After ringing in the new year, it’s time to start adopting new positive habits and goals into your daily life. If your finances are part of that picture, check out the financial goals that we suggest making this year.
1. Start a budget. (And actually stick to it.)
Budgeting is so crucial when it comes to managing your money, yet not enough of us actually do it. The good news is that establishing a budget is actually a fairly easy task. Build your own budget this year by taking a look at your monthly income and blocking out your expenses within the same timeframe. From there, you’ll be able to see where you can cut down on spending, and how much you can put towards your savings or leisure. For a more extensive look at budget-building, check out The College Student’s Guide to Budgeting.
The next step? Actually sticking to your budget. Make sure to revisit it often in order to ensure you’re on the right track, and to revise it based on any financial changes in your life.
2. Pay off some debt.
The thought of paying off debt while you’re still in school might make you cringe, but any amount you can contribute matters. The more you pay off now, the less you’ll pay in interest over time. This year, aim to make regular contributions to some of your debt (such as your student loans), even if it’s just $25 a month. For more info on paying off your student loans, check out Student Loan Advice from the Experts.
3. Add to your savings.
Whether you want to save up for a major purchase, establish an emergency fund, or just add a sum of money to your savings account this year, it’s important having a clear savings goal. Once you have a set amount in mind, it’s time to come up with a plan of action. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- How much money will I need to put aside each month to reach this goal?
- Where can I cut down on spending?
- How can I bring in some extra income?
Take a look at these factors and plan accordingly.
4. Let go of more unnecessary purchases.
Do you swear you can’t get by without your daily latte? Are you hesitant to pull the plug on that monthly subscription box you love? These are things that may seem hard to let go of, but you might end up realizing you don’t miss them once they’re gone after all. Make a running list of your expenses that aren’t necessities. (If you’ve already made your budget, this should be easy!) Then, start planning where you want to cut down completely, or where you can find cheaper alternatives. How about finding a new area to cut back on each month this year?