The new year is just a few short days away. It’s a good time to reflect on last year’s successes and failures, and to make plans for a prosperous new year. If you need some ideas to get you started, I’ve provided a huge list of potential financial goals for you to set in the new year. Remember to keep your goals SMART so you can more easily keep your resolutions.
- Open a separate savings account to stash an emergency fund and other savings.
- Example savings goals: vacation, new laptop, real estate, graduate degree, etc.
- Create separate, goal-based, savings accounts for specific goals and set up automatic contributions of x amount per month/week to each.
- Increase your workplace retirement plan contributions to get the company match.
- Increase your workplace retirement plan contribution percentage by 1%.
- Increase your workplace retirement plan contributions to max it out in 2011 (if 401K: $16,500)
- Open up a Roth IRA and start contributing to your retirement outside of your work plan.
- Create an automatic contribution of x amount per month/week to your new Roth IRA.
- Open up a self-employed retirement plan and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
- Open up a 529 college savings plan and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
- Open up a Flexible Savings Account or Health Savings Account (if eligible) and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
- Open up a taxable brokerage account and start investing for financial freedom.
- Create a master list of all your debts. Check your credit report to ensure you have everything.
- Create a specific plan to systematically pay of your debts.
- Start contributing x amount per month/week automatically to pay off your debts.
- Call your creditors to ask about reducing your interest rates.
- Consider using a 0% balance transfer credit card to help you pay off your debts faster.
- Consider using a peer lending site to help you consolidate your debts and pay them off faster.
Spend More Wisely
- Develop a zero-based budget to ensure that each of your dollars has a home.
- Create a simple, cash-only budget for one or two trouble areas (i.e. dining, shopping).
- Create an account with Mint.com to start tracking your spending more closely. Use their budgeting and goals tools.
- Plan out your upcoming major purchases and set aside time to research the best prices and best time to buy.
- Make a list each time you go to the grocery store.
- Go through all of your bills and call the service providers to see if you can reduce your expenses.
- Make a list of the things you really want to spend your hard earned money on. Then slash expenses everywhere else.
- Open a reward checking account to earn cash back for your spending.
- Apply for a cash back credit card to earn cash back on your spending.
- Set up automatic bill payment on all your bills so that you don’t miss a payment.
- Spend some money on a will and proper term life insurance.
- Setup automatic contributions to your favorite charities.
- Ask your employer for a raise.
- Meet with a recruiter to start the search for a job, a higher paying job.
- Get a part-time job on the nights or weekends.
- Start freelancing.
- Start a side-business and grow it using your nights and weekends.
- Sell or give away x number of unused items per week/month from your home.
Got anymore ideas? Leave them in the comments below.