It’s almost the end of the year. For some, that means it’s time to begin thinking about new year goals. The majority of new year goals are related to health, fitness, personal or career development. Although all of those are good goals, it is recommended to consider financial goals for the new year.

Here are 5 goals for consideration to improve your finances in 2018.

 

1. Create a Budget 

This is the most important goal you can have. By doing so, it will help you manage your money, limit unnecessary spending, and start saving towards your other goals. The best way to start is by reviewing your spending from the previous year. This will allow you to see what unnecessary spending you did and create a realistic budget to follow.

 

2. Start Saving Money

While creating a budget, you should have a section for savings. This is a huge piece of budgeting which everyone accounts for. It is best to have one, especially for emergencies. You never know what life may throw your way. Ensure you’re protected by setting one up today. If you have debt, it’s good to start with $1000 in emergency savings. Once your debt is paid off, focus on increasing your savings to 3 or 6 months of expenses. For more information on saving accounts, contact us.

 

3. Get Out of Debt

Being in debt can have a large impact on your budget and lifestyle. It is important to have a solid, realistic plan to tackle debt. Ensure there is a section in your budget each month specifically to pay off your debt. To speed up the process, remove or decrease the amount of money you spend on coffee, eating out, or shopping. Put that money towards debt instead.

 

4. Participate in No Spend Days or Months

This may be a new concept for some, but everyone should try it. The idea is to save money by not spending superfluously on certain days or during an entire month. Instead of spending money to go out to eat or see a movie, save it by attending free events or cooking dinner at home with friends or family.

‘No spend’ days will be more beneficial as a whole month, but it’s recommended to start small with trying it for one day or a weekend at a time, then slowly increase until you’re able to do a full month. Some people will do one month a year, some will do several. Do whatever works best for you and your goals.

 

5. Review Your Credit Report

This is important to do at least once per year. Everyone has access to their credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. Through that website, you have the ability to pull and review your credit report for free once a year. This is highly recommended so you can review any discrepancies and dispute them as soon as possible.

 

Keep up with these 5 financial goals and your life will change for the better. You will be more financially stable and have more opportunities to work on hobbies, travel to dream destinations – whatever you may want.

Visit mmfcu.org to learn more about making good financial choices in 2018.