With 2016 in the review mirror, it’s time to turn our attention to the amazing year ahead, and see what 2017 has to offer. With all of the possibilities and opportunities it’s hard to know where to begin.
To make the most of your money this year, make sure to get these money items off your checklist right away.
1: Start Tracking Your Spending
If you want to get better with your money, you need to start tracking how much you spend. The easiest way to do this is with your smartphone. There are an endless amount of apps out there that can do this. Mint.com is a free one that many people use to track their finances. I use it and love it.
I love being able to know where my money goes every month and it helps me keep an eye on my budgets over time. It’s great to be able to compare how much you spent last month and see if you are getting better with your money habits.
The best part is that the tracking happens automatically. Once your accounts are connected it tracks your spending without having to do anything else.
2: Automate Your Savings
This is a surefire way to financial success. If you want to get great at money, then automating your savings is the way to go.
When you automate your savings it takes the thinking out of the equation. This is a huge bonus. You don’t have to remember every pay day to put an amount into a separate account. It just happens on it’s own.
If you talk to people who are doing well with their money, you can all but guarantee that they are doing well because they automate their savings. You do it once to get it set up, and then you don’t need to think about it anymore.
3: Pick 1 Money Goal For The Year
I don’t know about you, but every year I set a thousand goals and fail on all of them by February.
This year do things different. Set 1 goal for your money. Not 5, or 10, or 15 different little goals, just 1.
Then go after that goal with all your energy. No excuses, or reasons for not making it happen. There is only one goal and it’s getting all of your focus.
If you are wondering what kind of goals you can set here are a few ideas:
- Put an extra payment down on my debt every month
- Save a set percentage of my pay check every pay day.
- Save up for my next trip
- Create an emergency fund
The goal itself is important, but what is far more important is how you feel about the goal. Whatever goal you pick, make sure it’s something that you feel strongly about. That way it will keep you motivated throughout the year. Figure out how you are going to make this goal a reality for you. Create a plan and get started. If you are looking for ways to make a good goal look into the S.MA.R.T goal system.
4: Start a Savings Account for Next Christmas
The best thing you can do is to start a new Christmas fund and automate some money going into it every week. If you spent $1000 on Christmas gifts last year, then there is a pretty good chance you are going to need $1000 this year.
Don’t wait. Log into your bank and set up a weekly transfer of $20 into a separate account that you won’t touch until December. This small amount will get stashed away every week. By the time next Christmas rolls around, you will have $1000 put away. Best of all, you can rest easy knowing that you have handled your Christmas savings already.
With all these ideas the principle is simple: Get started and make it automatic whenever you can. Whatever you choose to do in the year ahead make sure you go after it with everything you’ve got.
All the best in the year ahead!
Image Credit: https: Christian Spies