It’s a new year, a fresh start, and a chance for you to get your financial future in order. Regardless of your age or where you are financially in your life, there’s always room for improvement. However, that’s often easier said than done. The key to setting any financial goal and following through is to ensure that it’s challenging and beneficial to your financial landscape, yet practical enough to achieve.
In order to help you along the way and encourage you when you need a crowd cheering you on, we’ve compiled a list of financial goals for each month of 2019. Change is a slow process, but every little bit helps towards securing a financially stable future for you and your loved ones.
January: Get a Copy of Your Credit Reports
In order to know where you stand in terms of your credit score, you need to thoroughly inspect your credit report. Not only will this enable you to determine how much you need to fix over the next twelve months, but you’ll also be able to dispute any credit report errors. Mistakes on your credit report can greatly affect your overall credit score.
According to The Balance, an inaccurate late payment on your credit report (in addition to other factors) can bring your credit score down by 60-110 points.
• Excellent Credit: 750+
• Good Credit: 700-749
• Fair Credit: 650-699
• Poor Credit: 600-649
• Bad Credit: below 600
Get a copy of your credit report from a trusted source at no charge to you.
February: Set-Up a Savings Account or Emergency Fund
Having an established Savings Account or emergency fund will enable you to comfortably move through life’s harsh moments without stressing too much.
Any little bit helps when it comes to building a stash of cash for emergencies. If possible, start off with $100 per month and increase it over time. Or set up multiple savings accounts for different purposes. For example, one to save for the holidays and another for a summer vacation.
March: Start a Financial Diary
You tend to spend more when you lose track of your expenses, which is why it’s important to add a financial diary to your financial goals. Write down every penny if necessary, and discover what you’re actually spending as opposed to what you think you’re spending.
Click here for a sample budget worksheet.
April: Determine a Monthly Budget
Now that you can roughly see what you’re spending each month, you’ll be able to set a realistic monthly budget where you spend only what you need. Treat yourself, occasionally, to things that you want as well.
May: Choose a Debt Payment Plan
Late payments will stay on your credit report for seven years, so it’s important to come up with a realistic debt payment plan in order to improve your credit score. Decide which accounts need to be paid off first in order to keep your life up and running. Keep your credit card balances on the lower end and avoid moving balances onto additional credit cards.
June: Search for an Additional Income Stream
You may love your job, but it’s never a bad idea to find a side job that enables you to pay off a credit card balance while you’re running your regular life. Whether you drive for Uber, deliver pizza a few nights a week, or you’re a weekend warrior working in a restaurant, these side hustles can provide additional income and a pathway to achieving your list of financial goals.
July: Save for Your Retirement
It’s never too late to put money away for when you’re ready to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Setting up an Individual Retirement Account will enable you to save as much money as you need in order to retire comfortably.
August: Reduce Your Credit Utilization
As one of the more important factors for improving your credit score, it’s important to keep a close eye on your credit limit. If your credit card balance is more than 30% of your credit limit, your overall credit score could end up suffering.
September: Find a Rewards Credit Card
If you’re going to be a credit card holder, you may as well choose one that offers additional benefits o. Always search for a Credit Card that offers a No Annual Fee. If you’re able to earn points for each purchase, even better.
October: Find More Suitable Insurance Options
When life hits hard, you need someone who will have your back without breaking it. Having the insurance you need to provide you with that "security blanket" will benefit you greatly in the long term.
View a number of supplemental insurance options with exclusive savings.
November: Draw up a Long-Term Financial Timeline
In order to know where you’re going, you need to write it down. Determine when you want to purchase a home, when it’s time for a new car, when you’ll need to start paying back on your school loans, etc. That way, you can plan, save, and actually achieve your financial goals without feeling pressured.
December: Stick to Your Holiday Budget
It’s completely understandable why the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. Excessive shopping leads to excessive spending, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to reduce the stress is by coming up with a holiday budget and sticking to it. Don’t put yourself in unnecessary debt simply because everyone else is doing it.
Learn more about a Christmas Club Account
Achieving This Year’s Financial Goals
When trying to improve your overall financial future, it’s important to be patient. Make a change one month at a time and stick with it. Not only will you notice a big improvement in your credit score, but you’ll also feel less burdened and more in control of your finances. Need help reaching your financial goals?
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