New year, same finances. But you, in the driver's seat.
If the holidays put a dent in your savings...Try a "no-spend" weekend to jumpstart getting back on track. Pro tip: remember to stock up on groceries first.
If you think net worths are only for the rich and famous...Think again. Your net worth (hint: what you own minus what you owe) is an easy way to gauge your overall financial health. Calculate yours. Then plan to grow it in 2021.
If you hate surprises…Save a little extra in your emergency fund to cover what you can't see coming. And some in a sinking fund for expenses you can. Think: insurance premiums, your dog’s teeth cleaning, gifts, etc.
If you love a good hack...Get out of debt faster by making smaller payments more often. Seriously. Splitting your mortgage, student loan or car payment in half and paying every other week means you'll submit 26 half-payments (52 weeks divided by two) by the end of the year. That's 13 full payments vs. 12 monthly ones. Sneaky.
If you like free money...Take advantage of your company’s 401(k) match (if available). Or at least more of it. Start by increasing your retirement contributions by just 1%. You probably won't even notice a difference in your take-home pay.
If the pandemic paused some money goals...Hit play. 2021 still holds a lot of uncertainty. But adding a new line item to your budget for a future vacation or to grow your family – and saving whatever you can afford each month – is a big step in the right direction.
Use that new-year energy to make some smart moves that can help you save more, owe less, and get closer to hitting your money goals.
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Ivana Pino, Stacy Rapacon, and Elyse Steinhaus