Like any good book, project or in this case, personal goal- they always say that starting is always the hardest part. Throw in a global pandemic, where plans are changing constantly, and setting goals can be hard to set, let alone maintain.
However, even in the midst of a global pandemic and never ending change, people have been able to find ways to adapt and continue onward.
Setting financial goals can be difficult, but setting the intention and mapping out a plan will give you a higher chance of seeing financial goals met. 2020 showed us what can happen when we don’t have a plan.
Start Tracking your Budget
The New Year is a great time to start identifying where you are at. Make a commitment to start tracking your monthly spending.
We’ve put together some resources to help you get one step closer to tracking your budget with these budget apps:
-Ynab- $84 a year or $11.99 a month (after a 34-day free trial), free for students for 12 months.
-Goodbudget- Free for a basic account; $6 per month or $50 manually for the Plus version.
-Personal Capital- Free
Check your Credit Report
Because of the pandemic, the three credit bureaus are allowing everyone to access their credit report weekly. This is available until April 2021. Take advantage of this offer and check your credit report frequently.
-Set up a free counseling session with our team. Click the Contact Us tab and schedule your appointment.
-Click Sign Up For Free and fill out the form.
Skip the Gym
With the uncertainty of COVID, skip the gym but not the exercise. Work out at home instead of hitting the gym. This way you eliminate a pricey membership and keep you safe.
-At home workouts
-Walks around your neighborhood
-Family outdoor activity
-Youtube Videos- free and many have incorporated at-home work outs with little to no equipment necessary.
Have a No Spend Day
Try to commit to a no spend day or week. Do not let any money leave your account for non-essential items. Encourage a friend to join you to keep you accountable. You will be surprised with how many impulse purchases you make.
Follow Facebook pages in your area that are committed to reducing debt and following the “no spend” rule. These Facebook pages are set up for individuals to post free items such as, furniture, clothing and other items.
Eliminate Bad Habits
Pick a bad money habit you have and work on cutting back on it or eliminating it entirely. Maybe you eat out too much or spend too much money on clothes. Work on cutting back to eating out to once a week or only shopping for clothes once a month.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, find free coffee subscriptions such as Panera- who offers free coffee when you sign up.
If we receive another stimulus payment in the new year consider saving it as a part of your emergency fund. With all the uncertainty going on it is important to save for a rainy day.
Set Realistic Goals
Whatever goals you decide to set. keep them realistic. Try setting SMART goals. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.