Do you remember your financial goals in 2017? You set them way back in January. With the festive season approaching, fall is the best time to review your financial goals and check your progress. Here are the 5 money moves you can make this fall to reach your personal financial goals by the end of the year.
1. Build a fat financial cushion:
September consists of 5 Fridays in 2017, which means extra paychecks. Consider this as your mini bonus and use it to create an emergency fund. Unexpected medical expenses may come up anytime. Plus, you need to consider home or car repairs too. A high-yield online savings account is the perfect place to keep your emergency fund.
Do you already have an emergency fund? If so, then use the extra money to pay off credit card or mortgage. You can save this money for the next year’s trip. The next saving opportunity will come in December since it has 5 Fridays again.
2. Save for the Black Friday:
Last year, consumers spent $289 on average for Black Friday shopping. This year the figure is expected to go up to $300. Set aside around $25 every week from September onwards. This would help you save $300 for Black Friday shopping. This is the perfect time to save for the well-planned strategies. Don’t lose it.
The heavy discounts you get on Black Friday can help you save for big purchases. Moreover, holding out for sale offers is a fantastic budgeting decision since all of us want to indulge once in awhile. It is like cheat days that help dieters to stay motivated for attaining their weight loss goals. It becomes easier to stick to a budget.
3. Use debt payoff apps to pay off debt:
If your 2017 personal finance goals included paying off debt, and you have not made a good progress, then it’s time to use money management and debt payoff apps to get out of debt quickly.
You can use OVLG Debt Payoff Calculator to know how much to pay for your existing debt and how much you can save in the process. Just enter your total debt amount and how much you can pay every month. You’ll know how much you can expect to save by (i) getting professional help (ii) settling debts yourself.
You can also use debt consolidation calculator to figure out your consolidated monthly debt payment within a few clicks.
Try using the app Christmas Gift List to track your budget and impulsive expenditures.
4. Increase your retirement savings:
The best time to boost your 401(k) contribution is now. Try to contribute enough to get the maximum employer match. If your employer is ready to pay 50 cents for every dollar you contribute up to 6% of your salary, increase your contribution to 6% for availing the benefit.
You can contribute $18,000 annually to your retirement savings plan. This amount is deducted from your taxable income. If you’re above 50 years, contribute an additional $6000 to build your nest egg.
5. Be prepared for your appraisal:
Most employee reviews occur in the fall and at the end of the year. Note down what you have done in this year. Check out the areas where you can improve. Give your best performance so that you can negotiate for a good hike at the time of your performance review.
Prepare a financial planning worksheet in a Google excel doc. Make 3 columns there - (a)Your financial goals in 2017 (b) How many goals you have achieved (c) How many goals you need to achieve (d) Your to-do list. The 'to-do' list will act as a reminder. It will remind you about of things that need to be done to achieve the rest of your goals in this year.
Financial goal setting is not a tough job. Anyone can do it. But once you set your personal finance goals, take steps to achieve them, and track your progress. A financial goal worksheet can help you to do so. Review your worksheet at the end of every quarter to know where you’re heading.