The clock is ticking! We only have 48 days before 2018!
In between holiday shopping, vacations and back to back celebrations, the idea of “improving your financial situation” before the year ends may sound like a very impossible task to achieve. But if you truly want to succeed in 2018, there are certain money moves that you must start doing NOW.
Be proactive and take these steps before the New Year rolls out:
1. Review your goals.
If you were able to set financial goals last year, it’s time to look back and assess if they were achieved or not, if they are still relevant for the upcoming year, why you weren’t able to achieve it and how to make better progress going forward. Also, this is the time to set new financial goals for 2018.
2. Review the past year’s income and expenses.
Creating a budget and tracking your expenses are two important keys in achieving financial freedom. If you’ve been doing that for the past year, take time to assess the flow of your income, expenses and current savings. Reflect on how you spent your money in 2017 and how much you’ve increased your savings, in order to become wiser and smarter in 2018. If you haven’t used a budget system or have never tracked your spending, it’s time to do so now.
3. Check your credit report.
Make it a habit to review your credit report and check your credit score annually. We are all entitled to one free credit report a year. Once you have your credit report on hand, analyze it and check for any discrepancies. Maybe they have listed major purchases that you didn’t make? Or a credit card that you don’t even own? Or payments that are incorrectly reported late? Highlight them one by one so it’s easier to back-read. In case of an error, make sure to gather all supporting documents and report it right away.
4. Double-check your insurance plans.
There may be things that no longer need to be protected and new things that need protection. So it’s a good idea to review all your insurance plans such as your Life Plans, Estate Plans, Disability insurance, etc.
5. Build a better budget.
After reviewing your past year’s goals, income, expenses and savings, and found that your budget didn’t actually work out for you in 2017, it’s probably time to build a better one. Budgeting is a case of trial and error, so why not check out other budgeting styles and discover a new way to budget this year.
6. Spend your bonus wisely.
Whether it’s a Christmas bonus or a 13th month, make sure not to spend big amount of money for shopping. Put a big portion of it for savings or debt-payment. Trust me, your 2018 self will thank you for it.
7. Plan wisely for the holidays.
Let’s admit it – the holidays can be a huge money drain. If you spend and plan aimlessly, you’ll find yourself in a pile of debt when 2018 rings in. To avoid this, you need to be wise in spending for this year’s holiday season whether it’s gift shopping, travels, food preparations, holiday décor, etc.
Read these two articles to help you plan wisely for the upcoming holidays: