Now that the holidays are just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, specifically financial resolutions. The New Year is the best time to turn over a new leaf, whether that means leading a healthier lifestyle or kicking-off new money goals.
What is it that you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to buy a new car? Make a down payment on a house? Pay off some of your debt? No matter what you decide, the New Year is the perfect time to put your financial needs first.
Making the right financial resolutions each year will build strong, healthy habits. It doesn’t matter if you struggled with money in the past. This is 2019, and anything is possible. Let’s discuss 4 financial resolutions you can start in 2019 to build your financial future.
1. Automatic Savings Plan
Even if you’re still working towards paying down your debt, you need savings. This acts as your emergency fund. If anything goes wrong unexpectedly and you need cash, you don’t have to rely on credit as your safety net. Your emergency fund is for when your car breaks down, when you lose your job, or if something else unexpected happens.
You can build your emergency fund and savings account every paycheck by automatically putting money aside. This is easier said than done. It’s hard to say goodbye to some of that income every few weeks, but it’s a necessary step to keep your financial wellness a priority.
An automatic savings plan (ASP) is a better way to save. These can sometimes be done through your employer, but you can also just set one up with your bank. With this type of savings plan, a dedicated amount is taken from each paycheck and placed in its own savings account automatically.
This way, you never see this money in the first place. Consider it just another expense you pay each month, only you get to use it towards your emergency fund, debt payoff, or important down payments.
2. Pay Down Debts
In truth, not all debts are created equal. If you have a mortgage or student loans, these are important, but not more pressing than credit card debt. When it comes to debt payoff, you want to prioritize your debt that has the highest interest rates. This is usually consumer debt, or credit card debt.
You’re not alone if you have credit card debt. A 2018 study reveals over 18% of consumers in Australia are overwhelmed by credit card debt. This debt won’t go away overnight, but it is something you can tackle in 2019.
First, make a list of your debts before the New Year. Then, organize them by their annual interest rates. This is the foundation of your payoff plan. You’ll want to pay the most to those debts with the highest annual interest rates first. In the meantime, continue making at least the minimum payments on those other debts.
When in doubt, work with a debt specialist who can assist you in making a customized plan. You have options to pay off and consolidate your debt, and an expert can help you every step of the way.
3. Find a Side Hustle
No matter what you love, odds are you can make money doing it. Welcome to the gig economy. If we thought it was thriving in 2018, just wait to see what’s in store in 2019. According to Business Insider Australia, the gig economy is here to stay, and Australia is one of the countries leading the way.
While having a job is a great way to earn a steady income, consider any other ways to get some extra cash flow each month. If you make crafts, sell on Etsy. If you’re a writer, try freelancing or blogging. You can even join a platform like Airtasker to make some cash by helping others in your community do basic tasks like grocery shop or build IKEA furniture. It’s as simple as that to get some more money coming your way.
4. Educate Yourself
Finally, your last financial resolution should be to educate yourself about your finances. Unfortunately, too many people today feel confused about their bank account, debt, and how to make smart financial choices. You and your bank account should be good friends, not strangers.
Like any skill, you can learn more all on your own. If you wanted to get better at baking, you’d read a cookbook. If you wanted to fix your computer, you’d learn more about computers. The same is true about your finances.
Visit your local library and check out books on debt, investing, or anything else that interests you. In the age of the internet, we have an abundance of resources online. Embrace the new and learn all you can. The more you understand your own financial situation, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart financial resolutions for your wallet and credit.
Financial Resolutions for Freedom in 2019
This is the year you reclaim your finances once and for all. It’s time to make a healthy change, and what better time to do just that then the New Year? Let’s make it happen one financial resolution at a time.
Whether you have big goals to buy a house this year or you’re trying to clean up your credit, these financial resolutions will get you there. When in doubt, talk to a financial specialist at Debt Busters. We have more than a decade of experience helping Australians conquer their financial challenges with ease. Let’s make a plan before the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve!