It’s the new year, and we all know what that means! New year, new you. That includes everything from exercise, habits, and especially finances! To avoid digging yourself deeper into debt and possibly needing to declare bankruptcy, it’s a great time to work on some goals.
Most people don’t realize that it is imperative to have clear financial goals. You’re far more likely to succeed when you take the time to think through the things you want to accomplish and then create a plan.
Also, for many people, money is an overwhelming topic. That’s why taking a quiet afternoon without distractions is so important to go slowly and think clearly about the path you want to take.
To start, set some money goals. Those are the things you would like to accomplish financially this year. Things like getting out of debt, investing, or growing your savings are all examples. Putting these goals out in front of you will be a beacon to guide you throughout the year. Consider making these goals short-term and long-term.
Some more specific goals to consider are retirement savings, emergency savings, paying off debt, a workable budget, investments, and owning a house.
For now, let’s focus on budgeting and paying off debt.
A workable budget is a tool and not a master. Sticking to your budget is the best way to manage your money and also a worthy financial goal. This tool can help you see where your money is going and how best to redirect it if needed.
If you need help making a budget and sticking to it, try using a spreadsheet either on the computer or in print form. Many banks even have a downloadable app that you can manage right from your phone.
Budgets only work if you work with them. Make sure you review yours often throughout the year and make adjustments where it is needed.
Being debt-free gives you many options and open doors. Using the debt snowball method to reduce and eliminate debt is a great way to get rid of your credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills. Start with your smallest balance, pay that off in full, then take that monthly amount that you would normally pay and apply it to the next lowest balance. And so on.
After you’ve set the goals of making a budget and paying off debt, how do you keep that ball rolling throughout the year? Write down your goals and keep them in a place where you can easily view them. By keeping your goals visible, you avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” pitfall! Keep track of your goals throughout the year and celebrate your victories – just don’t go into more debt doing so! Finally, make sure you have some accountability. Appoint a go-to person to help you with major financial decisions or to head off a spur of the moment purchase. Do you really need that $5,000 ruby and sapphire encrusted Rolex, or will a sturdy, waterproof watch from the local Walmart work just fine?
Taking control of your finances by budgeting and setting some reachable debt reducing goals is the best thing that you can do for yourself this year!
If your efforts to reign in your budget and debt are beyond your control, don’t despair. We can help! To speak with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys about filing bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of Miller, Hollander, and Jeda today. We are here and ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your financial troubles and help you solve your problems. We take pride in assisting clients to get a fresh start.