2014 is getting off to a pretty rough start. The Polar Vortex has everyone wound up. Whether you find yourself stuck at home or on the highway trying to get…well, anywhere, we’ve got to try to get our goals in check for the New Year. That’s why we’ve decided to get things off on the right foot and share a monthly to-do list. These will include a few simple steps to get you to your best financial & well-rounded self.
So take advantage of being stuck indoors and let’s kick off January right!
- Evaluate Your Goals.
What do you want to accomplish this year? Whether they’re financial like “max out my IRA” or “start an emergency fund” to something more personal like “cook healthier meals”, write them down. Making a list will give you something tangible to work on and it doesn’t hurt to post it somewhere you’ll see every day.
- Assess Your Budget.
Analyze your earnings and expenses. Honestly evaluate where your money is going and how much debt you have. Decide how you’d like to change your budget based on the goals you’ve set for yourself.There are lots of free budgeting tools out there that can help. Just be weary of some of these, like Mint.com, who sell your information and fill your inbox with solicitations. Our free account aggregate program is called uni$ource and let’s you create goals and adjust them to your lifestyle without any third party interference.
- Start a New Savings Account.
Maybe you want to save for a house or the weather has you dreaming of a great summer escape—now that you’ve figured out your goals and assessed your budget, start saving for them! One of the best ways is to have the amount automated into your account each paycheck. If you never have a chance to see it, you won’t be tempted to spend it.
- Check out your local public library.
If snow days got you down, curl up with a good book. Not only can you borrow audio, digital or paper books, but most libraries nowadays carry movies, video games, magazines and more…for FREE. With apps like Overdrive, you can borrow ebooks straight to your tablets. Streaming is convenient and yeah, Redbox is only a dollar, but you can’t beat free!
So this is our starting off point to getting Financially Fit this year! Use your time wisely this month (the occasional snow day doesn’t hurt) and let’s make the most of our money together. Now I want to hear from you. Do you think this is sustainable? Are you already on top of these and have tips that would be beneficial to our readers? Tell us in the comments.