It’s that time of year again, when we look back at the past twelve months and make decisions about the upcoming ones. It’s easy to make the same resolutions over and over, but harder to stick to them. Here are some tips to help you have a better financial year in 2020, resolutions or not!
1. Make the decision to save.
It’s hard to save money. There’s always something to spend it on, and it’s tempting to put it off until the next check, and the next. Think of savings less as something separate and more as a fixed monthly expense. Lump it into your bills and put it aside before it even reaches your budget; savings are really just bills we pay ourselves! Start small, and grow the amount you put aside each paycheck if it doesn’t cut into your lifestyle. You may find it helps your overall well-being as well; cut out the daily coffee and spend more time doing free activities, and you’ll feel better in general!
2. Plan ahead.
Plan for next Christmas now. That may sound drastic, but now is the best time; remember how much you spent this December? If you put aside a little each month, you’ll have a much easier time next Christmas. Alternatively, pick up presents when you see them to spread the cost out over the year, or make a list on your phone and buy things on sales, like Black Friday. Plan for expenses you know are coming up, like weddings or vacations.
3. Deep clean your finances.
January is the time to sit down and look at how last year’s budget worked. Did it? If you didn’t stick to it, maybe it was too strict, or it didn’t cover everything that it needed to. Project your yearly expenses and note down things you know are coming up, such as family get-togethers, holidays, birthdays, and vacations. Talk to your partner and make sure you’re on the same page about what you spent last year, and what your goals are for this year.
4. Think about the future.
It’s important to have a goal. Whether that’s to pay off loans, get out from under debts, of saving a certain amount by a certain time, having something to work towards is a great motivator. Where do you want to be next year? How about in five years? Ten? If you think you might want to buy a house, it’s a good idea to start building or repairing credit and putting aside money for the down payment. Don’t forget to build yourself an emergency fund, as well; it should have enough money to support you and your family for 3-6 months, just in case.
Whether you’re making resolutions or just a promise to yourself, 2020 is the year to get financially fit and start achieving all your money goals! What are you working towards? Got any saving tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!