As we all know, it’s much easier to play Monday morning quarterback than it is to make split-second decisions in the pocket. But unlike the defeated L.A. Rams in last night’s big game, you still have time in the first quarter (of 2019) to set your budgeting and savings resolutions back on a winning trajectory. Call an audible and apply these savings and budgeting strategies to your game plan.
Work on paying down your high interest debt.
If you have been chipping away at last year’s holiday shopping debt, now is a good time to review what you have paid off so far. Have you been tackling the highest interest payments? Make sure to prioritize these first to avoid drawing out your repayment longer than necessary.
The same goes for other credit card debt and student loan repayment. It’s easy to feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle of paying down debt, but by budgeting your payments based on interest, you can make progress. If it’s been a while since you last looked at your balance, take some time this month to evaluate where you are in your debt repayment schedule and rework your game plan to get ahead.
Revisit your 2019 budget.
When you sat down last year to write your 2019 budget, you probably didn’t set out to deviate from your financial plan. As we all know, life happens and unexpected expenses arise, but that doesn’t mean you need to scrap your 2019 budget. If you have struggled to stay on track with your annual household budget, you may want to consider dividing your budget into shorter intervals.
Creating quarterly, monthly and even weekly household budgets can help you stick to your savings and budgeting goals while allowing for flexibility. While you shouldn’t abandon your annual savings goals, breaking your budget into smaller pieces can help you adapt more quickly should you veer off course. Try a few variations of your budget to see what works best to help you stick to your 2019 resolutions.
Create a monthly savings challenge.
One of the reasons why making resolutions each year is so exciting is the idea of the clean slate that lay ahead. A new year is filled with opportunity and chances to set positive habits. If you feel like you’ve fumbled your new year’s resolution, fear not. Each month is a new chance to save toward your goal, so challenge yourself to save a little more than you saved last month. Keep your monthly savings goal front and center to help stave off impulse spending. And remember that you don’t need to wait until payday or the end of the month to transfer money into savings. When possible, move any extra cash that you don’t need on hand into your savings account or rainy day fund. You won’t have time to miss it, and your savings will thank you.
Whether you are celebrating or lamenting the Patriots’ victory today, rest assured that 2019 still holds plenty of potential victories for you. Need help getting your savings and budgeting plans back on track? Schedule a complimentary goal planning session with our FutureTrack team today.