As we got into 2019, the first priority on your mind, like many, is to get into shape and lose any extra pounds that could have been accumulated during this harsh winter. While it is hard to make significant diet and exercise changes out, it can be easy to give up completely, but when it comes to your finances, that should be more of a priority than losing good in a bathing suit come summer. By making adjustments now, you can set yourself up for success in the short and long-term.
Build Up an Emergency Fund
You never know what will happen in life. You could be plugging along with the day to day operations of the household budget and then all of a sudden you get a significant bill for a new furnace or the dog needs a little vet care that costs a fortune. It’s better to be prepared instead of putting on a credit card and not being able to pay back, but with interest for who knows how long. By saving up a few months’ worth of reserves into an account, you can give yourself a little financial cushion in case something was to come up.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenses
Whether money is tight or not, in order to really see a lift and free up extra funds to put your hard-earned income towards other areas than going on a shopping spree, it’s time to reduce unnecessary expenses. While you do need to keep a considerable food budget allocated, that doesn’t mean you need to eat out every day. By going grocery shopping and eating at home, you can save significant money and even see your waistline improve as well. Some may be tough cuts, but look at what you really need, and go from there.
Make Getting Out of Debt a Priority
As you start to see extra money left in your account at the end of the month as you free up extra funds, it’s now time to make getting out of debt a priority. You can now increase credit card payments each month and get rid of those minimum payments that do nothing except keep your account in good standing but tack on likely decades until the balance is gone with that route. Whether it’s credit card, student or personal loan, or even mortgage, debt only holds you back and stands in the way of any other financial goals.
Don’t Forget About the Future
It’s important to ensure you’re financially independent now, don’t lose sight on your future as well. Though it may even be decades before you retire, that doesn’t mean you should continue to put off contributing to a retirement account. The earlier you start to save, the longer the account has to grow over time. Also, you want to make sure you’re not missing out on any free money at work as well, as employers often will match contributions to a certain point so you want to be contributing the most, they will match to get the best lift.