A new year is almost here and it’s a great time to set some good financial goals. I’m setting smaller, attainable goals next year that will help me achieve my larger long-term goals. Our long-term goal is to financially prepare ourselves to get ready to start a family. To help us get there we’re going to stick to our budget, reduce our debt, increase our savings and keep our credit history on track. Having a strong support system (like our credit union) will make it easier for us to reach our financial goals.
Here are some tips to help you get started off on the right foot in the new year.
- Start a budget: First things first… you need a budget. It’s single-handedly the most important thing you can do to be financially successful. Budgeting helps us stay on track with what we are spending each month and making sure that we allocate enough money to our savings accounts and paying off debt. The key to doing this is to plan where you are going to spend your money and then sticking to it. Setting up a budget for the first time may be intimidating, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. If you have a hard time sticking to a budget you may consider using a budgeting tool.
- Get out of debt: Getting out of debt is another key step to taking control of your finances. By focusing on getting out of debt we can reduce the amount we pay in wasted interest money each month. This in return allows us to free up money for starting our little family. We know it may take some sacrifice to make it happen, but it is worth the effort. We started by setting up a debt payoff plan. It helped us get started without feeling overwhelmed by the process.
- Stock up on savings: Saving is another important key for financial success. My husband and I know that our incomes won’t increase enough to help us easily save more money, so our goal is to stick to our budget and cut some expenses which will let us save more money this year. We’re going to simply cut back on eating out, stick to our grocery list, and stop making so many unplanned miscellaneous purchases. This one will be a challenge for us, but if we stick to our budget and take advantage of allocating extra funds to our High Yield Online Savings Account that we’ll get ahead.
- Keeping our credit in check: This is an important one for us. We looked at 2019 knowing that sometime soon we’re going to start a family, which means that we’ve got some big purchases on the horizon. Staying on top our credit scores and keeping our reports clean is a necessity for us so that if/when we need anything that we’ll be in a good financially to do so. We plan to use credit wisely and CreditKarma to keep track of our credit.
Remember that everyone’s financial plan is different, but we are all working towards the same goal of having financial peace. Peace of mind knowing we are financially stable for whatever life may have in store for us: a baby, retirement or even being debt free. 2019 is our year to achieve our financial goals!