The start of a new year is a great time to set some new financial goals. With all the resolutions that are made every year, several get forgotten or put off for next year, mainly because they may have been unrealistic. Here is a list of 9 great short term goals that are designed to be reached quickly while having the power to make a lasting, positive change on your finances.
1. Catch Up on Late Payments or Medical Collections
If you have any bills you may have that are past due make it a priority to get those paid as soon as you can. Late fees are expensive and can cost you a lot over the course of a year. Making the goal to get those debts current will save you money in the long run, as well as your credit.
2. Create a Monthly Budget
A realistic budget can help you save more money and avoid impulse purchases. Start with figuring out what your monthly take home pay is, and list out all of your expenses. Look for areas where you tend to overspend and make some plans to cut spending. You can get a printable budget here.
Tip: You can manage your budgets in online and mobile banking
3. Cut Costs on Bills
Take your budget that you created and look through all your expenses to see where you can possibly save some money. Look to see if you are over paying for any of your common services such as your phone, cable, and internet. Shop around to look for the best deal, or call your current provider to see if they have any discounts they can offer to you. Many are willing to negotiate your rate.
4. Save $1000
Saving a small emergency fund is a great step to help you be more financially sound. Get a jump start on this goal by putting your tax return towards it, save any year-end bonuses you may have earned, and set up automatic payments into your savings. Plus, once you get into the habit of saving, you will see how quickly it can add up!
Tip: You can set a savings goal through online and mobile banking
5. Pay off One Credit Card
It can be overwhelming to come up with a plan to tackle all of your debt, especially if it is spread over several different credit cards. One strategy is to pick your smallest balance credit card and come up with a plan to get it paid off this year. Even paying off a small card can give you an extra $25 per month that you can start applying towards the next largest bill. Then it starts to snowball.
6. Set a No Spending Goal
Set a goal for a no spend weekend (or longer if you’d like). Put away your wallet and go find some free activities you can enjoy in your community. This will help you start to break the habit of impulse buys or overspending that can break your budget. Eventually try to work up to monthly no spend weekends.
7. Open an IRA or Start Contributing to your 401(k)
Now is the best time to start saving for retirement. Contact your human resources representative to learn more about your employer’s 401(k). Start by contributing up to what your employer matches, then work to increase your contributions. If you don’t have a retirement plan available to you at work, look into setting up an IRA.
8. Meet With a Financial Advisor
Meeting with a financial advisor is a great way to make sure you are on track for your long term savings goals, like retirement. They can also help you build a plan to get back on track if you aren’t quite there yet. Plan to meet with your financial advisor once a year, or when you experience any major life changes. Don’t have a financial advisor yet? Meet with Sandia Area investment services
9. Complete an Insurance Check Up
Take the time to review your coverages and what you are paying. You can often save money by shopping around for new insurance companies, and bundling your insurance. If you have recently had any big life changes such as marriage, buying a house, or a new baby this is a good time to update your insurance.
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