As the 2017 approaches, now is the time to make sure 2017 is your best year yet. Here are a few things you can do to get ready for 2017.
1. Review & Reflect:
To make plans for 2017, you will need to objectively review where you are at financially today and determine what worked and didn’t during 2016. Did you have a budget? Now is the time to determine what changes you need to make. Develop and implement a plan going forward. Do you know where your money goes? Identify what income is coming in and all the expenses going out. Include expenses that are monthly, quarterly and annual in nature. You need to know what you have and what you need to know where you are financially, good or bad! Own it, take responsibility and put plans in place to rock 2017!
2. Establish 2017 Goals:
It’s important to keep focus as to where you are headed and not get bogged down in the day-to-day details. Make a few goals. Some can be short-term goals and some longer-term goals. Make sure that whatever goals you set, that they reasonable and realistic. An example of an unrealistic goal would be to save $10,000.00 in 2017 when you monthly income is $1,500.00 a month with $1,100.00 in expenses. A more realistic goal would be saving $100.00 (25% after expenses. With the second scenario, you have a greater opportunity for successfully meeting or exceeding your goal. An example of a short-term goal could be taking a bagged lunch to work for 4 days a week or cutting down Starbucks visits to twice a week (if you go daily). Goals need to be based on your circumstances and needs. Paying off debt, build savings, plan for retirement and setting up and emergency fund tend to be the foundation for most goals.
3. Get Organized:
Do you collect receipts? Do you track expenses and miles? Any bills you have put off paying, or misplaced? Sort and organize what documentation you have for 2016. Doing this now will help you immensely in preparation for your 2016 Income Tax Return. Now for 2017, set up a system for collecting and maintaining receipts, bills, etc. so you can efficiently track your information and ensure on time bill payment. Monthly, you need to review the status of your goals and budget, and adjust when necessary.
If there is anything about your financial portfolio that you do not quite understand, now would be a great time to contact an expert and have them walk you through what you need to know so you can plan and manage accordingly.
Make 2017 your best year!