If you’ve never experienced financial freedom before, 2018 is your year to set – and meet – your personal finance goals. Before you get started, it’s wise to come up with a game plan so you know exactly what you need to do to become financially independent. Here are a few tips for setting up your own personal finance goals for 2018.
- Analyze Your Spending Habits
Do you know where your paychecks go every month? Do you regularly need to send money to family abroad via Ria Money Transfer, and are you able to send it while still taking care of your own financial needs? Do you know what percentage of your income you spend on food, entertainment and mortgage (or rent)? If not, it’s time to analyze your spending habits.
There are several ways to do this. You can use a ledger (like the one found in the back of your checkbook) to write down everything you spend money on for a month, or you can create your own Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything you buy. You can also download apps on your phone that link to your bank account and track your spending for you. Once you analyze your spending habits, you can identify areas where you need to cut back.
- Create a Budget
With the help of your spending analysis, create a budget that requires you to account for every penny you spend. First, make sure you dedicate money to your mortgage, power bill and other necessities. If you send an international money transfer each month to loved ones, be sure to include that in your budget as well. Next, you get to decide what to do with the leftover money. It may be tempting to spend it all on movies, clothes and restaurants, but remember to put some away for a rainy day.
- Get Out of Debt
It’s impossible to gain control of your finances if you’re in a lot of debt. The first personal finance goal you should establish for 2018 is getting out of debt as quickly as you can. Some experts recommend paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first, while others recommend paying off the lowest total balance first. Take the approach that works best for you and keeps your motivation high.
- Start Saving
Experts recommend you save 25 percent of your gross income every month while you’re in your 20s. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that this total can also include your 401(k) and IRA contributions. If it isn’t possible to put away 25 percent of your gross income right now, that’s OK. Just start with what you can do now, then set loftier savings goals for 2019.
To make saving money a habit, do it at the same time each month. For example, if you send money online via Ria Money Transfer on the same day every month, choose that day to also put a predetermined amount of money into your savings account. Some banks will even automatically transfer money from your checking account to your savings account on the same day each month so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
- Live Healthier
Did you know that living healthier can help you save money? That’s because healthy people are less likely to get sick and require medication. When you’re healthy and well, you’ll need fewer sick days away from work. The most productive employees are also the most likely to get raises and promotions, so if you make living healthier one of your goals for 2018, you could eventually earn more money for yourself. That will make it easier to become financially independent and to send money abroad to your loved ones.
Ready to meet your financial goals this year? Start by following these helpful tips and watch your finances – and your life – improve.