Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions, vowing to eat better, lose weight, exercise more or save more money. While we can’t help you with the first three, that last one is right up our alley. Take a look at a few resolutions to help you make the most of your finances in 2020.
Take a look at your spending from 2019
Did you know that just about every credit card website offers you a summary of your charges for the past year? They’re usually broken down into different spending categories (restaurants, entertainment, groceries, etc.) and list every charge in that particular category, along with your total spending on that particular card. You might be surprised to see exactly how much you’re spending in each category without even realizing it. For example, many of us find ourselves eating out simply because it’s convenient but when you see the cost in black and white, it can be shocking. Take a look and see where you can make some simple cutbacks. Chances are you won’t even miss them.
Set goals for 2020
Do you have debt you’ve been trying to get rid of? Have you been meaning to contribute more to your 401-K (or maybe start a new retirement savings plan)? Has your family situation changed in the past year, maybe a new spouse or child or maybe one less in the nest with someone starting college or moving out on their own? Whatever you’d like to do with your money in 2020, now is the time to start planning. Take that credit card summary you pulled (see above) and plan to save some of the money from the places where you’ve decided to make cutbacks. Have a little fun with it…resolve to save all your change or not spend any $1 bills and put them in a safe place. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the little things can add up.
Create a budget
We can hear you groaning at the thought but this is one quick and surefire way to get a solid handle on where your money is going! Why not spend one of these cold winter days putting together your financial plan for 2020? Be sure to budget for “fun” in addition to the basic necessities. A budget with no room for fun is a budget that is almost guaranteed to fail.
Resolve to check your credit report twice a year
Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year and in Georgia, we are guaranteed two free reports each year. This is something simple but very important. There are websites that charge for these reports but that’s not necessary. All you need to do is go to www.annualcreditreport.com and enter the requested information. You can access your credit reports from all three credit bureaus from this one site and they’re all free!
These are just a few steps you can take to get this New Year off to a great start for you AND your finances. We wish you a prosperous and happy 2020!