The year is almost at an end, and you now have some time to review your financial life over the last 12 months. How well did you do at accomplishing the goals you established at the beginning of the year? Did you complete any of them, or did they fall on the wayside due to uneven spending, an increase in debt, or emergency situations? Well, don’t worry too much about the ones you didn’t do, because you can wipe them away and start fresh in 2014 with a new financial goal. This time around you may want to be a bit more selective instead of being as grandiose as you were at the start of 2013. Here are a few achievement suggestions and what should be done to make them reality.
Create a budget. Considering the name of this site is Simple Budget Blog, we’d be surprised if you didn’t think this was the first item on the list. Yes, if you never created a budget in 2013, it’s now time to do some research and implement one for 2014. It won’t take you long to go through your expenses and put together a list of categories where your money will be placed over the year. The result will be an ability to keep track of your expenses and eventually save for something you really want. For example …
Begin paying off your debt. It could’ve been due to a lack of funds, an emergency, or bad financial planning. Regardless of the reason, you never had an opportunity to begin whittling down your debt in 2013. Don’t waste time in the new year hemming and hawing about this. Long before the clock strikes midnight on December 31 you should be detailing all of your debts from smallest to largest and looking at any extra money you can use to apply for payoff. You may not be able to clear them all in the new year, but at least you can make some headway.
Create an emergency fund. Did something come up this year that you had a hard time paying for because the finds just weren’t there? Good time to start an emergency fund for such an occasion. This is usually three to six months of total household expenses; however, if you’re trying to get your finances in order, it’s a good idea to start with at least $1000 to cover the basic problems you encounter.
Start your own business. You’ve been talking about quitting your job and starting your own business. Great idea, but how are you going to do it? Should you be serious about this, then you need to put together a plan on how you will be able to support yourself on this business. It may mean waiting a few years as you pay down your debt and make sure you have all of your resources available to start immediately.
Purchase a home. The dream of many is a little harder to achieve these days without the easy money banks once loaned. Make sure you have a sizable down payment and consider a 15-year mortgage to get yourself free and clear of payments in a shorter period of time. In addition, purchase a home that is within your price range and not the double or triple amount the loan provider says you can afford.