The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflection

It can also be a great opportunity to assess our current financial situation and establish better money management habits. Nine simple tips to help you get started are:

1. Set Clear Financial Goals – Take a moment to analyze your financial situation and set clear short term and long term goals. Determine what kind of results you want to achieve, such as saving for a rainy day fund, getting out of debt, or achieving financial freedom. When setting goals, it’s important to make them both achievable and measurable in order to stay motivated and on track.

2. Budget – Creating a budget is the easiest way to keep track of expenses and ensure that more money comes in then goes out. Start by writing down all of your income and expenses and figuring out where there is potential for savings. Try to stick to a spending plan by tracking your progress regularly.

3. Automate Savings – Make it easy to save by setting up automatic deposits into a savings account. Automating your savings will help you reach financial goals more quickly and easily.

4. Prioritize Debt Payoff – Paying off debt should be high on your list of priorities. Tackle high-interest debts first, such as credit cards and personal loans, and pay more than the minimum payment each month.

5. Spend Less Than You Earn – The best way to stay out of debt is to practice this basic rule. Keep spending within your means and try to live a frugal lifestyle by cutting back on unnecessary purchases.

6. Invest Wisely – Invest for retirement early and often. Start by contributing at least enough into a 401K or IRA to receive any matching contributions from your employer. Once you have established a good emergency fund, consider investing any additional money into low cost index funds or ETFs.

7. Live Within Your Means – Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Consider value over short-term gains or status symbols.

8. Build an Emergency Fund – Having a healthy emergency fund can be the difference between financial ruin and stability. Building one requires discipline, but it's well worth the effort. Aim for an amount somewhere between three to six months of living expenses.

9. Monitor Your Finances Regularly - It’s important to check your accounts regularly and make sure they are accurate. This can prevent costly mistakes and identity theft.

In conclusion, improving your money management skills can be the key to achieving your financial goals in the New Year. Taking the time to establish a budget, save automatically, and prioritize debt payoff can help you take control of your finances. Investing wisely and monitoring your accounts can also help you achieve long-term financial success. With these nine tips you’ll be well on your way towards a more secure financial future in the New Year.

The beginning of a new year can be seen as a fresh start, allowing us to establish better money management habits and improve our financial situation. In order to do this, nine simple tips are provided to help people manage their money.

Setting clear financial goals is the first step. By taking a moment to analyze our financial situation and set achievable goals which can be measured, we can stay motivated to reach our desired outcome.

The next step is to create a budget and track expenses in order to ensure that more money is coming in than going out. Automating savings makes saving money easier as it allows us to reach our financial goals faster and with less effort.

Prioritizing debt payoff is another important factor. High-interest debts, such as credit cards and personal loans, should be paid off first. Additionally, spending less than we earn and living within our means is a great way to avoid getting into debt.

Investing wisely and early is recommended. Contributing into a 401K or IRA to receive matching contributions from employers should be done, as well as investing any additional funds into low cost index funds or ETFs. Building an emergency fund is also recommended as it can provide stability in the case of financial hardship.

Finally, monitoring finances regularly is important to ensure that accounts are accurate and mistakes are prevented.

By following these nine simple tips, it’s possible to take control of finances and achieve financial success in the New Year. Setting goals, budgeting, automating savings, paying off debt, spending less, living within our means, investing wisely, building an emergency fund, and monitoring finances all play a role in managing money efficiently in 2020.

This article was contributed on Oct 22, 2023