Another year has gone, and 2020 is looming. It’s time for many of us to repeat old rituals, and to make the same New Years’ resolutions we’ve made a few times over the years. However, if your resolutions are about getting out of debt, becoming financially secure, and taking care of your financial future, it’s time to make more than a resolution. It’s time to make a plan with the following tips.
Create a budget
If you want to cut spending or increase savings, you need to know how much you’re spending or saving in the first place. It’s not enough to watch your bank balance go up and down, you have to understand where the money goes and why. Look over the statements for past few months, and figure out how much you spend on essentials, such as rent, bills, groceries, how much is spent on extras like treats and entertainment, and how much goes towards financial goals. Your budget is meant to help you readdress that. Figure out how much you need to spend on essentials, allocate yourself some spending money, and make sure that you’re putting aside at least 20% of your income towards savings and financial goals.
Write out all your debt and plan to pay it off
With a budget, you will set aside how much you have to put towards financial goals. This includes both savings and paying off debts. However, you shouldn’t pay all your debts off equally. Some people prefer the snowball method, where you find your smallest debt and pay it off first, giving you momentum to keep paying off the rest. However, the more tactical approach is to pay all the minimums, but allocate as much money as you can per paycheck towards the debt with the largest interest. After all, that’s the debt that’s going to cost the most money in the long-run. Take the money that is set aside for debt repayment and take it from your paycheck first, before you have the chance to spend any of it.
Build an emergency fund
You likely have savings goals, long term and short term, that you are building towards. However, you should also take a portion of your savings money and put towards a new fund. Aptly named, the emergency fund is designed to help you cover sudden costs outside of your budget. For instance, if you have sudden car or medical bills to deal with. In the worst case scenario, you should try to save up roughly three months’ of your income so that, should you be put out of work, you have some financial security while you get back on your feet. The sooner you start building your emergency fund, the more protection you will have when you need it.
Stop ignoring your credit score
If you want to make your money easier to manage, then you need to pay more attention to what’s affecting your debt. Your credit score is going to play a major role. You will be able to borrow more and with more flexible repayment plans if you have a higher credit score. As such, the first thing you have to do is get your credit report. You can get it for free from each of the three main credit reporting agencies every year. There, you can see what black marks are on your record and take steps to correct them. It’s important to do this as there are often erroneous marks on a credit report that can be fixed to immediately improve your score.
Keep and update a will
Beyond your own financial security, you want to make sure that your family is looked after and that what you’ve worked so hard to gain isn’t lost to them. As such, if you have any money or any assets worth passing on, you should keep a will. This can mean cars, jewelry, property, or just cash. Similarly, every year, you should look over how your financial situation has changed and consider whether you need to update your will. Otherwise, you can end up causing more harm than good for your children if things get contentious.
With the tips above, this might be the last year you have to repeat those financial resolutions. 2020 may just be the year that you get control of your money once and for all. Getting on top of your cash flow can make it easier to reach those resolutions, and Snappy Payday Loans might be able to help you do just that.