Personal Finance Resolutions to Make for 2019
Here are some personal finance new year's resolutions to make.
The clock has strike midnight on 2018, and that means a new year full of potential and promise. Resolutions for the year, however, shouldn't be limited to trying to exercise more or eat better. Personal finance is one area where many people could use some resetting for 2019, but many may be hesitant because of the challenge budgeting presents.
Starting off the year on your best financial foot is crucial. This is the time to plan, establish good spending habits and even set long-term goals: new year, new you. When all the dust — or snow — clears, you'll be much better off for having taken the time to make resolutions that improve personal finance management.
Here are some starting points to consider:
1. Begin with a budget
All good finance, personal or otherwise, stems from having a budget. If you went through 2018 without one, it's highly important that one of your first activities in the new year is constructing a budget. If you've got a budget to work with, take some time to reevaluate how well you stuck to it in 2018, or how well it facilitated your financial goals. The basic points to address include defining income, total obligations and debts, and savings contributions. Try to plan out the entire year, but leave some flexibility for later down the line if things change.
2. Track your spending
Good personal finance management is directly linked to good spending habits. You start 2019 with a clean slate, so if you need to gain oversight or control of your spending, now's the time to take action. One way to force yourself into better spending is tallying up all your nonessential expenses — everything outside bills, utilities, justifiable household needs and loans. If you notice spending on takeout food and apparel racks up early in the year, it's a clear sign you may need to take a cleaver to such allowances for entertainment and self-treating.
3. Keep an eye on credit
It may be useful to use one of your free credit score reports at the beginning of the year to know what you're working with (each consumer is entitled to a free report from three main reporting bureaus). However, many consumers have real-time access to their credit score through an online banking or credit card app. In any case, make a resolution to move that number forward during 2019. Having transparency into your credit situation is necessary to forming realistic goals for saving and debt.
4. Don't forget about retirement
Retirement may not happen for you in 2019, but this year can surely affect how your retirement materializes down the line. What you're able to contribute to retirement accounts could decide the quality of the golden years; saving for the future should always be a priority. Consult your budget to see if you can increase amounts, and also consider what investments are best for your portfolio.
If you need help in any of these areas, talk to Vectra Bank today. Getting help with your personal banking and finances can set 2019 on course for a positive year.