New Year's Resolution to Finances
As a recent graduate, I am about to be thrown into the world of bills and expenses. In order to minimize the stress and worry, I have decided to pre-plan my future expenses so I can be ahead of the game. Here are 19 things I will do in 2019 to keep my finances on track.
1. Identify my financial goals for 2019
· As a recent graduate, I have to now figure out all of my expenses. My biggest goal is to be financially educated and prepared. I need to understand what expense I will have each month and other ways I can save.
2. Pay off my car loan
· I will put an extra $ towards my payment each month to pay it off early
3. Be financially capable of buying a home
· Become preapproved for a first-time home buyers loan
4. Commit to a “no spend day” each month
· It means what it says!
5. Check my credit report
· It’s free at annualcreditreport.com
6. Save to travel to Australia in 2021
· It’s just one of my dream vacations and I have a 2 year plan to start saving
7. Build my emergency fund each month
· Life is unexpected. The last thing I want to happen is a problem arise and I don’t have the money to solve/fix it.
8. Pay bills right after pay day
· I can’t spend money I don’t have. So, to minimize the potential of me spending my money before my bills are paid, I will set them to be automatically withdrawn from my account before I notice the funds are there.
9. Make a realistic budget
· Pay my bills first. Save some money in savings/emergency fund. Then have the rest for entertainment.
10. Pay an extra $ towards my college debt each month
· The more I pay each month the quicker it goes away, right? Any extra funds will go towards this when capable.
11. Cut back on unnecessary shopping
· I know there is a fine line between “need” and “want” and will try to put that money towards paying off debt rather than a splurge.
12. Donate (or sell) unused clothes/items
· Donating my unused clothing or household items will allow me to itemize the donation(s) on my tax return (of course, this depends on what form I file!) I’m also considering consignment shops, where I can “sell back” clothing I no longer wear. Cash in my pocket now or tax savings at tax time plus a cleaner closet is a winner all around!
13. Be more aware of what my financials mean
· This is the year of education! I will learn and understand financial security, interest building savings accounts, different insurance options, difference between certain credit percentages, homeowner loans, etc.
14. Learn about investments
· Which stocks are good investments? How do I know what a good investment looks like? How to choose which one to “take the risk”, which one builds more, quicker?
15. Minimize eating out to 3 times a month
· I know buying groceries not only saves money but also reduces the chances of eating unhealthy food. I think this might be one of the easiest financial resolutions for me!
16. Skip the gym membership
· Since the gym at my college will no longer be accessible, I’m planning to take advantage of online workout programs … it’s worth a try, right?
17. Watch my reoccurring membership subscriptions
· Netflix and Pandora are great, but every service and/or app with a monthly fee can slowly eat away at my discretionary income. I plan to keep control of those I use and enjoy regularly, and drop those I don’t.
18. Match my 401(k) with my job
· I am definitely hoping my first “real job” offers a 401k savings. I plan to contribute at least as much as the company will match.
19. Minimize the chance of living paycheck to paycheck
· Understand my bills, debt, and expenses. Be financially smart and strict.