With 2020 just around the corner, many of us are entering into the new decade with the hopes of a fresh start. New Year’s Resolutions are a great reminder to check in with ourselves and reevaluate the direction we are going in. If 2019 was not a great financial year for you, it’s time to hit the reset button, regroup, and think up some strategies to make 2020 the best financial year you’ve ever had. Ultimately, your personal finance journey is about doing what’s best for you in the long run and creating the best life you can have. Dedicate your year to taking the best financial steps for yourself. Here are 5 financial goals to make for yourself in 2020:
Pay off debt
No one likes to start the new year with baggage from the past. Let’s make 2020 the last year you’ll spend paying off your loans! As ambitious as it sounds, challenge yourself to make 2020 the year you get out of debt for good. Start by examining your finances and deciding where to make cutbacks. If this means you have to make some difficult lifestyle changes, this may be the right time to make the changes. Remember that these changes don’t need to last forever. Temporary pain beats a lifetime in debt. One of the best resources to use is Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, and Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey has inspired Americans across the nation to get out of debt by following his simple plan. Give yourself some time to read his material and inspire yourself with those who have conquered their debt!
Ramp up your savings
Have you ever heard of the Index Card? This is a short list of personal finance guidelines that fit on the size of a 3-by-5 index card. Harold Pollack wrote these rules on an index card to inspire people to see the simplicity of personal finance. One of the best tips on the card is take at least 20% of your income and place it into your savings. Almost 20% of Americans don’t have any savings and with the current health insurance crisis, an accident or serious illness can wipe out all your finances. Make 2020 the year where you ramp up your savings account to create a safety net for yourself.
Track your spending
If you’re not budgeting or tracking your spending, now’s the time to start. Thanks to the development of mobile apps, there are more than enough resources available to you to help you track where your money is going. Even mobile banking apps can send you alerts to notify you if you’ve overspent on your budget. There are several great apps that can help you track your spending such as Mint by Intuit, You Need a Budget, Wally, and Acorns. Some of these apps help you create a budget and stick to them, whereas others are oriented towards tracking your expenses and receipts, or saving and stashing away cash. Whatever the need is, these personal finance apps are great tools to utilize.
Check your credit score
Have you checked your credit score lately? One of the best ways to set yourself up for financial success is to keep your credit score in check. If it turns out that your credit score is lower than you imagined, then at least you know there’s work to be done. Checking your credit score regularly not only keeps you alert about your current financial state, but it can also make you aware of any inaccuracies or mistakes on your report. If you find anything in your report that is inaccurate or false, dispute the issue and let the credit bureaus know right away. If you don’t have the time to follow-up with the mistakes on your credit report, there are many credit repair companies that can do this service for you.
Get started on that side hustle
Finally, consider starting that side hustle you’ve been thinking about. Launch the new year with a bang by giving yourself permission to step out of your comfort zone. Start small by letting friends and family know what it is you are trying to do in your side business. Set aside some time and energy to invest in the work so you can give yourself the best shot to succeed. If you’re scared of the financing aspect, you’re not alone. Over 64% of small businesses start with $10,000 or less, with over 75% of business owners using personal savings to cover startup costs. Even without personal capital, there are plenty of platforms and resources to consider. Opportunity Business Loans can help business owners and startups match with lenders, giving them a better shot at financing. You can also consider alternative options such as peer-to-peer lending networks.
Make 2020 the best year for your personal finances by giving yourself room to grow. Your personal finance journey will only get brighter as you follow the steps and keep walking!
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.