This year, plan to make resolutions you can stick to, ones that became habits. Below are our top five financial resolutions for 2015, and tips on how to achieve each financial goal set for 2015.
1) Increase Your Savings
Betterment.com recommends that you increase your savings by at least 2% each year, this will allow you to keep up with inflation. However more is always better, if you can increase your contributions by 5% you will inevitably allow for more growth. Consider setting-up a high-yield savings account that is separate from your everyday checking and savings. Not only will you earn more interest on your principal but this type of savings account will be out of sight out of mind. Meaning you will be less likely to transfer money out of your savings account unless you’re really in dire need.
2) Set Realistic Financial Goals
Give yourself realistic financial goals, be specific. Saving for a house? Commit to a certain number each month, say an extra $300 saved towards down payment. Setup an automatic transfer each month from your checking to your savings. Being vague will only lead to inconsistent savings.
3) Pay Down Debt
More specifically set an amount you want to pay off, say $200 each month to total $2,400. Avoid a vague resolution to pay down your debt, typically you won’t get you anywhere. By creating a plan that includes a specific set amount per month you’ll be closer to paying off that debt. Be sure that your debt goals include your said amount, start, end date, and total goal.
Also, make sure that your debt goals matches your current financial situation. For example, if you are currently living paycheck to paycheck don’t set a goal to pay off $25,000. You want your goal to be realistic and most importantly achievable. In over your head? A debt consolidation and settlement service may be a good option for you.
4) Create and Stick to your Budget
Creating and actually sticking to your 2015 financial budget will allow you to achieve all of your financial goals. But first you must set a budget, a great way to gauge where your money is going is to use a money tracking tool. Once you find a budget tracking tool that works for you, you will be able to visually see where your money is going. Often times this is enough to get you to cut back where needed, suddenly those daily lattes aren’t as appealing when you see the cost add up.
5) Save more for Retirement
If you can save more for retirement, even a small amount, do so. The more money you save today the more time it has to mature, compounding interest year after year. Essentially making your money work for you. If you aren’t already, make sure you are maxing out your employers 401(k) contributions. This is a simple effective way to make a large dent in your retirement savings. If that goal is too lofty, save an extra $50 per month, $25 per paycheck. Although small, it will add up year after year.
All of these goals seem overwhelming? Use an affordable financial planning product to help you plan your financial future. LearnVest has a number of financial planning services to fit every family and budget, helping you get the most out of your money.