There will be many financial forecasts for the coming year and recommendations about how we should adjust our finances to prepare for them. Many of them will contradict each other, leaving us wondering if anyone really has a good idea of what will happen and what financial changes we should make (if any). The answer of course is that no one really knows the future and that things often turn out very differently from what we expect. So how do we plan? Well, regardless of how things change, there are some things that we can do that will make our financial situation better in the coming year. Here are a few that never fail.
- Reset our goals for debt reduction and renew our commitment to eliminate all of our debt. There is never a bad time to reduce debt, and as long as we don’t over-extend our monthly budget, we can increase our payments and retire debt sooner. We should always include a timeline in our goals too, so that we can measure our progress and see the results of our efforts.
- Keep spending under control, and commit to living within or below our means. A review of our monthly budget will show where our money is going, and can quickly highlight areas where we can lower expenses. By controlling spending, it’s much easier to carve out some of our income for saving.
- Stick with our savings plan, or establish one if we haven’t taken this important step. Putting even a small amount away in savings each week will grow over time and shield us from taking on debt when the unexpected happens. To make it easier and routine, we can use automatic deposits or transfers.
This coming year we can expect interest rates to change (somewhat), and we can expect the stock market to rise, fall, or fluctuate all year at about the current level. These things are out of our control and beyond anyone’s ability to predict. What we can control is how we manage our own finances, the financial plan that we put in place for the coming year, and how well we stick to our plan. If you don’t have a budget, debt reduction plan, or savings plan, check out Jazer 100 as a personal finance tool at http://www.jazersolutions.com.
Have a healthy and prosperous year, and thanks for reading.