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6 Financial Resolutions for 2019

December 7, 2018 | By Louis Tully

It’s that time of year again: a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and to finally commit to that new weight watcher’s program you swore you were going to try. At New Year’s, we all want to jump at the opportunity to better ourselves in some way; whether that’s starting a diet, committing to exercise more, or doing things differently in general (like becoming a vegan). But what about your financial resolutions? If car title loans are what’s kept your finances afloat this year, it may be time to come with a new financial plan. This New Year’s, why not switch gears and put your focus on the stuff that’s paying for that gym membership or that new weight watchers scale? If you can stay on top of your financial game, you’ll find it easier to stay on top of everything else too. Here are 6 financial resolutions you could try in 2019.

Work Out Your Budget Plan

Despite what others might say, financial wellness isn’t about the size of your paycheck; it’s about how you manage them. When it comes to financial success, budgeting is king. For 2019, make a resolution to start budgeting your income. Start by writing down all your fixed expenses:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Car (auto loan, insurance, gas, etc.)
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Food
  • Etc.

Then, stack up against the overall cost of these expenses with your current monthly income. Whatever is left over is the money you have to work with on growing your savings, working out an entertainment budget and so on. Stick to your budget and your savings will grow over time, giving you an upper hand on your financial game.

Quit Charging

Credit cards seem to be the Achilles heel for anyone trying to better their finances. Debt comes in many forms, but the most prevalent being credit card debt. If you’re looking for an easy way to eliminate your credit card debt, Dave Ramsey’s “snowball effect” is a popular method to go with. Focus all your efforts on paying off the smallest balance card you have first while still making the minimum payment on the others. These little victories will ultimately keep you motivated to stay the course until all your debt is paid. If you owe more than $15,000, enrolling in a debt management program might be the best option.

Go on a Cash Diet

It’s easy to overdo it when you’re swiping away your debit card between paydays. Taking out cash does a few things for you that your debit card just won’t:

  • Cash gives you a clear visual of how much you have to spend.
  • You can save your leftover change in a change jar.
  • Having cash will help you become more selective with your spending.
  • Cash can be divided up and categorized for planned spending.
  • You can easily avoid overdrawing your checking account.

Pick Up a Saving Habit

Getting into a savings habit isn’t as difficult as some might think. Most banks offer free savings accounts to their customers who enroll in an automatic savings plan. The way these plans works is simple. You select how much you want to save each month and also how frequently you want that money added to your savings. Your bank takes over from there. Just make sure that the amount you're setting aside for savings is reasonable. As a rule of thumb, you should be setting aside 10 to 15 percent of your paycheck in savings.

Improve Your Relationship with Money

The less appreciation you have for something, the less care you’ll put into it. The same thing is true about money. One big reason why people are so bad with money is that they have a bad relationship with it. If we don’t have any appreciation for the stuff that’s in our wallets, we won’t give it the care it deserves. This New Year, start paying attention to your money and try to practice better thinking towards it. You’ll be surprised to find how much farther your money will take you when you start caring for it.

Plan Out Your Financial Future

Lastly, it’s important to understand that gaining financial freedom is not an event, it’s a journey. Going from broke and in debt to being financially stable is no easy task. It’s one that takes time, patience and commitment. But the good news is that 2019 could be your year to turn it all around. All success begins by taking one step. Let the above ideas be the first steps that may one day lead you to financial freedom.