Even though making resolutions can improve your financial situation and is a good thing to do at any time of the year, many people find it easier to do so at the beginning of a new year. No matter when you begin, the basics remain more or less the same. Here are four tips for getting ahead financially.
Get Paid What You’re Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn
This may sound simple, but a lot of people struggle with this rule. Make sure you have an idea about what your job is worth in the marketplace by conducting a thorough evaluation of your productivity, skills, contribution to the company, job tasks, and the going rate, both outside and inside the company, for what you do. Being underpaid even at a rate of $1,000 a year can have a massive cumulative effect over the course of your financial life. No matter how little or how much you are paid, you will never get ahead if you spend more than you earn. It is often easier to spend less than it is to earn more, and a little effort into cutting costs in a number of areas can result in a lot more savings. It does not always have to involve making significant sacrifices.
Stick to a Budget
A vital step to consider while trying to get ahead financially is making a logical budget. After all, it is difficult to know where your money is going if you don’t have an account for it in the first place. You cannot set spending and saving goals if you have no clue as to how much you are spending. Therefore it is vital that you set up a budget whether you make thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Pay off Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is the biggest obstacle to getting ahead in your financial struggle. They are very convenient to use, but it is also very easy to forget that it is real money that you are dealing with when we swipe them to pay for a purchase, however big or small. Despite our best resolve to pay off the balance quickly, the reality is that we often forget to or don’t have the money to, and end up paying far more for things than we would have paid for if we had used cash.
Have a Savings Plan
Pay yourself first because if you wait until you have met every other financial obligation before seeing what’s left over to save, you might never have a healthy savings account or investments. Make a resolve to set a minimum of 5% of your salary aside for savings before you start paying your bills. Even better, have money deducted from your paycheck and deposited in a separate bank account.