Are you ready to improve your financial life in the new year? Then it’s time for financial resolutions! According to the most popular money experts, such resolutions are the key to self-improvement and successful financial life. Analyzing your behavior allows avoiding mistakes in the new year and keeping your finance under control. That’s why it’s time to ask yourself these necessary questions and get ready for significant changes into the better!
What are Your Financial Goals?
Goal setting is an extremely important thing. When you know what your goals are, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to achieve them. It doesn’t matter whether you plan a trip abroad or buying a new house, it’s highly important to know what you want and make a plan. Set concrete goals like “I want to put $5,000 to my savings account next year” instead of “I want to be frugal next year”. Concrete goals will keep you motivated much longer!
What are Your Priorities for the Next Year?
However, not only financial goals should impact your budget. Ask yourself what is important for you. For example, maybe you want to go out with your friends on weekends or support a local charity organization. Keep your priorities in mind when setting a budget. Many people let their goals to determine their spending but life is more than building savings and planning expensive purchases like houses and cars. That’s why it’s important to let your personal priorities affect your spending, too.
Which Mistakes Have You Made Last Year?
It’s a perfect time to analyze last year’s goals and financial decisions and ask yourself which of them worked and which ones didn’t. We all make money mistakes but the use is that we can learn from them. You can’t improve in the next year if you don’t know where you went wrong this year. Take your time and review your financial decisions, think of their results. For example, if one of your goals was saving definite amount of money for retirement and you failed to reach it, take advantage of automatic payments and then the money will go to your retirement account automatically. When you know your problems, it’s easier to find a solution!
What are Your Necessary Expenses?
You already know your goals, priorities and mistakes, so it’s time to work on your budget. Make a list of the necessary expenses you should cover each month like rent, mortgage, loans, utilities and etc. First of all, budget for these expenses and use the leftover for your other needs. Doing this will help you to see clearly how much money you have for yourself and it’s not enough, you can always look for a source of extra income ( check 8 great apps for making extra money here!!!).
How Much Money Can You Save Each Month?
After making a budget for mandatory expenses it’s important to think how much you can save each month. Needless to say, building savings is a must for financial well being. Divide your goals on long-term and short-term ones. Long-term goals can include saving for retirement, paying off mortgage when short-term goals can be about planning the next vacation. Identify your goals and it will be easier to set saving priorities.
Saving for retirement requires putting aside some money (usually 10-20% of monthly income is recommended) each month. Money for other things like big purchases and trips can be saved for one at a time. Don’t forget that you can’t stop, once you have met one goal, it’s time to set another one and move forward!
What are Your Spending Weak Spots?
Most likely, you have already read and heard numerous tips concerning cutting expenses. It’s an inalienable part of money management but it will not help you in case you don’t know your weak spots. For example, if every time you shop with a friend you can leave a store without buying something, consider other activities or go with no money or credit cards. If your weak spot is eating out, consider how you can reduce the number of visits to the restaurants and cook in bulk at home. As we told earlier, when you know your problems, it’s easier to deal with them!