6 Money Tips to Start 2018 on Strong Financial Footing

The holiday season usually triggers a flurry of activity. Most of us spend a lot of time preparing the home for the coming festivities, all to make these hectic few weeks flow more seamlessly. By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, a New Year’s resolution is the last obligation we face after a long list of chores and responsibilities. Regardless of whether you believe in such decrees or not, the New Year is the perfect time to put your finances in order. Why not focus on improving the health of your financial situation.

Here are six money tips to start 2018 on a strong financial footing.

Scrutinize Your Affairs

Having an honest and serious look at your current financial situation is essential to planning for a more positive tomorrow. Examining exactly where the funds go will help to identify areas of improvement. If you have found tracking your finances a chore, use free, online banking tools to track expenses.

Create a Budget

We covered some free money management tools a few moneys ago. These can help you analyze your expenses to create a doable budget for next year. No matter how much money you make, thoughtless spending can soon drain your savings. Budgets should prioritize expenses, including credit card debt, and allocate a set amount of spending. But most of all, budgets need to map out ways of building savings, so set yourself a financial goal.

List All Purchases

Having a budget is all well and good in theory, but unless you stick to it, it will not work. So continue using financial tools to help you see where your money goes. At the end of the month, examine where your money has gone and ask yourself if you could do better. This will help to identify reckless spending and keep your eye on the goal. It can also help you identify items and expenses that may provide tax refunds or savings.

Tame the Credit Cards

Now is the time to examine all your credit cards and decide if they are in need of urgent attention. Transferring balances can help you condense multiple cards down to one more manageable card with lower interest rates. Include in your budget regular credit card payments and work towards eradicating the destructive impact of credit card debt.

Refinance Loans

High-interest rates take a huge bit out of savings. Take the time to investigate the various options available; talk to the bank and discuss ways to improve home loans and mortgages, student loans and credit card debts, and even re-financing the car loan. Make the most of competitive and low-interest rate offers. You will never know if you don’t ask.

Really Save

Even if it is merely a five dollar contribution to the jar on top of the refrigerator, work on building your savings. If you have a little money in your account, investigate ways to make your money work for you. A second job might be what you need to secure your future. Every dollar saved today is going to make your retirement a lot easier, so it may be worth a little extra work

Check Investments

If you haven’t yet made the leap into a 401k, it’s never too late. If your employer hosts a program and matches contributions, every week you spend unenrolled is a week you are throwing away money. If you already have a 401k, now is the time to evaluate your allocations and rebalance your portfolio. Check if your employer offers free investment advice to guide your decisions.

By having a better understanding of your monetary situation and setting clear goals, 2018 can become the year you regain control of your finances.