Getting control of our finances can seem like one of the most challenging things we do as adults. Between paying bills, managing debt, spending, and somehow saving along the way for investments, retirement, and our kids, it can seem seriously overwhelming and you’re not alone. The average American household carries $8,398 in credit card debt at any given time – it’s not easy.
You want to set 2020 financial goals that can actually move the needle towards financial freedom and we’re here to help.
Step 1: Set Your Financial Goal/budget Outline your financial goals for the year; what specifically do you want to achieve – is it to save, pay off debt? Outline that and your goals will create a roadmap that you can break down weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Life happens and the economy is unreliable so have a plan.
Step 2: Spend Less Money At the same time of earning more money, you can also spend less money, too. Sit down and go over your spending reports for 2019. Do you notice any trends? Are you spending $300-$400 per month going out to eat? Download a budgeting app that will track it all for you. Options include: Mint, PocketGuard, Wally, Goodbudget, Simple, BUDGET, and Mvelopes. These apps will send you notifications when you go over determined budget limits.
Step 3: Consolidate Debt If you have debt spread out across four different credit cards, try and consolidate it all to one credit card with one interest rate. This will minimize the money you are spending on your debt each month, while also help you to better understand the debt you are working with and how you can pay it off in a shorter time frame.
Step 4: Increase Your Credit Score Poor credit scores can be the reason for loan rates and interest rates that are choking your bank account. You want to show lenders that you are trustworthy and deserve a good lending rate. Use any free credit check site, like Credit Sesame, to get a picture of your current score. From there, work on lowering your debt-to-income ratio and paying off cards. And of course, pay your credit card bills on time.
Step 5: Save Your Money With saved money comes investment options, which can grow your overall savings over-time in a big way. Using your budgeting app, figure out how much you can save each month. After a few months, speak with your bank or a financial advisor about investing that money into things like stocks and bonds. Do this frugally.