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Budgeting Tips for 2019

Budgeting Tips for 2019

In the aftermath of holiday spending, it is time to focus on our financial goals for the new year. Sure, many people make a resolution to spend less and save more each year, but what can you do to stick to your financial goals in 2019?

Don’t be overwhelmed, we’re here to help. If you’ve planned to focus more on your finances next year, here are a few budgeting tips to help you kick off 2019 in the right direction.

Assess your overall financial picture.
It sounds so simple, but this can be one of the most daunting parts about creating a budget. Basically, if you don’t know how much money you regularly have coming in and going out, you won’t know where to start when it comes to saving, spending or achieving any other financial goal you might set. Don’t let a fear of the unknown stop you from focusing on your finances in 2019. Start off the near year by taking a close look at your bank accounts to identify areas where you can begin to make fiscally responsible changes.

Create an emergency fund.
You’ve likely been told before that you should have three to six months of savings stowed away in case of an emergency. Besides, after you review your daily spending habits, you might feel like you’re in a bit of an emergency when it comes to money anyway. But how many of us heed this valuable financial advice? You never know when life might deal you a hand that you’re simply not prepared for. Having a financial cushion is one way to help ease any difficult situation that might come your way. If this sounds like an impossible financial goal for you, simply start small. Designate a portion of your paycheck to a savings account that you don’t access. As you see the fund begin to build, your financial confidence will grow too!

Tackle your debts.
Talk about a potentially daunting financial task! When it comes to paying off debts, it is OK to start small. If you haven’t been consistent with paying on your bills in the past, start there. Make timely payments to your creditors each month. Then, pick a debt and start to make more than just a minimum payment. Once that debt disappears, move the money you would have dedicated to it—to another account. You’ll see your debts diminish and your credit score rise.

Set an attainable savings goal – and be specific.
Simply saying “I want to save money” isn’t going to get you there. To see a real change in your financial situation in 2019, give yourself a tangible goal, like “I want to save 10% of my pay this year.” Do the math to determine how much you’ll have to put away regularly to reach your goal. Then, have that amount automatically deducted from your pay, or add “paying yourself” to your monthly bill list. Reassess your savings goal throughout the year too. If you feel it is too aggressive, adjust it. But don’t give up. The result is a healthier financial picture that is so worth it!

Hold yourself accountable.
As with any annual resolution, making and sticking to a budget can be a difficult task to tackle. But it is a goal worth making. Stay on top of your financial goals in 2019 by continuing to check in on each aspect—from your emergency fund to your debts. And remember that budgeting is all about balance. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself once you hit your tangible goals. You don’t have to go out and splurge on some big-ticket item, but it is OK to celebrate after you pay off a debt or two, reach a savings benchmark, or establish your emergency fund.

With a few days until 2019 begins, get a head start on your financial goals now. Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!