It’s the start of a new decade! And while it may be a little late for new year’s resolutions, it’s never too late to roll out some new financial habits. Perhaps your credit card bill got a tad bloated over the holidays. Maybe your budget has become like your favorite pair of jeans and feels a little too tight for comfort. Or maybe you just want to take back control of your money so you can set yourself up for success in the future. Whatever the case, as the proud makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint, we’ve compiled a list of tips and strategies to keep you on track not only in 2020, but in the years to come.
Automate your money
It’s never too soon to set up a smart financial system to help you stay on top of your money and keep you on track with your goals. Automate your money by setting up autopay for your bills, transfers and contributions to your savings account. Not only will it free up some time for you every month, but you’ll also be less likely to spend money if you don’t see it hit your checking account first.
Invest for the future
Life gets busy. Who has time to think about the future? But if all you’re focusing on is paying today’s bills, you’re missing a golden opportunity to grow your wealth for a more financially stable tomorrow. If investing in stocks, bonds, and CDs is a dark mystery to you, take a minute to clear the fog and learn how to make your money work harder for you.
Build an emergency fund
Grandma said it best: save some money for a rainy day. When unexpected bills or expenses hit, trying to manage finances can feel like a highwire juggling act. Building an emergency fund gives you a safety net so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones at such times.
Keep an eye on cash flow
This goes for small business owners and consumers in general. Are your bills bigger or smaller than usual? Have customers been slower to pay your invoices? More than 43% of small business owners say they have frequently been at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday. Find out where your funds are going and when your payments are coming in so you can maintain a positive balance and make payroll. And if you’re a student, don’t forget to include building your student loan repayment strategy in your 2020 planning.
Budget and build
If you can walk and chew gum, you can budget and build. It doesn’t have to be an either/or, yet many people see it that way. Don’t let money become taboo. Talk about it. Consider asking for a raise while also looking into investing your current savings.
It’s never too late to develop good financial habits, and information is power. Hopefully you’ll find these tips and strategies helpful for getting the most out of your money. Your future self will thank you!