be committed to your goal at the end of the year. Out with the old financial lifestyle and in the with the new.
Join our newsletter
If you like Critical Financial, subscribe and get our latest content via email.