5 New Year’s Money Saving Goals for 2020
January 21, 2020
The new year is a fresh and exciting time to set financial goals and intentions for the calendar year. Knowing where to start and how to keep track of each saving goal can be challenging so we’ve compiled a list of five that may be a good place to begin this new year.
1. Work towards completing your emergency fund
Your emergency fund is money saved for unanticipated events of difficulty or quick change. Some examples of emergencies that might warrant dipping into your emergency money include unemployment, medical emergencies, transportation failures, etc. Typically, this fund holds somewhere around 3-6 months’ worth of expenses.
If you’ve fallen off contributing to your emergency fund because you’ve had to reprioritize where your money goes, start again by contributing whatever you can each pay period. By paying yourself first, you’re investing in the financial security of your future self. On top of this, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to make more choices.
An emergency fund is not just for life’s changes, it’s there for you to make changes, too. Let’s say you’re ready to switch jobs and need a month to do so. Start building your emergency fund to give yourself a cushion so that when the time comes, you can devote more energy to what you’re passionate about while feeling financially secure.
2. Identify short, medium, and long-term life goals
Your goals have likely shifted over time and that, generally, can be a good thing as it shows you’re growing, changing, and reacting to the world around you. Take some time to write down what your goals are. While these goals may change, it’s good to write them down to hold yourself accountable.
Lifehack suggests attaining goals “involves deviating from daily monotony, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and challenging yourself.” They go on to detail how writing goals down helps free up mental space so that you can focus on achieving your goals and visualize what it might feel like to do so, too.
3. Audit and assess your 2019 spending
If you haven’t already, consider tracking your spending. You can do this manually with an excel spreadsheet or with the help of some handy-dandy apps that will do it for you. Whatever you decide, consider hopping on this if you have not already.
When you do start tracking your finances, you’ll want to audit and evaluate where your money is going and whether you’re satisfied with this. If you’re not happy about where your money is going, adjust your budget to make sure you can be happy with how you spend and save your income.
4. Check on your retirement progress
The best time to start saving for retirement is today. Revisit your retirement goals and make note of your progress to see if you’re on track or not. Consider adjusting your goals if you’ve decided to retire sooner or later. If you haven’t started saving for your retirement, check out our tips for calculating how much you need to save in order to retire comfortably!
5. Check on your debts and make a plan
As you jump into the new year, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear picture of your debts. Different streams of debts involve different interest rates. If paying off your debt is something you’re interested in doing sooner rather than later, you’ll want to make note of every avenue of debt you have and create a plan for tackling these payments.
Sometimes saving money is a matter of putting more money away each paycheck and, sometimes, saving money looks like paying down your debt. Regardless of whether you’re in one or both camps, utilizing these five goals is a great step to take towards a sharper start to your financial new year and beyond.
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