Simple Financial Resolutions for the New Year

January 1st shouldn’t just bring a new year, it should bring a new you!

Resolutions have always been a part of New Year’s celebrations, but sometimes we get a little too ambitious with our goals. The most effective resolutions are the simplest; they help ease you into new habits instead of trying to make major lifestyle changes.

If you’re looking to improve your finances in 2018, here are a few New Year’s resolutions which will help put you on the path to financial freedom and stability.

1. Track Your Expenses

Tracking your expenses is a great New Year’s resolution that will help you create a budget and become more financially literate.  Each week, set aside some time to go through your credit card/ debit card transactions and any cash withdrawals you may have made. Take note of where your money is going each week and identify your non-essential purchases (eating out, luxury items, etc). Once you see how much money you’re throwing away each week on impulse purchases, you’ll find the inspiration to develop a more comprehensive budget. This budget should only help increase your awareness of what you spend, not drastically change your lifestyle.

2. Save for Something. Anything.

Learning to save is another great new year’s resolution that will help you and your financial health. Whether you’re saving for a new car or a new TV, learning the value of your own money will help you see the value in saving. Setting up a savings plan also forces you to ask yourself important financial questions about your future goals. Are you going to want a house in the future? When would you like to retire? Do you have enough money to support yourself if you’re laid off? It is better to know the answers to these questions sooner, rather than later, which is another New Year’s resolution you can make for yourself.

3. Get Your Credit Cards Under Control

Credit cards are a great asset, but can also cause many a lot of trouble if they misuse them. Credit card debt leads to a lower credit score which can affect all sorts of aspects of your life. Use the new year to evaluate your credit card situation. Did you wrack up a ton of credit card debt in 2017? Create a schedule of your payments and set reminders on tour phone. Retail cards tend to have high-interest rates so it is a smart idea to weed through the ones you don’t use and the ones which don’t have good rewards.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, it is always best to start small and simple. Setting an achievable goal for yourself will help you achieve more success than an overly-ambitious goal. Once you’ve paid off that one credit card or set up a savings plan for that one item, you’ll feel compelled to continue, and perhaps even do more! Resolutions shouldn’t be massively wild changes in your lifestyle, they should be minor tweaks that will, in the long run, help to adjust your entire approach to life.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

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