With the New Year often comes new resolutions to be better – healthier, kinder, or maybe a more engaged friend or coworker. And likely, more than once you’ve made a resolution to be better with your finances.
Now, no matter how well you’ve stuck to previous financial resolutions, there’s always room for improvement and new ways to help ensure that you’re in charge of your own financial future.
As your partner we want to help you on this journey, so we’ve put together a few simple tips that can guide newbies and experts alike as you make your financial plan for 2018.
Step 1: Review your spending from 2017
If you had a budget last year, compare your plan to your actual expenditures and see how they measured up. If you didn’t have a budget, no worries, we’ll get to that soon!
Review all of your spending to help you pinpoint your expenditures for necessities (think: housing, food, transportation, and utilities) against the spending you did for fun.
Step 2: Take stock of all of your assets and debts
We’re talking income, checking, savings, and investments, as well as car payments and credit card balances.
Make a list of what you have saved, what you owe, and you anticipate earning this year – this is important information when you’re setting up your budget.
Step 3: Create a new budget
If you had a budget last year, use it as the basis for your 2018 budget. If you’re new to the budget game, check out the Budgeting Tool in our Financial Wellness Center and get started determining how you’ll spend and save this year.
When you do create your spending plan for this year, be sure to divide your income across necessities like living expenses, saving for the future, and paying down any debt, while still leaving a little room for fun!