Kick Off 2019 with These 5 Financial Resolutions

November 15, 2018 | By Louis Tully

The holidays are in full swing and everybody’s getting ready for family, food, and gift giving under the tree. But that’s not all folks are gearing up for right about now!

Financial Resolutions to Consider

Since the year’s almost over, people are eagerly planning out their resolutions to make the New Year a better one. Usually, when New Year resolutions come to mind, we tend to think about things like:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating healthier
  • Exercising more
  • Quitting smoking
  • Working on your bowling average
  • Etc.

Sure, all of the above are great goals to pursue, but what about your financial goals? If you never want to have to rely on finding an auto title loan for relief again, setting some financial goals could certainly help. Make 2019 the best year ever for you and your wallet by following through with some (or all) of these financial resolutions!

Save Money

Everybody wants to save more, but they don’t exactly know how to go about it. Saving sounds easy, but when money’s tight, it can get pretty hard keeping your hands out of your savings account. That said, try some of these effective saving strategies:

  • Set up an auto transfer from your checking account to your savings on the days you get paid. Keep the transfer amount low, preferably 10 – 15 percent of your paycheck.
  • Try the 52-Week Savings Challenge. You can even use these fun stickers to keep you on track! 
  • Try using cash for all your main purchases and dump the spare change in a glass jar, or one of those big water cooler jugs. You’ll be surprised to find how much in change you end up with in 10 years!

To prevent the need to dip into your savings, avoid financially straining situations. Don’t spend money on something if you don’t need it, and always have some kind of budget in place so you know how much you should be spending from week to week.

There are even apps to help - check out our article on the 5 top budgeting apps to download now! This will help you stay on track with your money, allowing your savings the time it needs to grow.

Keep Track of Your Credit Score Quarterly

Everyone’s afraid to look at their score, but there’s really nothing to be afraid of at all. Checking your score doesn’t lower it anymore and apps like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame let you check your score anytime, anywhere, for free!

So, what are you afraid of? By checking your score regularly, you’ll be able to keep yourself in the know so you can take the steps you need to keep it in the green. Let’s face it, you’re not going to do anything to improve your score if you’re not aware that it needs improving in the first place.

Make a "Get Out of Debt" Plan

Credit card debt - it’s the Achilles’ heel for many, and probably the main contributing factor to consumer financial problems in America today. If you’re carrying credit card debt with you into 2019, one of your resolutions should definitely be to work your wait out of the hole. Here are a few approaches that may help you get started:

  • Pay off your smaller debts first. Easy wins lead to greater victories.
  • Enroll in a debt management program. (GreenPath Debt Solutions, Cambridge Credit Counseling, InCharge Debt Solutions, etc.)
  • Pick a part-time job and devote your extra income to paying off your credit cards.
  • Consolidate your debts into a low-interest personal loan.

Start Using Cash

We live in the age of digital currency but, when it comes to proper money management, cash is still king. By going on a cash spending “diet”, you’ll not only find it’s easier to track what you’re spending, but you’ll also spend less in the process.

Spend Less

Speaking of spending less, this should be your main focus as far as financial resolutions go. By getting into the habit of spending less money, you’ll find it much easier to save money or clear your credit card debt. The ultimate goal is to spend less so you’ll have more, but spending less money isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle.

Related: Ready to change your money mindset? Here are 3 ways to have a healthy outlook on money!

Financial Resolutions

You need to change the way you think about money so your spending habits can change, too. Once you’ve developed a habit of spending less, everything else in your financial world will fall into place. You may not get rich any time soon, but you’ll have something even better that most people nowadays only wish they could possess: peace of mind!