10 Financial Resolutions to Get 2019 Off to a Great Start
- Jan. 14, 2019
- Taylir Paynter
- Personal Finance
Take control of your finances in 2019 with the following 10 goals
You don’t have to implement them all at once. Rather, try to make a little progress every day. After all, it was founding father Benjamin Franklin, pictured on the U.S. $100 bill, who informed us that “Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.”
You don’t have to hit the lottery before you can get your financial resolutions in order. You can accumulate the wealth you need by taking little actions right now.
The first five financial resolutions on our list will help you build your financial knowledge and awareness, the second five are more specific, personal actions you can implement to galvanize your financial success.
Let’s not waste another money-saving second!
Increase Your Financial Awareness
Start perusing financial books, publications and websites. You may not know what all the terms mean at first or why they are even relevant but give this learning curve time. Even spending five minutes a day browsing the headlines and catching up on personal finance articles can help build your financial know-how.
Who said economics was the dismal science? It can be fun and rewarding!
Join a Financial Literacy Group
There is power in numbers. There are clubs and groups of like-minded people interested in improving their money management skills or knowledge about business, investing, real estate or preparing for college or retirement. If a group doesn’t exist, start one, with a shout on your favorite social media channel.
Talk to a Financial Adviser
There are fee-only advisers (compensated by you) and fee-based advisers (compensated by the companies whose products they sell). A trusted adviser can give you a financial road map, laying out a strategy and various tools to help you reach your financial goals. First consultations are usually free, so do a few meet-and-greets to get a sense of the quality, character and integrity of the person you would like to help guide you on your financial journey.
Talk to a Mortgage Lender
Similarly, if owning a home is one of your financial goals, a knowledgeable mortgage lender can give you a realistic look at how you can get there. They can explain the ins and outs about the types of mortgage loans and help you visualize your homebuying timeline, such as budgeting for a down payment. As with most things having do with your finances, the sooner you start your homebuying and home financing conversation with your lender, the better.
Talk to a Real Estate Agent
Contact a Real Estate Agent to get a sense of the housing market and begin examining your homebuying options, which may help you achieve your financial goals. A Real Estate Agent can set you up with a home search tool so you can search for homes at your convenience and they can show you homes that pique your interest. Combining your improving market knowledge with your agent’s constant feedback will make you a more educated buyer and negotiator when you identify a home on which you’d like to make an offer.
Create a Budget
A budget will help you confront your money matters head on and let you know where you stand financially. There are several online budgeting tools that can help you track where every dollar goes.
Increase Your Savings
Pick up a second job, decrease your dining out, move in with family … there are many ways to go into savings mode. Before you pay anyone, pay yourself first. It’s an old concept first popularized in the 1920s by George Cason, author of “The Richest Man in Babylon.” So, for every dime you spend, save a penny, from every dollar you spend, save a dime. Tax yourself 10% on everything you spend. Hey, you’re worth it!
Cutting your expenses, of course, works hand-in-hand with your savings plan. Ask yourself before you lay down your hard-earned money to buy anything, if you truly need that purchase, even if it’s just a cup of coffee. Recall legendary investor Warren Buffett’s admission, “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you do need.”
There are a million ways to cut back. Do more comparison shopping and again question every purchase you’re considering. You may find you don’t really need that “must-have” item to keep up with the Joneses. To help you put up some spending guardrails, heed humorist Will Rogers’ sage financial advice: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
Not having enough money doesn’t have to cramp your style. For example, prolific author Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) couldn’t afford to attend college after graduating from high school during the Great Depression. “I couldn’t go to college,” Bradbury said, “so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
There’s always a financial workaround. Don’t go into a shell. Continue to socialize and network. Perhaps, instead of gathering at restaurants for your meetings, get on the potluck-hosting circuit.
Pay off Debt and Start Investing
Make a commitment to pay off any revolving debt you’re still carrying. Once you’ve achieved that goal, take the money you were putting towards credit cards and open a retirement or investment account. There is an app called Acorns, which allows you to designate the leftover change of every dollar you spend into an investment account. You probably never miss it but you can begin accruing profits right away. You can also supplement with $10, $20 or another amount to start your investments growing faster. If you pay off a big bill, such as your car, try to earmark that money for investing or saving.
There are your 10 financial resolutions for 2019.
Keep them top of mind and flowing throughout the year (indeed, affluence stems from the Latin “to flow) and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your financial goals and the life you want to lead.