When you have achieved a certain level of financial stability or a relatively high income, it is possible to manage your finances without a set budget, and to live relatively well as long as you are responsible with spending. But just like anything, putting in more effort to achieve the best results is always worth your time and produces a worthwhile return. When it comes to financial stability, we often like to frame it in terms of things to be achieved. For example, a mid-twenties professional will often be grappling with a much different set of financial motivators than someone who is fifty and hopefully benefiting from their past good decision-making. Goals can help each individual flourish relatively to their current position.
Goals keep us orientated and directed. Financial goals are no different. We often think of finances as a tertiary responsibility, when in reality our financial situation is the lifeblood of our daily decision making. In fact, think about where you leave, the house you live in, the car you drive, the vacations you take, the investments you make, the television you watch, etc.; they are all affected by how much money you make. Many of the large choices in our life have some form of financial impact or benefit, and so learning how to engage these could be considered one of the wisest things to do.
It’s 2019 and you have certainly set some financial goals. These are usually a good place to start.
Reduce Your Debt
Debt, debt, debt. Whether you want it or not, it haunts you and create extra stress in your life. I believe it is important to tackle your debt and pay it off as a priority. In 2019, let’s be consistent about it. Though the ultimate goal is to be debt-free, let’s set incremental goals and reach them year after year.
For many millennials, student loans and credit card debt are the major types of debt that handicap us. Is it the case for you? If so, it starts with a plan.
The other aspect of improving your financial situation is saving your money. From emergency funds to future planning, it is important to allocate a portion of your income to savings. A blown tire, a medical bill, a trip to see family or a home improvement project should not wreck your finances. You can’t predict everything in life, but you can set aside money in the event of costly events. With a safety net in place, you won’t have to worry about unexpected scenarios waiting around the corner. As suggested over at briantracy.com, you need to start setting aside a little bit of your income on a regular basis. You could set up an automatic transfer of funds to your savings account to take place every payday; that way, you won’t be tempted to spend your money before you can save it. Personally, I like to be hands on with my budget. When I get paid, I immediately transfer a percentage of my paycheck to my savings account. Find what works for you.
Increase Your Income
When I set goals for the new year, this is always included. Whether it is through a raise at work or some other activities, I recommend that you set a goal. When it comes to your salary, you may not be in control of raises and promotions but I’m sure you have an idea of what it could take to make it happen. You are in control of your life and your future. If your current income and job will not get you where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, act now before it’s too late.
There are many factors that will cause you to increase your income. Sometimes, it is simply necessary. Will you be buying a new car? Are you moving to a new town with a higher cost of living? Or do you plan on buying your first home in the next few years. In some cities such as DC or New York where real estate is extremely expensive, looking at properties offered by a company such as Meriton will probably require some changes. Be mindful of it.
Start paying off your debt consistently, save every time you get paid and work on increasing your income. These are just a few resolutions to sink your teeth into this year. By the end of the year, you will be proud of the decisions you’ve made.