Just like so many who commit to exercise and dieting as a New Year’s resolution, it’s also a good idea to take stock of your financial situation and add some fiscal goals. Taking a good look into your overall savings plan, wasteful spending, and debt can help you get your financial health in tip-top shape.
Here’s a list of five valuable exercises you can do to make sure you’re closer to where you want to be financially by this time next year.
Cut wasteful spending. This may seem like an obvious choice but for many, it can be a hard one! The first step is to establish what you’re spending money on, and apps like BillGuard, Penny, and Level Money can help. They can link your accounts, track your credit card purchases and cash withdrawals, and then categorize them into types of spending. Then, you can cut back on unnecessary purchases.
Create a cushion in your savings. An easy way to save more for emergency expenses is to start using and/or adjusting automatic transfer features on your bank account. These features allow you to push your money from recurring deposits into designated savings accounts and takes the guesswork out of saving.
Get a handle on credit card debt. If you have multiple credit cards, you may want to consolidate to one or two cards. Start by transferring your balances to your card with the lowest interest rate. Then, challenge yourself to lower these balances by spending only cash on everything you purchase for an entire month and see how it affects your spending habits.
Improve your credit rating. Whether you’re looking to buy a new home, rental property, car, or solar panels, you don’t want to be surprised by a low credit score and higher interest rates. Make it a priority over the next 12 months to research your credit report, make sure everything is accurate, and work to improve it.
Protect your estate. If you don’t have an estate plan, now’s the time to create one. If you already have one, now may be the time to make sure it’s up to date. Life changes can alter your estate wishes and should be addressed in your estate documents as they happen to ensure that you’re always prepared. Give the office a call if you have had any changes to your situation to ensure you are properly covered.
You work hard for your money, and by doing these financial exercises, it will work just as hard for you!