By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
When making goals, you want to make goals that will challenge you but are also realistic. Working on your mental and physical health is always important, but your financial health is also essential. Following some, or all, of the below suggestions can help you (and your wallet) be happier and healthier in 2016.
- Deposit a set amount of money each month in your savings account. If you do not have a savings account, you should consider opening one up. Savings accounts are a great idea because they are usually free to open, and can gain interest depending on the bank’s policies. It can be as small as a $5 deposit each month, but placing money into a savings account builds up your back up plan if something bad financially happens to you in the future.
- Figure out what your financial crutch is and stop spending money on that item. For some people, cigarettes could be their financial crutch. For others, it could be eating meals out, shopping for clothes, and so on. Maybe those things can be bought in moderation, but continued spending on unnecessary items like that can really hurt your financial situation.
- Do some research on sound financial practices. Reading this blog is a great start, but there are so many more valuable resources out there. Financial newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, online financial websites such as Google Finance, and good old fashioned books by authors such as Dave Ramsey will provide you with a wealth of information.
- Treat yourself every once in a while. Much like dieting, setbacks can happen if you do not give yourself an ounce of wiggle room. While monthly extensive shopping trips are not the option, if you see a pair of shoes you want, or want to treat yourself to a nice dinner out, do not feel like you cannot do that. If you are truly working hard to be more financially literate and responsible, you deserve a reward every now and then. Use discretion, but do not be afraid to treat yourself.
There are a multitude of other financial tips out there, but now it is your responsibility to do some research and decide on the best practices for your financial situation in 2016. Right now is the time to make some resolutions. Even financially responsible people have room for improvement, so figure out the practices that work best for your individual situation. Here is to a happy and successful 2016!