The end of the year is truly the best time to evaluate your financial situation. This is when credit card companies and banks send end-of-year statements to their customers. Employers will soon send the necessary forms for filing 2019 taxes.
January is the month for new beginnings, so your long-term goal of economic freedom starts now. Happy New Year! There’s a feeling of excitement that accompanies every resolution and every new direction; new year resolutions are no exception.
Find ‘The Right Track’ for You: 6 Resolutions for Smart Money Management
Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track. - Natasha Munson, author
“Get your money situation on the right track for next year,” says the December 2019 issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine. Financial strategists often discuss “the right track,” but the direction is different for all of us.
As you make your financial resolutions for 2020, include goal-setting for your personal, family, and community life as well. Here are five smart resolutions for the new year to consider:
- Consider consulting a financial advisor – Your bank and other lending/financial institutions can help with any questions you may have.
- Set your goals – Do you want to complete your degree, buy a home, save money for your kids’ college? List your goals and put them in a place you’ll see them every day.
- Review last year’s expenditures – Where did the money go? Bank statements and credit card invoices will help you sort on what and where you spent money in 2019. What could you have done differently? What money mistakes can you avoid in 2020?
- Check your credit report – Now’s the time to get a full credit report from all major credit agencies. If there are errors or inconsistencies, it’s important to work with the credit reporting agency to correct them.
- Develop a financial portfolio – Don’t think only “rich people” have wills or estate plans. If you want your sister to have your antique automobile, put it in writing. If you have children, that’s reason enough to put legal paperwork in place for their protection. Don’t leave important decisions about their futures in the hands of a judge that means well but is clueless about your family dynamics.
- Re-evaluate television – The amount many of us pay every month for cable is stunning. Can you switch to a digital antenna for local broadcasts? Can streaming services deliver what you need without the high cost of cable? Review the reality of your television usage and if you can make a money-saving adjustment, do so.
Finally, take advantage of automatic payments. Online banking helps you manage money in such a way that monthly bills are habits, not surprises.
Make 2020 a memorable year! This new decade can mark the beginning of your new relationship with money.