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Laker Cents: 10 Simple Financial Resolutions for 2018

As 2018 sneaks up on you, you’ve probably thought a little about your New Year’s resolution. Have you thought about it in regards to your finances, though? To get the wheels turning, we outlined a few financial resolutions that can put you on track to success for the new year.

1 – (You Guessed It). Start a budget. Even in its simplest form, listing your income and expenses for the month can really put your finances into perspective.

2 – Set a savings goal. Commit to one amount that you can afford to pull from each paycheck and put into a savings account. Be adamant with yourself not to touch that money, and slowly watch it grow.

2 – Pay off one major debt. You might have the remainder of a student loan, a vehicle, a mortgage, a medical bill, or a credit card to pay off. While you should regularly make all payments, try to eliminate one of these debts completely by making small sacrifices elsewhere (see below).

3 – Cut out one tiny expense that keeps adding up. Paying for that morning coffee, snack from the vending machine, or app on your phone doesn’t seem like a lot…but over time, those expenses can account for hundreds of dollars out of your pocket each month.

4 – Watch your credit report closely. Sign up for a free credit monitoring service such as Credit Karma, and take advantage of your yearly right to see your credit reports from 3 bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.

5- Start an emergency fund. It’s a small commitment that can be a huge benefit in the event of an unexpected expense. We wrote a post all about why you should start an emergency savings here.

6 – Clean up your finances. Create a file to organize your statements and bills. Include copies of your monthly budgets. Consider going green and getting e-statements and bills to reduce burdensome paperwork.

7 – Do some financial learning. Once a week, flip through a finance magazine, watch a YouTube video, or read an article about something you don’t know much about in the finance world.

8 – Stop paying for things that aren’t serving you. Have a gym membership you never use but keep paying for monthly? Cancel it and exercise outside. Subscribed to a streaming service that you’re hardly using? Stop paying for it. Buying things that end up sitting in your pantry for months, unprepared? Revamp the grocery list.

9 – Find one small way to give back. Find an organization, club, or group in your area whose causes you are passionate about. If your budget allows, consider a way to help them. Good things always come back around. Bonus? Charitable donations are usually tax deductible.

10 – Choose a home-improvement project to save for. Set a goal of a project or purchase you’d like to make for your home. It might take you all year to save and prepare for it, but imagine how good 2019 will be once you’ve got that money ready to go for the project!

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