The new year is only weeks away, and if you’re like most Americans, you’ve thought about the resolutions you’d like to set for 2020. Many resolve to eat healthier and exercise more, which are great for overall well-being. But what about your financial goals and health?
Whether you need to pay off credit card debt, save for a down-payment for a home, or start your retirement savings, the start of a new year is a great time to start anew financially and set some attainable goals. Here are some ways to take control of your finances and start saving in 2020 and beyond:
Daily check-ins. If you have five minutes to spare each day (and you probably do), you have time to do a daily check of your finances. Logging in to your account daily holds your accountable in how and where you spend your money and ensures your not spending money on things you don’t need. Small expenses, such as stopping for coffee on the way to work or school instead of making it at home, can add up quickly and divert money from your savings goals.
Make saving rewarding. If you achieve a personal goal, it’s human nature to reward yourself. Instead of buying a latte or a new shirt, why not reward yourself monetarily. If your goal is to exercise more, save $2 for each time you go to the gym. Wasn’t to eat healthier? Give yourself $1 for each time you bring your lunch to work instead of eating out. By setting smaller goals and rewarding yourself for small victories, you’re more likely to save money and stick to your goals.
Pay yourself first. You’ve worked hard for your money and deserve to get paid, just like your other bills. Set up an automated savings plan with your financial institution and have a portion of your paycheck deposited in your savings account. If your employer has a direct deposit, you may have the option to have a percentage of your check go into your savings. Since you don’t see the money in your checking account, you won’t miss it. Whether you’re saving for retirement, adding to your emergency fund, or planning a family vacation, paying yourself first is a simple way to invest in yourself.
Account for every dollar. Also known as zero-based budgeting, this method operates on budgeting every single dollar of every single paycheck down to the last dollar. When you create an automated plan and stick to it, paying off debt and putting money into savings it much easier. While this may sound difficult or tedious at first, stick with it as it’s the foundation to a successful financial resolution.
Update your calendar. On the first of the month, review all the upcoming events for the month including dates your bills are due. This will help you plan accordingly and stick to your monthly budget. Birthdays, weddings, and other special events won’t sneak up on you; in fact, you’ll be able to shop for gifts ahead of time and save any necessary funds.
Preparing yourself and your loved ones for 2020 and beyond doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated, and Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services is here to help. For information and advice on how to start working towards your own legacy, reach out to us at [email protected], call (510) 237-6459, or check out our events page for our upcoming workshops.