As you may remember from last year’s article 18 Changes to Make to Your Finances in 2018, I’ve decided to make this type of article an annual tradition. The start of the year is the perfect time to do things differently, especially if things haven’t been going all that great. This is especially true for your finances. You NEVER want to stay the same in your financial situation. You always want to be growing and working to improve your finances. Ultimately, you want to be building your wealth and upping your net worth!
Here are 19 ways to improve your finances this year:
#1 Find easy ways to save
Saving money doesn’t have to be a conscious effort all the time. There are plenty of resources to make saving money easier. Leverage Digit to save without you doing anything. Open a high-yield savings to get more in interest. Get creative with all the ways you can save.
#2 Use your next raise wisely
The new year is often when companies provide annual raises or bonuses. Instead of thinking about how you can spend your new raise or bonus, consider putting most (if not all) into savings or towards your debt repayments.
#3 Save more for retirement
You don’t have to stop at your company’s match when it comes to retirement saving. Open an IRA, or ensure you are maxing out your 401k contribution before stopping your retirement saving efforts.
#4 Research your 401k investments
While I’m on the topic of retirement, make sure you are making the most of your investment options. You probably don’t know how or what they are, but do the research. When you do find how to invest properly, read How I picked my 401k investments to help guide you.
#5 Create and follow a budget
If budgeting hasn’t worked for you in the past, it’s time to do something different. Create a budget or let me create one for you (20% off budget plans and services going on right now, just use code 2019 at check out!). You absolutely need a budget if you want to be successful with your finances.
#6 Get rid of debt
Obviously, this is a no-brainer. The less debt you have, the better your finances will be.
#7 Set financial goals for yourself
Take your hopes and dreams a step further by creating money goals for yourself. Think about what you want to achieve in life, and what it will need for you to get it. You are capable and worthy of all you want, you just have to work for it!
#8 Try a spending fast
The holidays probably left your bank account nice and dry – well that’s not really nice, but you know what I mean! Try a 2-week long spending fast. A spending fast is a period of time in which you don’t spend money on things that aren’t necessities. Please don’t convince yourself that a Starbucks latte is a necessity!
#9 Work with a finance coach
In the article 7 Signs You Need a Finance Coach, I break down how to determine if it’s time for you to seek help with your finances. Working with any type of coach can do wonders for growth and change. If you’re looking to improve your finances but don’t know how, a finance coach can help.
#10 Up your financial knowledge
If you don’t want to invest in a finance coach, consider reading more blog articles, books, or watching informational videos to help improve your financial knowledge.
#11 Surround yourself with like-minded individuals
When you are trying to better yourself, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can support and appreciate that. If your friends are constantly spending money, it’s time to widen your network. You can also look to social media for assistance. The City Girl Savings Facebook group is designed specifically for women looking to better their financial situation!
#12 Save more
Another no-brainer makes its way the list. Even if it’s adding $5 more to your current transfer amounts, start saving more money.
#13 Track your spending
You already should be following a budget (if not, see #5). Now, take it a step further and make sure you track your spending to ensure you are following your budget.
#14 Do things differently
What worked in your finances last year? What didn’t work? Analyze your past year and see what you can do differently in 2019 to improve your finances.
#15 Invest in things that will help you grow
Don’t be afraid to invest your money in things that will better your career, life, finances, health, relationships, or any other area of life. Those types of investments are always worth the value you pay for them.
#16 Try TurboTax
Unless you have a complicated tax situation, you don’t really need a CPA. When filing your tax returns from last year, consider giving TurboTax a try. It’s very easy and helps you get the most money back.
#17 Start a side hustle
Is there anything you are passionate about? Do you enjoy doing certain things? Think about how you can make money doing things you like to do or are passionate about. Side hustles are coming up, so don’t miss the bus!
#18 Look into your employer benefits
Did you know that some companies offer complimentary life and disability insurance? Those are good things to know you have available to you! Do your research on the benefits offered to you from your employer.
#19 Think about each purchase
Any time you go to spend money, think about how it will impact your budget and your goals. If there is no impact (because the purchase is budgeted for), then continue. If there is an impact, think about your goals and if this really is the best purchase to make.
Another year is upon us! That means another opportunity to get our finances in order! Do any of the 19 items on the list above to improve your finances this year! What items on the list do you plan on working on this year? What other things are on your financial to-do list this year? Post a comment below to share!
The CGS Team