When 2018 get here I'm going to do this! When 2018 get here I'm going to do that! When it comes to your money you don't have to wait until New Year's Day to make the changes you want to make. We have some days left in 2017 to get a head start on those changes and I want to share three easy tips that you can do starting today!
Jumpstart your emergency fund
I call this the “In Case You Are Breathing Fund”, because if you are breathing there is a chance that something may happen. That emergency can be as small as a flat tire or as large as your water heater going out. There is no need to wait until January 1st to start the 52 week savings challenge, you can start today putting money aside. Start by saving a certain amount each week, $10, $20, anything and keep it going throughout 2018! Get to the point that your emergency fund is at least $2000 so that if you have a water heater go out that $1000 to fix it won’t put you in a total panic. This fund will give you security and peace of mind.
Make a decision
Decide what debt or debts you want to pay off in 2018. Sit down and think about ways that you are going to bring in extra money to pay the debt down. Are you going to turn a hobby (baking cakes, art, jewelry making, resume writing, etc) into a money maker? Are you going to sell “stuff” in your home you no longer want? Maybe even take on a second job four hours a week. Anything that can add some extra money to your bank account each month is fair game. If you figure that number out in 2017 go ahead and make an extra payment towards that debt before the clock strikes 12am on January 1st.
Plan for next year:
Do you feel that you overspent this holiday season or maybe you went on a vacation this year that was over your limit financially? Maybe you signed up for your 2018 company benefits (healthcare plan, vacation time, 401K, etc) and feel that you didn’t do the best job with your choices? Look over all of those decisions that you made this year that you don’t feel completely satisfied with and see how you can do things different in 2018. Maybe find discount sites that will make the cost of your vacation less. Sites like Expedia.com, AirfareWatchdog.com, hotels.com, and many more. These sites could knock hundreds of dollars off the final price. Next time options for company benefits become available make sure to pick a health plan that will save you money each month. Also if your employer offers a company match in your 401K up to a certain percentage make sure to at least contribute up to that match!
There is no need to wait for a new year to arrive. Use the rest of 2017 to get a head start to a better financial future!
Watch my WFMY News 2 segment for more tips!