The New Year is right around the corner, and with it comes a new financial you! As you write your list of goals for 2019, take money into consideration. While a new year isn't always a clean slate, it is an opportunity to make positive changes – changes that will help you make and save more. And, unlike fad diets and crazy gym routines, financial resolutions are easy to make and stick with. They also provide big rewards for little effort!
Make 2019 your best financial year yet by following these seven simple financial resolutions:
Seven Simple Financial Resolutions
1. Cancel Subscriptions
Do you actually need Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now? Does your Amazon package really need to arrive on your doorstep in two days? Subscriptions like these are usually automatically paid from our checking accounts, making them easy to forget, and those $10 subscription fees add up over time. If you're not using the service enough to get your money's worth, cut the cost and unsubscribe!
2. Pay Down Debt
Instead of treating yourself to a fancy meal or a new outfit every time you earn extra cash, put that money toward paying off existing debts! It's not as exciting in the moment, but paying off your credit card or loans earlier than expected will be far more satisfying than the prime rib or new sweater.
3. Eat In
We all have to eat, but you don't need to eat out at a restaurant for every meal. When you eat out, you're paying for labor as well as the meal. Put the work in yourself instead and save a lot of cash! While the total at the grocery store might seem like a lot at first, that money goes a lot farther than if you divided it up into restaurant meals. It's also a great opportunity to reevaluate your diet choices and eat cleaner as well as cheaper.
4. Pay Bills Right Away
There are multiple benefits to paying your bill as soon as your statement comes. For one, you're less likely to forget a due date and incur a late payment fee. It also allows you to more accurately budget your remaining funds. With your bills out of the way, you can look at what's left and make a plan for that money – a plan that involves saving more than you have in the past!
5. Make A Budget
This is perhaps the hardest, but the most important, resolution you should make. Budgets are crucial to a healthy financial future. The process of making a budget is actually quite easy – take your income, subtract all your monthly bills, set a portion aside for savings, and make a plan for spending the rest. It's sticking to that budget that's hard. There are so many temptations – drinks with friends, shopping sprees, spontaneous vacations. Instead of caving in, choose a few big-ticket purchases or trips and work those into your budget so you have something to work toward and look forward to!
6. Ask For That Raise
It's surprising how many people make less than they're worth because they don't advocate for themselves. If you have put in the work and can show positive results, don't be afraid to start a conversation with your supervisor about your compensation. Before you ask, do your research. Find out what other people in your position with the same experience make, and make a sample budget with your desired salary to make sure you're asking for enough to make a difference.
7. Embrace Minimalism
Cutting things out of your life can be as helpful to your financial bottom line as cutting out spending. There are lots of online opportunities for selling items from your home or closet that you no longer have use for. Instead of holding onto things, see them as an income opportunity instead! As you rid your space of the clutter, you'll find yourself embracing your new, simpler space and rethinking frivolous purchases.
As you countdown to 2019, take a moment to evaluate your current finances, create goals for the new year, and resolve to be a better financial you in the New Year. Your 2020 financial self will definitely thank you!