We’re a week into the new year and social media timelines are filled with ‘new year, new me’ mantras. Many of the virtual affirmations revolve around health and wellness, while others are vows to never settle personally or professionally. One area that’s extremely important, but gets characterized as an intimidating subject is money.
Nearly one-third of Americans are facing their finances and planning to make money resolutions in 2019, according to a Fidelity Investments survey, with 48% of them aiming to save more, 29% planning to pay down debt, and 15% considering spending less. Though millennials are often depicted as being financially irresponsible, the survey confirms that 85% predict they’ll be better off financially this year.
We tapped Latina millennial money expert Amanda Abella for her insight on setting and crushing your financial goals. Here are 10 money resolutions that’ll make 2019 a great year:
Make a List of Goals
You may want to tackle several goals at once, but it’s important to be strategic with the number of goals you set. Don’t overwhelm yourself. “The more important thing to do is figure out why you want a specific goal,” says Abella.
Budgeting is making short-term sacrifices for that long-term goal. Getting in the habit of tracking your spending is important when staying focused on your financial goals and makes you aware of where your money is going. There are several budgeting strategies at your disposal, but a popular one is the 50/30/20 rule. The rule encourages you to spend 50% of your income on fixed expenses such as housing, food, transportation, utilities and insurance; 30% of your income on more flexible expenses like travel, gym membership, or clothes; and 20% towards savings like your retirement, emergency/rainy day fund, and student loan debt.
Bring Down Your Expenses
Reviewing your budget will help with figuring out ways to bring down your expenses. Can you forgo Uber for a few and take mass transit? How about brewing your own cup of joe versus buying Starbucks? There are ways you can cut down on your expenses daily, and make long-term beneficial moves like consolidating your student loans or requesting a credit card rate reduction.
Pay Down Debt
“Pay that sucker off ASAP,’ says Abella. A great rule of thumb is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, then work your way down to debt with lower interest rates.
Increase Your Income
“The most impactful thing you can do is consistently increase your income,” advises Abella. There are lots of ways you can get more money in 2019, and the millennial financial expert lists a few: position yourself for a raise, get a new job, take on a side hustle or freelance gigs, or even sell items online.
Learn to Negotiate
Everything is negotiable. For most, negotiating takes practice but once you’ve got the hang of this invaluable skill, you can position yourself for virtually anything. Whether you’re negotiating a raise or business opportunity, don’t be afraid to assert yourself when asking for what you want.
“Learn how to negotiate and/or sell,” Abella notes. “That is a skill set that will guarantee you keep earning more money throughout the course of your career.”
Develop a Money Mindset
Do you want to make money? I can hear a resounding yes as I finish the sentence. We all want to be able to make money and be compensated well for our talent and passions. Attracting money begins in your mind. If you have limiting beliefs (I’m not worthy of having money, I’m broke, I don’t deserve to be financially stable, and the like), that will ultimately impact your ability to attract money. Developing a money mindset can start small by ridding yourself of negative language surrounding money and evolve through daily affirmations, a network of like-minded people and, ultimately, nourishing your wealth consciousness.
Focus on Abundance
This is a big one among Abella’s clients. It can be difficult to break the connection to scarcity when it comes to finances, but believing there is more than enough and your life is already abundant is vital. “You can do all the ‘right’ actions but if you’re scared of money and don’t trust yourself to make it and use it properly, you’ll never have any or you won’t reach your fullest potential.”
Create Multiple Streams of Income
“While it takes some time to build multiple streams of income, it is totally worth the effort once you see the money starting to come in,” shares Abella on her site. “Additionally, you have peace of mind knowing that you have money coming in from different places.” Keep in mind: The average millionaire has seven streams of income.
Monitor Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a reflection of your financial reputation, determining how much a lender can offer you. Yes, monitoring your credit score is important when you’re looking to apply for a line of credit for a credit card, mortgage loan or car loan, among others, but to ensure you haven’t been a victim of identity theft or any fraudulent charges placed on your account. Every 12 months, you can receive a free credit report from a credit reporting agency like Credit Karma, Equifax Inc., Experian PLC, or TransUnion. Other credit monitoring options including LifeLock, ID Shield, and Privacy Guard charge a low monthly fee to track your score.