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Bettering Your Funds This 2021

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2020 was nothing short of an unpredictable year where everything considered normal comes from the “good old days”. The COVID-19 pandemic caused economic slowdown, job loss and financial stress for many families and individuals. Unemployment fell to 6.7 percent in November, suggesting the recovery will be a slow and unknown journey.

Regardless of whether the pandemic has had a negative impact on your financial health, it is clear that your finances should be prioritized. By improving your finances in 2021, you can prepare for any financial challenges that may arise. It is a good idea to seek advice from financial professionals, especially if you have questions about your specific situation.

Here are some key factors to consider in order to improve your finances for this year:

Set financial goals

Before delving into the details, think about what goals you want to achieve from a financial perspective. Goal setting is one of the proven ways to help individuals make positive changes in their lives. It can be applied to achieve any goal including weight loss, passing a test, getting hired by the company of your dreams, and much more. So it only makes sense to set goals on your finances.

Think about what you want to achieve with your finances this year. Would you like to change your attitude towards money? Saving Money To Retire? Whatever your financial goals for 2021, make sure they are specific and high.

Suppose you want to build an emergency fund. You decide to set yourself a goal of saving $ 5,000 on this fund by the end of the year. To do this, you need to save just over $ 400 a month. This is possible as long as you have a clear and specific plan.

This makes the goal realistic and achievable, but you will have to make some effort to achieve it. High goals increase your motivation and your brain will naturally think about ways to achieve them.

Set milestones along the way

Achieving a high goal is great, but it can feel almost impossible. That’s why setting milestones helps you stay motivated by celebrating the progress that you are making. Think of milestones as smaller goals that bring you closer to your big goal.

When setting debt settlement targets, milestones can include:

  • Create a budget and determine how much money can be used to pay off debts
  • Recognize progress that you make on a regular basis, such as: For example, every time you’ve paid off 25 percent of your debt or a credit card is paid off

Think about what needs to be done to ultimately achieve your financial goal. Milestones are basically like reverse engineering designed to make it easier for you to achieve your goal.

Create a budget that actually works

This may sound like a broken record, but creating a budget is one of the best things you can do to improve your finances. Budgeting is intended to be used as a blueprint to help you meet your financial goals. It will help identify areas where you are over-spending and can help find extra money to use towards your financial goals.

Take a month to keep track of your normal spending habits. Put them in categories to make it easier. Examples of categories are groceries, clothing, eating out, subscription services, and entertainment.

Now write down your monthly income. If your income varies each month based on the type of job, sideline, etc., take an average over the past few months. The last numbers you need are all of the monthly expenses required including rent / mortgage, car payments, student loan payments, utilities, etc.

Now take a look at some of the ways you can reduce your spending habits. Do you really need a subscription to Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and Apple TV? Is there a gym membership that you haven’t used in more than six months that could be canceled? Groceries and restaurants are two common areas where people tend to overpay. By packing your lunches and meals weekly, you can cut those costs.

The money that you “found” and have left can then be used to achieve your financial goal. Make sure you are realistic about cutting your expenses. If you’re trying to go from $ 400 a month on food to $ 100 it will be difficult to stick with. And don’t be frustrated if you over-spend a few months. A budget should be flexible enough to weather these storms.

If you want to use a specific budgeting method, there are plenty of them. Here are some that others have had success with:

  • Zero-sum budgeting – Every dollar earned has a specific purpose; You start out with all of your non-negotiable bills like mortgage, insurance, etc. Then the leftover money can be used for spending or saving (including paying off debt).
  • Pay yourself first – 25 percent of your takeaway income goes towards your goals. That means 15 percent for retirement, 10 percent for a down payment. The rest can be spent at will.
  • Handling method – This budget takes all of your available money and allocates it to certain budget categories. First your money goes into necessities like rent, utilities, etc. Then money is used for discretionary expenses like “entertainment”.

Are you struggling with budgeting or are you deciding whether to use a particular budgeting method? Finance professionals are experts at helping people manage their money better. Don’t be afraid to turn to one for advice.

Find ways to increase your income

More money can give you better financial prospects when used to help you achieve financial goals faster. There are several ways you can do this, including a promotion, a raise, finding a new job, or starting a side business.

To get promoted

Talk to your boss about what skills or abilities you might need to move on to the step. See if you can work on specific projects to get the right experience. You may need to get specific education or training that your employer may even pay for. You can even ask your boss to help create a development plan to get you promoted.

Receive a raise

Make sure you are a valuable performer in your job. Remember, it’s not about what your employer can do for you, but what you do for them. Keep track of everything you contribute so you can refer to it later. Use this track record when you’re ready to meet with your boss and have a discussion about getting a raise. You might even be surprised to learn that they have already worked on increasing your salary based on your contributions.

Find a new job

Unfortunately, if you like your job and your employees, the best way to make more money is to get a new job. Visit websites like LinkedIn or Indeed to find out what positions are available. Update your resume and get some trusted people to review it. Before an interview, find out more about the company, write down the questions to ask, and practice!

Start a side hustle

Any business or side business that you start will be on top of your current job. So it requires some time management and may not be the long-term solution. If someday you want to work full time or fulfill a passion, this is a meaningful step. Otherwise, work when you have the time by taking advantage of the gig economy to take on jobs like ridesharing for Uber or food delivery with DoorDash.

Improve your credit score in 2021

2020 was a tough financial year for many. Your credit score is critical to home loan approval and a good interest rate. This year is a great time to improve your financial health by working on your credit. Here are a few ways you can achieve this:

Make timely payments

Your payment history is the single most important factor in building and improving your credit score. It can take a while for a single missed payment to recover. Almost every credit card company allows you to sign up for automatic payment. Automate this to protect yourself from costly mistakes.

Keep your loan usage down

This is known as your credit use. This is the percentage of the credit you are using compared to your credit limit. If you have a $ 1000 limit credit card that you use for $ 200, your usage is 20 percent. It is recommended that you keep your credit utilization below 30 percent. However, 10 percent is even better!

Carrying credit on a credit card is expensive. You pay double-digit interest on what you don’t pay. Try to pay more than the minimum balance so it pays off faster. Minimize the use of credit cards for purchases you already have credit on.

Do not open credit accounts if you do not need them

Sure, this credit card deal is tempting to take advantage of and get all of those travel points, but wonder if you really need it. If the card offers nothing but a one-time bonus, it is better not to open a new account.

Consider a credit rebuild card

Bad credit is a challenging situation. However, there are some financial tools that can help. Get a credit recovery card with a low and manageable limit. Make a goal of paying it off in full each month to improve your credit score.

Check your credit report

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from any of the three credit bureaus of the credit bureau. Order and go through a copy at least every six months. Any errors should be reported immediately to the agency that received the report.

Don’t close your credit card accounts

Closing credit cards as a strategy to improve your credit score actually fails. Your credit history takes a lot of account of how long you had your oldest account and how old your accounts are on average. Your first credit card from 15 years ago could sit unused in your desk drawer for years, but it’s still important to your balance.

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