If you’ve spent the last year worrying about money, take this opportunity to sit down with your finances. Making these five money moves at the start of the year will help you greet the future with your best financial foot forward.
1. Revive an Old Budget
The start of a new year is the perfect time to sit down with your budget. You have 12 months of cash flow to go over to see what worked and what didn’t.
If you struggled to make ends meet last year, find out why. Track your spending to see where you spent your money. This is a great way to spot bad habits that steal cash from bills and other financial goals.
2. Start Saving More
This past year has highlighted the fact that you never know what the future may hold. You may get sick, lose your job, and face a growing pile of bills.
If you don’t have any savings, try to set aside some cash with every paycheck. Your goal should be to save up six months’ worth of living expenses. An amount this large acts as a cushion if a job gets pulled out from under you, but it can also help you cover small, unexpected expenses you can’t cover on your own.
3. Rate Shop for Online Loans
If you run into trouble while you’re still building your emergency fund, there’s a big chance you may have to borrow money online to cover an unexpected repair or bill. While you may be under a time crunch to locate a personal loan before the due date, don’t let the ticking clock stop you from rate shopping.
Rate shopping is a critical step in finding an online loan that fits your needs. It gives you a chance to compare direct online lenders, individual online loans, and rates and terms. Sparing a moment here will help you locate the most affordable option available to your financial profile, even if you’re looking for a direct payday loan or an installment loan for bad credit.
4. Think About Your Future
What’s waiting for you around the corner maybe your most immediate concern, but it’s not the only one. Your finances need to be able to multi-task so that you can also focus on something like your retirement.
If you don’t already have a retirement fund, start researching account options. And if you already have one, tweak your budget to make sure you’re making the maximum contribution. Talk to your employer to see if they’re willing to match your contributions.
5. Review Your Insurances
The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your home, life, and car insurance policies to ensure you’re covered properly.
If you went through any major life changes (or expect them for 2021), this review is an opportunity to shop around for a new policy that better suits your needs.
Shopping around doesn’t hurt even if you don’t have changes on the horizon. Take some time to research the going rate for your needs and profile. You may find an insurance company that provides better coverage for less.
Setting yourself up for success doesn’t have to involve sweeping changes to your life. These five simple habits can be enough to help you greet the new year with a little more financial confidence.