It’s new year resolution time again. Social media timelines are becoming flooded with statuses pertaining to making 2018 the best year ever, leaving old habits in the past, “new year, new me”, blah, blah, blah. I think you get the point. But I have yet to see any posts include real actionable steps that will lead to an improved upcoming year. Making financial improvements is a sure fire way to make the most of 2018. Below are five habits that must be adopted next year if you have yet to develop them by 2017’s end.
Failing to Fund an Emergency Fund: So you still did not begin accumulating three months of living expenses huh? What are you waiting for? That unfortunate circumstance is lurking around the corner ready to throw a wrench in your life. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Apply the same approach as you begin to build your emergency fund and add small amounts to it each time to get paid in 2018.
Failing to Save 15% of Your Net Income: More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in the bank. Are you still one of these people? Treat yourself like a bill in 2018. Pay yourself first and aim for setting aside at least 15% of all your income next year. Your first thousand saved will give you the confidence to make greater headway with your money down the line.
Lack of a Monthly Budget: Continuing to spend your money with no plan is like driving down a dead end road. You are going nowhere! I won’t bore you here. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” PERIOD!
Using a Checking Account Without a Checkbook Register: It’s free, easy to use and available at any bank or credit union but you still fail to use one. You can even download various apps that work just as well as an actual paper register. If you are a big debit card swiper and rarely carry cash like many people today, than failing to use a checkbook register is a big mistake.
Failing to Invest: Investing has become so easy today with many online brokerages, stock purchasing apps and even Bitcoin. Anyone with a bank account can own shares of company, real estate or commodities. It is not solely for the super sophisticated or people who already have money. If you are young and employed and lacking any investments you may be doing yourself a huge disservice by not investing. The secret ingredient to growing a sizable nest egg is time. The sooner you invest the more opportunity you give your money to grow.
All of this can be found in great detail in my book Broke: Six Keys To Building Wealth. You can get your copy via the link at the top of the page.