As another year draws to a close, it is easy to catch yourself looking ahead to the new year.
After all, the start of a new year always feels like a chance to ‘start over’ – to do things that you didn’t get around to this year. Of course, in reality, the calendar has nothing to do with what you can or can’t do on a given day.
Rather than putting your financial goals off until the new year, why not get started right away? Anything you do today won’t have to be done tomorrow, and that is certainly a good feeling.
So, with this line of thinking in mind, let’s take a look at 4 things you can do now to start planning for financial success in the new year.
Build Up Your Savings
Of course, this should always be one of your top financial goals. Do everything you can to start saving up money for next year and you will head into 2017 feeling great about the status of your finances.
There is no such thing as having ‘too much’ savings, so keep moving as much money as you can into your savings account while continuing to meet your monthly budget obligations. As long as you see that savings pile steadily growing over time, you will know you are on a positive track.
Trim the Budget
The end of the year is always a good time to take a fresh look at your budget to see what you may be able to cut out. Are there any subscriptions that you are paying for which are unnecessary? Could you save money on an ongoing expense such as food just by shopping smarter?
Take a close look at how your budget is working (or isn’t working) and make the necessary corrections to be more efficient with your spending in the year to come.
While your taxes might not technically be due until April, you can start now thinking about how you are going to pay your bill – or what you will do with a refund, depending on the situation.
Look back to previous years for a good indication of what your tax situation may look like this time around, and start saving up if necessary if you think you are going to owe. You certainly don’t want to get caught off guard with an unexpected tax bill, so get ahead of the game by thinking about this topic as soon as possible.
Plan on an Income Increase
It is certainly great to live within a controlled, restricted budget, but nothing will help you pay the bills and save money quite like finding a way to make more each month. With the time remaining in 2016, think about how you are going to track down some additional income in the new year.
This may be through getting a raise at your job, working on a side hustle, or some other method. Whatever the case, remember that additional income isn’t going to happen by accident – you have to go get it!
How are you preparing for the new year? Do you have a plan?
Photo courtesy of: Shandi-lee Cox
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