8 Tips To Keep Those Pockets Flush In 2018
New Year’s resolutions might be cliché, but the end of the year still serves as a reminder to step back and reflect on time spent. And your spending habits are a good place to start.
We tend to romanticize life and try to convince ourselves it’s not all about money, but your financial well-being can either hinder or help you achieve your personal goals. Locking in sound financial habits will allow you to shift focus from the material to the spiritual. Here are 8 tips to bring in the New Year right:
- Take a look at your spending habits in 2017. Before you can change your financial situation, you first need to understand how you spent your money – you might be surprised. Start by printing out all your monthly bank statements. Then, grab a few different colors of highlighters, each color representing a different category (i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc.…), and start marking expenditures accordingly. Tally up each category for every month.
- See where you can make cuts to your spending. Did you spend more than you expected eating out? Or perhaps went on one too many shopping sprees? Maybe had too many overpriced coffees at Starbucks? Other areas you could possibly cut down on are groceries, cable, the internet, and your cell phone bill.
- Make a list of your debts. People sometimes forget to budget for debt, such as credit cards, student loans, and medical bills, simply because it’s difficult to keep track of amounts owed to so many different creditors – or they’re in denial. As unpleasant as the task may seem, list your debts with balances due along with minimum monthly payments.
- Write down your financial and personal goals for 2018. Because achieving your dreams (maybe you want to travel more or go back to school) can be hindered by your finances, listing personal ambitions along with financial goals can put things into perspective and serve as motivation to stick to wise spending habits.
- Make a solid budget that is both realistic and goal-oriented. After listing your personal and financial goals for 2018 and reviewing your spending habits, it’s time to create a budget. Be realistic. For example, if you were spending 600 dollars on groceries each month, don’t suddenly cut your food budget to 200 dollars and expect to stick with it. Rather, reduce your food budget gradually to see what limit is right for you. Additionally, your budget should reflect your goals. If you want to pay off your student loans, for instance, you’ll have to make room to pay more than the monthly minimum.
- Create an emergency fund. Life is unpredictable. Building up an emergency fund for the unexpected, such as medical treatment, natural disasters, and home repairs, can protect you from snowballing debt.
- Consider how you can create other sources of income. Americans carry debt far in excess of their annual income. If you want to make room for your ambitions, you might want to consider taking on a few side jobs to generate additional income. For instance, you could use your skills to freelance on the side, such as tutoring or writing.
- Talk to your friends and family about your financial goals. More often than not, our friends and family can influence the way we spend our time and our money. Having an open discussion about your budgetary constraints with your loved ones can facilitate the supportive, temptation-free environment needed to achieve your financial goals.
If you find your personal goals are being pushed aside to satisfy your creditors, New Era Debt Solutions may be able to help you achieve a clean slate in 2018. New Era is a debt settlement company that helps people dramatically reduce their debt obligation to secure their financial independence. Since 1999, we have settled over $200 million in debt for our clients.
To see if debt settlement is right for you, contact us or fill out the form on this page for your free debt analysis.