By Chris Robinette
As we look forward to saying goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, let’s look at five ways to help yourself get on more sound financial footing for the new year.
Save money for yourself first!
I know this sounds counterproductive when we are thinking about paying down debt and funding retirement; however, you need to reward yourself for all your hard work. Consider saving 10% of everything you earn in your own savings account. That is your money, no one else’s and you should become addicted to watching that account grow!
Pay attention to your debt!
Take the time to review all your checking and credit card accounts to see what auto bills you are paying each month that you don’t use. You may want to cancel those fixed costs and therefore freeing up more cash that you can put towards paying down your debt painlessly.
Focus paying off one debt at a time.
As you plan for 2019, focus on the major debts you have with high interest rates and build a plan towards paying them down. If it makes sense for your financial situation, I recommend using 20% of your income to paying down your debts. Not adding more unnecessary debt is hard, and you will feel great with the discipline you have.
Focus on three to five big goals for the year.
Let’s be honest. We all know we each end up having tons of plans and goals we want to do each year and yet we don’t achieve many of them because we try to do too many at a time. Let 2019 be the year you set three to five goals and build a plan of action.
Start saving for your retirement!
I know it sounds strange to begin saving while you are wanting to pay off debt. Starting is the hardest thing to do, and yet an easy box to check off for your future years. If your employer offers a 401k/403b match, I HIGHLY recommend you consider investing in your company plan, so you can take advantage of funds they offer and help jump-start your retirement. You can always set up your own IRA or Roth IRA if your company doesn’t have a plan. Compound interest is your best friend when it comes to long-term investing.