Your 2018 Financial Goals

12/12/2017

Give yourself a head-start in 2018. These financial resolutions will help you get on top of your financial goals. Pick one or two that are most appropriate for your current financial situation.

Write out a budget and track spending each month.

Vow to track your budget and spending in writing, and to adjust based on the previous month's performance. Seeing your spending in writing will help you understand where you can eliminate unnecessary spending.

Reduce your debt.

Make a specific goal of how much debt you want to eliminate. Make sure this goal is attainable, but something you'll have to push yourself to reach. There are several debt reduction strategies. Search the internet or consult a financial advisor to find the strategy that makes the most sense for your goal.

Build up an emergency fund.

Even if you have debt, you should still try to put some money toward an emergency fund. An emergency fund should cover 1-3 months' living expenses in case of loss of income, an unexpected major expense, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Build your long-term savings.

If you are working for a company, take advantage of any match your employer provides for your 401(k). If you're in debt, contribute up to your employer's match. If you're not in debt, you should be contributing up to fifteen percent of your income (including your employer's match). If your debts are an immediate concern, or if your employer does not match, you should still try to save at least 5 percent of your income.

Advance your career.

Resolve to end this year with a higher income and a happier life! If you're happy with your career or employer, aim for a raise or a promotion. If you're dissatisfied or unmotivated with your current job, arm yourself with the skills to improve your prospects. Both circumstances may require furthering your education; if so, see if there are any free courses online or in your area that could fill the gap without costing you much money.

Set up a long-term plan.

If your finances are already in order, start thinking long-term. This may include an investment plan to help you build wealth, as well as plans for affording other major life events like a house, a wedding or retirement.