2016 seems to have hit everyone’s finances pretty hard because the resolution theme for 2017 across the board seems to be “Spend Less, Save More” according to Bankrate.com. But the biggest question facing consumers is not what, but how?
Pay Down Debt
This resolution is likely on the heels of the credit card statements rolling in from Christmas spending, but paying down debt is important to any financial resolution.
Saving for a rainy day, cold day, or one of those Mondays that everything seems to go wrong should be on everyone’s to-do list for 2017.
While funneling vacation money into a 401K now seems like a drag – no worries your 2047 self will thank you immensely when they are able to take that cruise once the kids are gone.
Of course paying down your debt will no doubt help accomplish this resolution as well, it goes hand in hand with #5. And any other major purchase that might be on your dream list.
Buy a House
According to Forbes, buying a house hit the list of the top 5 resolutions reported – but not only is buying a house expensive, the house itself can get expensive – so all of the above listed financial goals are even more important with a major purchase like this looming on your calendar!
So how can we stick to these goals? Especially when presented with a Friday night out with friends at the new, local trendy place to be? Don’t worry – there is still fun out there on the horizon – it just needs a budget! Try the 50/30/20 plan to help set all of these goals in motion. 50% of your income goes to expenses/ 30% goes to fun / 20% goes to the emergency savings plan – which can also be used to pay down some of your debt. I wouldn’t use all of it though because it still rains.
Some fun ideas to help with the savings toward your savings goals in 2017:
Automate your savings – if you don’t see it, you are less likely to miss it.
Brown Bag it – Pinterest is full of great lunch ideas for free so skip the delivery or lunch rush and bring your own. It’s not only cheaper, it’s usually way healthier as well and isn’t getting healthy on everyone’s list too?
Saving change – Pockets always full of change? Purse filling up with coins and small bills? Take your change and collect it in a jar or take the $5 challenge and every time you get a $5 bill put it in a box and watch your savings soar.
Cut Out One Frivolous Habit – Are you someone that stops for coffee every morning? Try making coffee at home or drinking it at work and save the trip to the café. Pick one habit and stop and see just how much you save!
The key to making these resolutions stick is to make them realistic and attainable, but also keep yourself in check by making sure they are measurable, specific and timely. Don’t forget to ask for help sticking with your goals. My Education Solutions can help you take steps to make most of these resolutions happen. If student loans are throwing a wrench in your resolutions – give us a call! Welcome 2017 and Happy New Year!