With the new year in full effect, many are gearing up for or are working on New Year’s resolutions.
At the top of many peoples’ lists is getting their financial lives into tip-top shape.
Instead of going for a general or vague financial goal, it might be a great idea to add a few super-specific (yet totally realistic) financial promises to your list.
Here are 10 great ideas for you to add to your list of financial new year’s resolutions for 2019!
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Top 10 Financial New Year’s Resolutions 2019
1- Open an IRA
As a top financial New Year’s resolution for 2019, promise yourself you’ll open an individual retirement account (IRA) if you don’t already have one.
This is a great, easy way to begin saving for retirement because it benefits you now and later.
For 2019, you can drop up to $6,000 in your IRA and that money is tax-deductible.
That means if you earn $50,000 in gross income in 2019 but you put $6,000 in your IRA, you’ll only be taxed on $44,000.
Isn’t that cool?
But not so fast…
Don’t make the same mistake I made.
The very first time I opened an IRA, I dropped $50 in it and forgot about it.
2 years later I remembered it and got excited.
“Ooooh I bet it’s worth way more by now”!
It’s not enough to have money in an IRA.
You’ll need to actually invest it.
Which brings me to resolution #2.
2- Learn The Basics Of Stock Market Investing
I know, I know.
Investing in the stock market sounds scary if you’ve never done it before.
All those crazy looking charts, the news reports in the morning about what the DOW and NASDAQ are doing.
Stories of people losing fortunes when the stock market crashes.
It’s enough to make any sane person want to run the other way!
But hear me out…
You don’t have to be a Wall Street financial analyst or even very advanced at all to understand and benefit from the most basic, less risky stock investments.
As one of your top financial new year’s resolutions, commit to learning the very basics of how the stock market works so that you can make an educated decision about where to place that nice wad of cash you’ll be plunking down into your new IRA!
Seriously you can learn 90% of what you need to know to get started stock market investing in about 2 hours, for FREE, online.
I recommend Investopedia’s Stock Basics Tutorial as a great place to start!
3- Establish Your Emergency Fund
If you’ve got this part under control, good for you!
But if not, this is something you’ll want to get ahead of, stat.
No matter what your situation, you’ll gain so much peace of mind knowing if some weird emergency happens (car trouble, unexpected bills, layoff) you will have a softer cushion to land out while things get sorted out.
This could take a while to build up, but it should be your top priority.
A good rule of thumb is to start with three to six months of expenses.
But if you don’t have much to start with at all, that may seem daunting to you.
Aim for your first $1,000, then shoot for $2,000 and keep bumping it up!
4- Start A Hobby Business or Side Hustle
So, you wanna fund your emergency fund AND your IRA, but you’re already struggling to make ends meet?
2019 is a great time to earn extra cash on the side because there are so many options available to you.
You don’t even have to work that hard, and you never know just how well you might do.
I started a self-publishing side hustle on a whim just to bring in a little extra money while pregnant with my son, and 18 months later I was able to quit my job and enjoy a 6-figure passive income lifestyle.
It could happen to you too, but you have to start!
Here are 10 fun hobbies that make money to give you some ideas!
5- Eliminate Excess Recurring Costs
Just before the new year is a great time to evaluate your monthly expenses to see what you may be unnecessarily paying for.
Like okay, I know you plan to go to the gym 5 days a week.
But past behavior is an indicator of future outcomes.
If in the past couple months, you’ve only hit the gym a handful of times, you’re probably better off canceling that membership and finding free ways to work out at home.
Are there other things you could cancel to save money?
Cut the cable in favor of Netflix or Hulu?
Going through your credit card and bank account statements to see what recurring costs you can cut will take less than 30 minutes of your time, and it could save you hundreds!
Hop to it!
6- Set A Budget
Setting a budget isn’t fun or sexy, no, but it is an incredibly powerful tool to keep you on track and let you know where you can improve.
It doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
And once it’s done, you’ll be able to tick it off your list.
Ahh, the mental satisfaction of marking off tick boxes, right?
7- Track ALL Your Income
This one is FUN.
So, it’s one thing to track all your expenses.
But it’s really, really cool and makes you feel so abundant and prosperous to track all your income.
By income, I mean anything that gives you an actual income of course, but also things that discount or credit items you regularly need and use.
If you buy diapers for your baby every month without fail, for example, then randomly receive a 20% discount coupon for your next order, that counts.
But if you get a newsletter that contains 50% off for something you weren’t going to buy anyway, that does not.
Include any little extra money you find on a daily basis.
Change on the ground, in your couch cushions, at the bottom of your purse.
Gifts received for birthdays and holidays.
Raises at work, increases in stock value (because you totally opened that IRA and began investing, right)?
And income from your new side hustle hobby business…
That all counts!
Many times, people walk around feeling less fortunate and abundant than they really are!
All you have to do is begin focuses on the income you DO have.
From there, it grows.
Make one of your financial new year’s resolutions for 2019 be tracking all your income!
You just might be surprised at how well you really are doing beneath the surface.
8- Pay Off Your Lowest Debt
There are a few popular methods for paying off debt, but if you’re anything like me, you appreciate and get motivated by quick wins.
Start 2019 off right with a financial new year’s resolution to pay off your lowest debt.
If you have huge ones with higher interest rates yes, it makes sense to work on those first.
But sometimes you mentally need a quick win to give you momentum.
You may feel like you’re endlessly throwing money into a black hole with your largest debt because it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
But your smallest?
You may be able to knock that out in less than a couple months and have it cleared out of your life forever.
Promise yourself that you’ll nuke it, and that will pave the way for more abundance down the line.
9- Read Money Mindset Books
If you really want to improve your relationship with money, one of the first financial new year’s resolutions you’ll make is to work on your money mindset. The best way to do that is to get your hands on some books that dive deep into the topic.
My #1 top recommendation is that you grab Denise Duffield-Thomas’s Get Rich Lucky Bitch right away. Seriously.
I’ve been following Denise for at least 5 years now and hang on to literally every word she says like it’s gold — because it is!
All her books, her blog, her social media blurbs, her videos are really helpful. But out of everything? This book is the one that really made the light bulb “aha” go off in my head. Some of the concepts she touches on in this book helped me make HUGE leaps in my money mindset and thus, my potential to earn money online — MY way.
But if you have to choose just one, pick the Audiobook.
Why? First, you’re going to want to play it in the background over and over while you’re multi-tasking doing other things. It’s the most easily digestible format.
Second, because it’s FREE if it’s one of your first Audible purchases.
You can literally change your entire money mindset, and thus, your life with one decision. Trust me on this one.
You won’t regret it.
10- Start Repairing Your Credit
Finally, make a New Year’s resolution to repair your credit.
If this seems daunting, it doesn’t have to be!
You can get started for free by grabbing a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com and going through your report looking for any inaccuracies to dispute.
Alternatively, you can use sites like Credit Karma, also free, to check your report and you can even file disputes right there inside the app.
I’ve used both with great success for years now, and check Credit Karma weekly for free updates to my overall credit profile.
Resolve To Make 2019 Your BEST Financial Year Yet
From weight loss, and overall health, to romance and personal development, people all over the world make new year’s resolutions to look, feel, and be better versions of themselves than the year prior.
Perhaps one of the greatest and most important areas to focus your energy and efforts to improve your life is with your finances.
So why wait?
Grab a pen and paper (or open a file on your computer) and put together your own list of financial new year’s resolutions.
Resolve to make 2019 your BEST financial year yet.
You deserve it.
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