We are officially into the first month of the near year. It’s a refreshing time of renewal of self. It’s when we explore what went right for us in the past 12 months as well as a time of reflection on what we wish we’d done differently.
Health and finance tend to be the top two contenders for the areas that need the most improvement in our lives. Getting healthy is pretty black and white for most of us – eat better, exercise, and drink more water. However, learning how to get control of our finances can be a little more complex. But, what better time to start improving your money habits than at the start of the year?
Here are our top focus areas to get your finances together this year!
Change your mindset
Getting control of your finances is not within our reach. As with anything in life, you have the ability to do better with your money by first changing your mindset about money. What’s your current approach towards how you think about your finances? Do you dread paying bills or avoid addressing the amount of debt you owe? Do you regularly save money, only to tap into your savings over and over again?
With an honest evaluation, I’m sure that you will find some area of our finances that cause you to pause.
When you start seeing money as a resource, as an instrument, and not just as a means to an end, you will be empowered to be a better steward of it. Money is nothing more than a tool. One that you can master. Don’t make it be more than that. See it as the vehicle that helps you live a life you love. When you’ve changed your mindset you’ll want to be more intentional about how you handle it.Money is nothing more than a tool. One that you can master. Don't make it be more than that. See it as the vehicle that helps you live a life you love. Click To Tweet
Without a clearly defined end goal… it’s difficult to know where you’re going or what you’re trying to achieve. Let last year be the last year that your neglect your finances. It’s not enough to want to do better. It’s time to do better.
Create a plan that will help you execute your goals and start seeing results.
Each goal should be clear and realistic. Don’t make general statements like “I want to save more this year”. Instead, the goal should be specific and measurable, “I will save $1200 this year by putting away $50 per pay period through an auto-draft to my savings account”. See the difference. With a workable goal you now know exactly what you need to do to make it happen.Let last year be the last year that your neglect your finances. It's not enough to want to do better. It's time to do better. Click To Tweet
Create a Budget
Let’s be honest: Most of us think that creating an annual budget and tracking our spending is a chore. We tend to think of putting limits on our money as restrictive and unnecessary. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Implementing a budget and taking control of your money can be empowering and eye-opening.
You may discover poor spending habits that you didn’t even realize you had or areas where you could cut back to stash money for other goals that you’ve been putting off. The basic premise behind budgeting is simple. The goal is for you to spend less than you make. Once you have a clear and thorough picture of what’s coming in and going out of your bank account, you’ll be able to better understand any changes that need to be made.Once you have a clear and thorough picture of what's coming in and going out of your bank account, you'll be able to better understand any changes that need to be made. Click To Tweet
Unless you hit the lottery, reducing your debt is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process implemented over time. When you reduce the amount of debt you owe to creditors, you free up financial resources for unexpected expenses or emergencies. It also doesn’t hurt that you also get a boost in your credit score along the way.
Tip: If you have ‘old debt’ that you’ve been avoiding but you’re finally ready to tackle. Consider contacting your bank to discuss debt consolidation loans or look into researching the process of a debt settlement – which is when you’re able to pay less than what was originally owed on the account to satisfy the debt – with this website debtsettlement.co.