I hate to break it to you but there is a little over a week left in 2017 so it’s time to start thinking about what you can do differently in 2018 when it comes to finances. Whether it is saving more money, or any at all, or to reduce spending, even get out of debt, there is plenty that you can do set yourself up for success before you get too far into the next year without having a solid plan of attack to be successful.
First off, if you can simplify the way you are purchasing, whether it is putting everything on a debit or credit card, that way you can just take one statement and start to go line by line to see exactly not only how much money is coming in, but every dollar that is going out. You can start to make shape of which expenses were necessary monthly bills, and which others probably could have been avoided. Just for fun, add up all of the charges that could have been avoided and see how much in a given more that you could have extra sitting in your bank account.
Build Up a Cushion
You never know which expenses will come out of nowhere and put a damper on any positive direction you were headed financially. Whether is in auto repair, medical bills, or even a job-loss, it’s good to have a cushion built so that if you do have any unexpected charges, then you don’t have to worry about putting on a credit card and go into debt, because if you are not able to pay cash now, then it will take you a few months to pay back with interest on a credit card.
Earn Credit Card Rewards
Speaking of making purchases on a credit card, it actually can be good to use your credit card for every purchase, because with rewards, you are essentially leaving free money on the table by not using your card. Between points you can redeem for gift cards, airline miles, and even a cashback check, it’s nice to at least know that by making the normal purchases you were going to make anyways you can earn money back, provided you are paying the full statement balance off in time, as otherwise carrying a balance over and paying interest would outweigh any rewards you would make.
Budget for Fun
Sure, reducing spending and saving for the future is extremely important but that doesn’t mean you have to save every dollar and miss out on life experiences such as concerts or trips. If you can plan more in advance you can actually budget in for putting aside extra money each month, or try and grow with any passive income ideas, so that you give yourself a “fun” fund and it really doesn’t set you back when you do decide to book plans. After all, what good is that if you can’t spend any money on fun while you’re young to enjoy it, as long as you are making smart financial decisions, there should be no problem.