If your 2016 was a year filled with procrastination, you now have a great opportunity to turn over a new money management leaf in 2017 and take control of your finances. (You can do it!)
There is no better motivation to start managing your money better than embarking on the new year laser-focused on your own bottom line. Since the holiday season tends to involve a great deal of spending, whether on food and drink, gifts or a break away with the family, chances are you may want to tighten the purse strings come January. Keeping a new leaf turned for a whole twelve months might seem like a tricky task, but if you have the right mindset and put a solid plan into action, seeing the results of your new money management plan in just a few months will be entirely feasible!
Did you know that one-third of Americans plan to work until they die? According to BusinessInsider, the majority of Americans have a higher amount of debts than savings, and just 36 percent of us have $1,000 in a retirement savings account.
Instead of letting money woes hang over you into 2017, take a stand to pave the way for financial success.
- Organize Your Debts Sit down and ask yourself, “Which debts do I need to prioritize over others?” While it’s important that you clear up as much debt as possible, organizing arrears by interest rate will save you money in the long run. Stay on top of your minimum payments and keep in mind that not all debts will have the same impact on credit rating. A strict repayment strategy will prove your creditworthiness, therefore the more consistent you are in making payments, the easier it will be to manage your personal finances, and perhaps even refinance some of your debt at a lower interest rate.
- Utilize Software for Personal Money Management It’s easy to forget how much you’re spending on everyday things—until you realize how little you have left and long it is till payday. Something as simple as logging your expenditures will aid you in controlling expenditure, month after month. There are heaps of web apps and computer programs out there nowadays, each of which is designed to make finances centralized and visual, which translates to better overall spending habits.
- Invest in Your Retirement—Today America is facing a pension crisis, and a Social Security crisis, so it’s up to you to secure your own financial future. If, like many workers, your company doesn’t offer a 401(k), or if you just want an additional option, there are numerous tax advantages are associated with starting an IRA. This retirement funding strategy comprises various financial products, including market-based assets, bonds and even liquid, tangible assets like gold and silver.
In addition to taking (and sticking to) the above money management steps, you might also consider closing unnecessary accounts, as well as enrolling in an automatic savings plan. Clear goal definition, patience, and progress tracking are three essential secrets to achieving those life-altering changes.