The new year is almost here. Have you considered your financial resolutions for 2019? Whatever your current situation, you can benefit from improving your spending and saving habits.
Now is the perfect time to begin mapping out your financial strategy for 2019. Many millennials have finished college and are well into their careers, but are short of their peak earning years. These four resolutions can help improve your finances in the new year.
Follow a budget. Did you go through 2018 without a solid handle on your spending and saving? Nothing beats a budget when you want to grab control of your finances. A basic household budget isn't that difficult to track, and it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. A budget states your priorities, so when you disregard it, you're working against yourself. Set up your 2019 budget before the year begins so that you set off on the right foot.
Reduce debt. It can be hard to pay down student loans if you also run up debt on credit cards. Student loan debt may also force many millennials to postpone homeownership. The new year is the time to break the cycle of debt, starting with your credit cards. If you pay them off and use them sparingly, the interest you save can be applied to your student loans.
Improve your cash flows. Ideally, you would want to cut your spending and increase your income. Either one is good, but together they form the basis of a revolutionary change to your finances. You can start small-cable bills, data plans, grocery shopping, dining out-and see how the savings accumulate. A part-time job can also boost your income. Imposing discipline on your spending might mean postponing purchases, but the long-term benefits surely outweigh the short-term inconvenience.
Sock away more money. Even if you have debt, part of your budget should address short- and long-term savings. Your first goal should be to save six months of income for an emergency fund. Next, consider making contributions to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and/or as much as possible to a 401(k)*. If you have children, you may also want to start a college fund. As your savings grow, you'll want to allocate it to diversified investment assets to help with your long-term rate of return.
A new year needs fresh ideas. Now is the time to get a fresh viewpoint from a professional. Contact me today for a complete financial review and a comprehensive plan to manage your wealth. I have many ideas that can help you keep your New Year's resolutions and put you in the driver's seat for 2019.
*Your income level and contributions to an employee sponsored retirement plan will affect the tax-deductibility of your IRA contributions.
There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.