5 Quick Tricks to Start Your 2019 on Solid Financial Footing
On Monday I wrote about my non-money New Year’s Resolution to be more appreciative. To be more appreciative about the things I have and all the good and positive things in my life.
If you need help being more appreciative, I suggest watching “Tidying-Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix. Oh my stars, she is a joy! Just a beautiful fairy filled with warmth and joy for life. Marie Kondo is everything.
At the beginning of every episode she greets each house and thanks it for providing warmth and shelter to its inhabitants! Have you ever done that? Because I haven’t! At least, not until watching this show. Thank you, house! For keeping us warm and safe and sheltered. Thank you for giving us a place to live and for allowing us a place to rest in safety.
Seriously, if you want some meditative television. Watch this show. It’s glorious.
That said, I do know that some people want to make some New Year’s Resolutions that focus on money. I get it. The month of December and the holidays are tough on some people and you can spend more money than you intended quicker than thought. According to CNBC, some people could take years to pay off their holiday spending. YEARS!
So, here are 5 quick thinks you can do today to set yourself up for success in 2019. Each of these tasks will only take you 10-15 minutes and will, hopefully, make you feel more positive about the year to come.
- Check your credit card statements
Make sure you understand everything you spend money on this past 6 weeks. How much did you spend on gifts, and eating out, and all the other accoutrements that come with the holidays? Sum up all the cards you spent money on so you understand EXACTLY where that money went. Now? Make up a plan to pay it off. Some people depend on their tax returns to do this. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you pay it off just so much as you do pay it off. Sum it all up and make a plan.
- Clean your house
Things get disheveled during the holidays. Nothing is where it should be, there are full grown trees in your living room, and gifts end up all over the place. So time to clean! Put everything back where it belongs, take down the lights, and then start making a pile. Put anything you need to return or exchange into a box or a bag. Anything you’ve outgrown or need to donate can go into another bag. If you’re still stunned by the number on your credit cards, check to see if you can sell any of your miscellaneous stuff to get a jump on those bills. I’ve had good luck selling on Facebook marketplace, lately.
- Review your SmartyPigs
I know you are all like me and use your SmartyPigs religiously (hahahaha) but if you’re not quite there yet, why not start now? Figure out how much you spent on the holidays this year, break it out by month or week and start a new goal. Funneling a little bit of money into your SmartyPigs for 12 months makes the holiday’s infinitely easier and stress-free. Trust me on this one!
- Start getting your taxes together
Don’t wait. Yes, yes, I know… the government is shut down right now. But, again, trust me. We almost always get our taxes in ASAP and it feels good! If you do get a refund, you’ll get it earlier in the year, and you won’t stress when you realize it’s April and you haven’t even pulled out your paperwork yet. Just get it done. Think of it a prelude to spring cleaning.
- Have a “state of the finances” talk with your partner
My husband and I do this every January. We talk about what our goals for the year are (vacations, savings, house projects) and we try to plan it out. Now, that doesn’t always work. Life likes to throw curveballs at you. But sometimes just having the plan can be enough. It can be enough of a background thought to keep you from unnecessary spending. Do I really need to wander aimlessly around Target or should I tuck some money away for that trip we were thinking about? Those kinds of thoughts.
If you do any of these 5 things, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier financial new year. If you do all of these things, you should be even better.
Got any new year, new money traditions? Drop me a note in the comments or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook!