JAN. 5, 2016:
New year, new you! Though you may be scheming some incredible new opportunities for your brand and channel in 2017, you should also dedicate some time to organizing your finances, especially before spring tax season. Though it is not as glamorous as creating Instagram content or pitching brands, planning your financial future is essential for your security, and tackling it in small doses makes it totally manageable. Keep reading for five steps to financial ownership.
Set financial goals
Maybe you want to save more money, or perhaps you just want to get out of debt. Or maybe you are planning on purchasing a home in the future and want to get a head start on saving. Setting goals for your finances will help you organize and prioritize the things that are most important.
Save an emergency fund
Think of your emergency fund like insurance for your daily life. It is for when life throws those curveballs at you—you get in a car accident or lose your job. Ideally, you should have six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund. This should be your first priority, before paying down debt or tackling your student loans. Try saving 10% of your monthly income to reach this goal.
Set a budget
Having a plan as to where your money should go is the best way to prevent overspending. You want to get your nails done every other week? Fine, but it better be in your budget. Track your spending for a week and see what the costs average out to—how much are you spending on groceries, gas, eating out, etc? Once you have those figures, create a budget for the month and stick to it. Give yourself some wiggle room, though. Everyone needs a cheat day.
Own your student loan debt
Student loans are the absolute worst, right? But staying on top of them is one of the most important things you can do to protect your financial future. Make sure you’re paying the minimum every month, and if you can afford it, pay more to get rid of the debt faster.
Be smart about credit
Credit cards are amazing tools that help us grow our financial future. They help us qualify for a car loan, rent an apartment, or buy a home. But they can also ruin lives. Make sure you’re always paying your credit card on time, every month. If you have a shopping problem, force yourself to wait 24 hours before buying an item. Chances are, you’ll forget about said item and save a bunch of stacks.
Are your finances ready for 2017? Share your financial tips in the comments!
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