How to clean up your finances for 2018

The new year is a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and, of course, New Year’s resolutions.

For some people that means finally losing those last few pounds, and for others it means getting more organized. But have you considered using this time to get your finances in order?


If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year that you are finally going to get your finances together, here are a few tips to help you get started:


Prioritize

You may be working toward several different goals, like getting out of debt, paying off your house, saving for retirement, and so on. It can be overwhelming to work on all of them at once, and taking on a goal that is too big is usually a recipe for failure. Instead, consider prioritizing your financial goals. Think about which goal is the most important to you, or perhaps the most pressing. Maybe it’s paying off your student debt so you can have extra cash for savings, or setting up continuous savings plans so you can save money without thinking about it. Once you land on your priority, make a plan for how to manage that goal. Once you’ve accomplished it, start working on your second most important goal.


Get out of debt

One of the easiest ways to clean up your finances is to eliminate debt. If that’s not a possibility, then consider consolidating it into one place. Consolidation loans make it easier to pay  of all your debts by combining them into one monthly payment. You could also make some extra cash to help you pay off debts sooner; consider taking on a part-time job, or selling things you don’t need anymore (kid’s toys, or clothes are great for this).


Create a budget that works with your priorities

Once you’ve prioritized your financial goals for 2018, create your household budget. For example, if you’re planning to focus on saving money for retirement, decide on a reasonable amount to move aside every month, and also consider what areas you will have to cut from in order to make that amount attainable.


Consider getting help

If you haven’t been able to figure out how to get your finances in order until now, it could be because you just don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s time to get some support for your financial goals. If you’re looking to restructure your debt, consider a sit down with a Fairstone Lending Specialist. If your goals are more savings-focused, maybe you’ll want to visit your bank or use a program like Mint.com, or other budgeting apps. If all else fails, a Google search can be a lot more helpful than you think.


Recognize that failure may be part of it

Of course when you’re setting goals you never like to think about how they might fail, but the reality is with any long-term goal you will face challenges and hiccups along the way.  Knowing challenges will likely come, and giving thought to how you’ll overcome them, will make it a lot more likely that you’ll be able to take them in stride and keep working towards your financial goals.


Whatever your financial goals are for the year, we wish you luck in achieving them.


Have a happy and financially prosperous 2018!