10 Smart Financial Goals to Set in 2019
Commit to making your finances a priority and set financial goals for yourself. Make 2019 YOUR Year.
Create a budget so you’re in control of your money
Budgeting may not be your favorite hobby, but it can help you spend less than you earn. With a budget, you can stop wondering where your money went and start thinking about where it will go. Start by categorizing your spending. For example, create budget categories for food, rent, savings, going out with friends, etc. Next, look at your total monthly income and expenses. Using your “take-home pay”, allot a certain amount of money to different categories in your budget.
Ditch debt for good
You and debt have probably never really hit it off. Make a clean break by creating a payoff plan to get rid of that financial ball and chain. First, make a list of all your loans and take note of each balance’s interest rate. Next, focus your efforts on paying the high-interest debt first, so you’ll end up paying less total interest over time. Keep yourself motivated by coming up with some milestone rewards.
Put your savings strategy on auto-pilot
Bigger is better when it comes to your savings account. But let’s face it, saving can seem hard. If you’ve ever felt like “I can’t afford to save” or “I’ll start saving next month,” we have the perfect trick for you: Automate your savings. By setting up automatic transfers to your savings account from your checking account, you can put your savings strategy on auto-pilot and you’ll hardly even notice the money is gone. Start by automatically saving 10% of your income with each paycheck. You can set up automatic transfers online or by talking to your bank. Automating your savings can make the process easier and help you build wealth effortlessly.
Invest in yourself
Want to know one of the best things to invest in? Yourself. It may bring returns on your happiness, success and even salary. Think about what new skills could beef up your resume and look for learning opportunities in your community or online that could help you move your career forward. Not only that, think about what you want to accomplish in the future. Do you want to pursue an MBA? Spruce up your design skills or master the art of coding? Become a better writer? By investing in yourself, you can get a leg up in your career and become more well-rounded.
Save for a rainy day
Unexpected things happen to all of us, and creating a financial safety net can help ease the pain of tough times and help you rest easy during good ones. For a solid rainy day fund, aim to save three to six months’ worth of expenses in a high yield savings account.
Save for a personal goal
In 2019, don’t forget to save for your personal goals. After all, money is a tool to help you enjoy life. Saving for your goals can empower you to spend on what actually matters to you and avoid debt while pursuing your dreams.
What if you made an extra 25% in 2019? How would that change your financial life? Would it allow you to pay off debt or jump-start your retirement fund? Or how about reach some of those personal goals? Make it a goal to earn more money in 2019. You can do this in a variety of ways:
- Negotiate a raise at your job.
- Take on a side gig.
- Sell your old stuff.
Save for future you
Time is on your side, start saving now. The magic of compounding interest can turn just a little bit of savings into a large nest egg. To rock this goal, strive for saving 10% to 15% for retirement through your employer-sponsored 401(k). If you’re eligible, make sure you contribute enough to get a company match, at least! It’s free money and a sweet job perk. Also, consider getting extra tax benefits by contributing to a Traditional or Roth IRA. In 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 in a 401(k) and a total of $6,000 in an Individual Retirement Plan (IRA). Just be aware of potential income restrictions and contribution limits. If you work for yourself, you might want to check out retirement plans for self-employed people. Options like a SEP-IRA can help you save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis, just like employees on company plans.
Educate yourself about personal finance
Knowledge is power. In 2019, commit to educating yourself about money and personal finance. Learn about the many options available to you when it comes to saving for the future. Novice savers can become savvy wealth-builders with just a bit of training and reading.
Sit down with a financial advisor
Still not sure where to start on your 2019 financial strategy? Consider sitting down with a financial advisor. By taking a look at your entire financial situation, they can help you establish a customized plan designed to meet your short- and long-term goals. Then, your financial advisor can help you select suitable products and services designed to put your plan into action.