Ah, the New Year! For many, it’s a fresh start, a time when we’re more optimistic, open to change, and motivated to improve our lives for the better: it’s also, for many of us, a time of reevaluation.
One area the New Year marks a great opportunity to review and improve upon, is our finances. Now that 2014 has arrived, here’s to starting fresh with four financial tips for a happier and fiscally sound year ahead...
- Make a Plan and Set Goals – Do you have a financial plan? If the answer is no, the New Year is a great time to create one. Afterward, set financial goals for you and your household – and they don’t have to be big picture. Start small. Whether you want to increase your savings in the coming year, or simply start paying off that debt, set realistic goals you can achieve and commit to.
- Reevaluate Last Year – Life is ever-changing and your financial state this year may look nothing like last year’s, but it never hurts to reevaluate where you were – and where you want to be. If you’ve changed jobs, gotten married or had a child, these things can affect your financial state moving forward. Review and incorporate your findings into your financial plan for 2014.
- Make a Spending Plan – Personal Finance 101: spend less money than you earn. At times, however, the number one rule of thumb isn’t always that easy to adhere to. If you don’t already have a spending plan in place, consider beginning to track your expenses on a monthly basis. Start with the basics – your income and expenses – and from there, determine how much is left for spending.
- Educate Yourself – Today, there are numerous ways to educate yourself on personal finances through the wealth of knowledge available from reputable sources online. So take advantage of budget tools and advice to keep your finances in a healthy state! Understanding your financial needs will only help you in the long run, no matter whether it’s regarding saving, budgeting or a mortgage.