Time for a New Year's Financial Resolution
It's almost that time again to make a resolution...if you're into that kind of thing. Even if you're not, it's a good excuse to make positive changes in your life. Most people resolve to eat better or exercise. But what a lot of us probably should do is resolve to improve our financial situations because study after study shows that people think about finances all the time. And being in a bad financial situation can be detrimental to our health and our lives in general.
So make 2016 YOUR year to become financially healthy or improve your finances in some way. Here are some ideas:
- Create a budget so you're aware of what you're spending and any changes you might need to make...then stick to your budget.
- Start a savings account and shoot for $25/per pay period or whatever is affordable for you.
- Already have savings? Increase your savings. Choose a goal and a deadline like: "I will save an additional $500 by June 2016".
- Increase your retirement savings contributions.
- Reduce dining out, coffee shop coffee, etc. Every time you skip it, set aside $5, $10, or the amount of your choice into savings. Either leave it just to build up emergency savings or if you already have a safety net, keep some in savings and use a portion of what you save up to buy something for yourself.
- Stop charging on credit cards and cut them up if you have to. Or, only charge what you can pay in full each time.
- Pay extra toward your debt each month to pay it off sooner and save money in interest charges. If you make spending cuts, think about using that money to pay down debt.
- Want to go on a tropical vacation next year? Start saving NOW to pay for your trip without having to charge it.
This is just a handful of ideas to improve your bottom line. Sit down and think about what YOUR financial goals are and pick a resolution that will help you reach your goal. If you pick one goal or four, just remember to write it (or them) down and keep it visible.
If you can, find a friend or family member that is working toward a goal as well and check in on progress with each other. You will find that accountability helps keep you on track...and support from a good friend never hurts either.
If your goal is to conquer your debt and you're not sure where to start, giving LSS a call is a great first step. Our counselors will work with you on creating a realistic budget and will explain your options for debt repayment. After a session, you will have a plan of action with tangible steps to help you pay off your debt for good. Call us at 888.577.2227 or start your online counseling session right now from the comfort of your home. We can help you make 2016 the best year yet.
Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.