Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2015 is over already. With a new year comes new year’s resolutions. Just in case one of your resolutions for this year is to get your money right, here are my top 5 financial habits to adapt in 2016 for a better and more fiscally responsible you.
- Save: Easier said than done, saving money from each pay period should be one of the first things you do with your income. Whether you’re saving for something specific, or just saving for a rainy day, no one knows what the future holds. So it’s important to put away a percentage (I recommend at least 10%) of each of your paychecks into a savings account.
- Give: The saying goes, “scared money don’t make no money.” And in my opinion, stingy money doesn’t make money either. Whether tithing or giving to your favorite charity, it is important to share with the world what you have been blessed with. Fun fact: Upwards of 80% of wealthy people give diligently and consistently. Even if you don’t have a lot, give what you can, and you just might be blessed ten fold.
- Invest in Yourself: We all have dreams, goals, and ambitions. We all have a vision of how we hope to leave a mark on the world long after we’re gone. Chances are, those goals will take some level of capital investment. And if we’re being honest, chances are you won’t be fully invested in those goals until there’s a bit of financial risk and potential return. So commit to investing in your future this year. It’ll put you that much closer to your long-term dreams.
- Budget Your Present: This may be the most difficult habit to adapt. It’s so easy to swipe your credit card for that new pair of shoes or that fast food meal. But one of the most important habits to develop on your road to fiscal responsibility is knowing when to say no to yourself. Coming to the realization that you don’t have to have everything you want, just because you can afford it. And making the decision that your long-term financial well being is much more important than short-term satisfaction. So give yourself a budget each month that you can allocate to your “wants,” and learn how to stay within that budget.
- Build Your Credit: For all of us young twenty-somethings fresh out of college, this is important. We’re only a few years away from buying those dream homes, luxury cars, and needing those small business loans for our dream businesses. This means we need to make sure that our credit scores are nothing less than A1. This year, work on building and improving your credit score by paying those student loans, credit cards, and other bills on time.