We’re about to ring in a new year; that means it’s time to clean the slate, get rid of old baggage, amp up the exercise, and create new goals!
So why not also make goals for your personal finances?
For many, the new year is the right time to kill debt, create a savings account, or start investing. Wherever you are on your personal finance journey, always remember these eight simple finance rules to live by:
Thou Shalt Use a Budget
If you haven’t been using a budget, start the new year by creating one. Or if you’ve fallen off the wagon, it’s time to reevaluate your needs and create a new budget for this next season. Budgeting will give you a general idea of how much you are allowing yourself to spend on an item. The practice will help you keep track of where your money is going.
Thou Shalt Pay Off Your Credit Card On Time
A new year means getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. Kick your bad financial habits to the curb and create new habits that will bring positive results. For example, don’t allow your credit card balance to hang around like a nasty ex. Pay off your credit card on time, every single time.
Thou Shalt Not Buy Unnecessary Things
Let’s stick to the general rule that you should spend below your means. If you find yourself in a dilemma at the store because you want to make a purchase but don’t know if you should, ask yourself, “Is this a want or is this a need?” It’s time to cut the habit of buying unnecessary items. If you’re questioning if you should even buy something, perhaps it’s a sign that you don’t actually don’t need it.
Thou Shalt Stick To The Plan
If you stuck to the first rule and created a budget for yourself, the next rule that you should follow is to stick to the budget. Easier said than done, but stick to the plan with a laser-like focus that doesn’t allow you to make room for exceptions. Stick. To. The. Plan.
Thou Shalt Have a Savings Goal
Do you have savings set aside for yourself? Did you know that nearly 20% of Americans don’t have any savings set aside? If you fall within the 20%, start saving for yourself in 2020. Create a savings goal, whether that be $1000 or $30,000. The point is to start the habit of setting aside savings for yourself in case of a rainy day.
Thou Shalt Plan For Every Dollar
Have you ever heard the saying, “Either you direct your money or your money directs you?” The point of the saying is that you need to control your finances instead of letting your finances get out of control. The best way to “direct” your money is to decide what each dollar will do for you. Every dollar is going somewhere, whether it be into your savings account or wasted on an unnecessary expense. You get to choose where the dollar goes. If you plan ahead by deciding where each dollar goes then you’ll feel more comfortable with your finances knowing that every dollar is accounted for.
Thou Shalt Eat At Home More
One of the larger expenses for many Americans is eating out. Instead of letting your restaurant budget eat away your cash, create a larger grocery budget in place of your restaurant budget. Limit eating out and learn to cook simple, fast, and healthy meals for yourself. This will pay off in multiple ways in the long-run.
Thou Shalt Check Thy Credit Report
Did you know that every 12 months you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus? Credit reports can sometimes have inaccuracies or mistakes that can impact your credit score negatively, so it’s important to keep track as often as you can. In the case where you find an inaccuracy on your report, you will need to dispute the mark with the bureaus.
With the New Year just right around the corner, get a fresh start on your personal finance journey by following these rules for the new year!
Photo Credit: Steve Johnson