Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it’s easy to take a look at your bank account, credit card balances, or how your portfolio continues to take a dip, making you think how you should have done things differently sooner. Well while it may be too late to turn things around in the last two weeks of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get your finances in order so you can have success not only in 2019, but in years to come. After all, watching your savings rise and your debt fall will be the key to remain on the path to retirement. Here are a few financial resolutions to make for 2019.
Get Rid of Impulse Purchases
Whether it’s at the grocery store, finding a ‘too good to be true’ sale, or probably the hardest, online shopping, impulse buys can really put a damper on finances and throw off your budget. A great way to stick to what you need is to create a list, and only work off that list when you leave the house. While sure, you can still add items you don’t need, but it’s a good start to keep your head down and focus on what you intended on shopping for, instead of filling your cart with unnecessary items.
Build an Emergency Fund
While experts say that you should keep three to six months’worth of expenses in an account for an emergency, that certainly can be tough to achieve overnight, especially when money can be tight as it is. By at least putting a little money aside each paycheck, over the course of the year you could build up a cushion so that if you get any unexpected expenses such as a vet bill or auto repair, you won’t have to use a credit card and risk going into debt.
Pay Off Credit Card Statement Balances
Sure, this is easier said than done, but if you can stick to a plan to payoff your credit card statement balance, it can actually make financial sense to use a credit card. By making even the purchases you were going to make anyways, you can earn rewards in the form or points or cashback, provided you have a solid rewards credit card,and if you don’t, now is the time to apply. By paying off the full statement balance, you can avoid paying any interest on what you carryover to the next month.
Increase Retirement Contributions
Retirement may be decades away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about your future. After all, the earlier you can start saving, the longer you have to grow over time, whether that’s in an IRA or 401k account. Whether you take advantage of the full company matching you can get at work so you don’t leave free money on the table,or increase contributions with each paycheck, you can start to see your nest egg grow so you can continue to enjoy life experience after you walk away from work.