Financial Goals for 2018
Every person is different when it comes to income and expenses, but we all have the same goal in mind: More money, fun, and happiness and much less stress. Your financial goals for 2018 and beyond should help you accomplish all of this, even if it’s just a little at a time.
Consider these five suggestions.
1. Be Specific about your Goals
Be specific about what you want and how to make it happen. Let’s say, for example, that you want to “save money.” Be specific and say, “I will set $3 aside every day.” (It sounds easy enough and not like much, but that $1,095 could mean a ticket to an all-inclusive resort plus some new bathing suits to take with you!)
2. Build an Emergency Fund
The importance of building an emergency fund cannot be overstated. As long as you follow the rules and do not take anything out of it unnecessarily, this fund can save your financial well-being. Without an emergency fund, you would need to obtain money to repair that flat tire, for example, from other funds that are meant for something else, potentially setting you back several weeks, months, or years.
At the minimum, you should have two weeks’ pay or $1,000 in your emergency fund for minor emergency costs. The fund should ultimately add up to three to six months of pay, which experts recommend in case of the loss of a job or other sources of income.
3. Reduce Debt
Just like dust on a window sill, if you don’t do something to control debt, it will only pile up.
There are many ways to reduce debt; you just have to do them. If you owe money on multiple credit cards, one way is to aim to pay off the ones with the lowest balances by paying more than the minimum due. Alternatively, focus on paying off the one with the highest interest. Another option is to consolidate the debt into one payment, helping to reduce stress and save time.
You can pay off other debts, like your car or student loans, in similar ways.
4. Create and Follow a Budget
Simply saying you want to reduce debt and save money is not enough. You need to go through your income and expenses to determine what you can afford to spend and where you can save money. The most important part, of course, is to stick with your budget.
5. Increase Retirement Savings
If one of your financial goals for 2018 includes focusing on your retirement savings, consider opening an IRA or increasing your 401k contributions.
One good trick is to increase your retirement savings every time you get a pay raise; if you lived on “last year’s amount” just fine, you should be able to continue to do so for a few more years as your retirement fund increases.
A Great New Year
Financial health is vital for your happiness and well-being. Once you identify and follow your financial goals for 2018, you can begin a more content and fulfilling lifestyle.