The New Year has begun, and that means it is time to make good on the promises you made to yourself regarding your finances. It may seem difficult, but that is the thing about resolutions: they are usually hard. Whether you need to change simple habits or overhaul some financial blunders, here are some small and large smart financial decisions that can turn your life around in 2017.
Smart Financial Decisions for 2017
If you haven’t already noticed, you probably spend more than you think you do. In day to do life, small costs add up and by the end of the month you may wonder where that big chunk of your paycheck went. Maybe you get an expensive latte from Starbucks every morning or you insist on getting a manicure every week.
These costs may be fine, but it is important to note how often you do this and how much it affects your bank account. This way you can create a hierarchy of your needs and wants—things that are important to you more than other things. If you cut out the fat of the little things you don’t actually need, then you can save up for bigger things in your future.
Create Simple Habits
It is true that a simple habit can change your life. For instance, after budgeting for your monthly bills and necessary expenses, give yourself some spending money. Physical cash can make the money feel more real—it is a psychological reminder that you have a limited amount. On the contrary, using a debit or credit card at every purchase can make you forget that your funds are quickly draining from your account.
Take back control of your finances!
Get a FREE checklist for the money moves to make in the New Year.
Also get new articles, advice, and tips delivered right in your email inbox with our newsletter!
Hire a Financial Advisor
Financial advisors are not just for businesses; they can be for individuals as well. If you have a goal in mind, a financial advisor can steer you in the right direction to meet your goal. Their job is to organize your finances in such a way that you can stick to a budget.
Over time, you will accrue more and more of the money necessary to accomplish a goal—whether it be to own a home, go on a trip, or simply to pay off debt. A financial advisor will help you create realistic goals for yourself so that you can accomplish financial success at the close of 2017.
Prepare for the Future
You never know what life will bring to you. Starting an emergency fund is one of way of protecting yourself if you run into hardship. There may come a time in your life when you go between jobs, spouses, illness, or have a hardship fall upon a loved one whom you need to take care of. In these instances, it is important to know that you are secure despite your circumstances.
File Your Taxes
If you are in the throes of debt and you are unsure whether you can handle it, again, hiring a professional is the best way to help. However, if you cannot afford to hire someone at this time, remember it is still vital that you file.
If you do not file, you will accrue fees and penalties that will hurt you and your credit down the line. Pay what you can and get on a serious budget so you can get that burden off your back sooner. Afterward, budget so that you can afford someone to help you through it.
Do Some Research
Learn all you can about finance so that it no longer is an enigma to you. By learning, you will give yourself the confidence to make wise financial decisions. One way you can do this is to use some of the resources that actual accountants and financial advisors use. Invest in books and CFA exam prep courses to deepen your understanding of what you can do on your own. The more you know, the better you can approach your finances.