The New Year is the best time to take stock of your finances. So, as you begin the season of self-reflection and goal-making, take the time to review your spending and start making plans for a financially healthy 2020! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start with your goals—Record what you want to achieve. Is it paying off credit card debt? Buying a home? Saving more for retirement or your child’s college fund? To achieve goals, you must first get specific and then plan your attack.
- Make a budget—Creating a budget allows you to identify where you might be overspending. Take some time to review year-end credit card reports, for example, to help pinpoint spending leaks.
- Check in on your credit rating—If you’ve ignored your credit score for some time, it’s probably time to check in. Request a free credit report and review it for potential issues. It’s better to find them now and work to correct mistakes before they turn into something big down the road.
- Identify cut-backs—Don’t go crazy and deprive yourself, which is the fastest way to fall off the wagon. Instead, identify easier, more digestible cut-backs. For example, plan one stay-cation this year where you and your family spend quality time at home. Or, instead of joining an expensive gym, create an exercise plan that you can execute on your own or with friends. You can also cut out small purchases, like that daily latte from an expensive café chain.
- Cut the cable cord—While this could be listed under “Identify cut-backs,” we thought it deserved a little spotlighting. Cable services can be very expensive. And with all the cost-effective streaming services available today, do you really need it? Consider dumping your cable and replacing it with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or even a digital antenna.
- Bulk up your HSA—Adding a little extra to your Health Savings Account is a tax-savvy way to save for future medical expenses. Check with us for current HSA contribution limits.
- Educate yourself—There are a lot of outstanding finance-based podcasts out there. Do some research to identify a few and then subscribe. Education is the key to smart financial action.
Start 2020 out right and get on track for a financially healthy year. Let us know if we can help you with your planning.