If you made some bad financial decisions in 2021, your New Year’s resolution should be to improve your finances in 2022. If you put your mind to it, you can change your bad financial habits and repair any damage to your credit. Doing so will give you some financial freedom, causing you to feel less stress in the new year.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to help you get your money in a better place in 2022 and beyond. You won’t see results immediately, but you can use the coming year to completely transform the trajectory of your financial future. Let’s get started:
1. Build Up Your Credit
Do you know your credit score? This three-digit number can have a great impact on your finances. Your credit score is a reflection of your spending habits and how willing financial institutions are to lend you money. This will directly influence your ability to take out loans and qualify for more competitive interest rates.
There are many ways you can build up your credit. The best thing to do is monitor your money habits and make any necessary improvements. Make all of your payments on time and don’t take on more debt than you need.
The next best thing you can do is get a credit builder card. You secure the card by making an initial deposit or funds transfer, which then becomes your credit limit. Because this lowers the issuer’s risk, you can typically qualify for such cards even with poor or nonexistent credit history. With your new card, you can start reinforcing your credit history with better habits and repair your credit history over time.
2. Focus on Your Health
Going to the gym and getting fit is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions of all time. It’s a great goal to set if you stick with it. Feeling and looking good physically boosts your mental state and provides you with more energy on a daily basis. Additionally, focusing on your health can really help your wallet.
The average American is estimated to spend roughly $11,500 in a single year on healthcare-related costs. This includes things like health insurance and medical bills. If you put a greater focus on your health, you can reduce many of those costs. You’ll get sick less frequently, lower your risk of developing serious conditions, and qualify for better insurance rates.
You may also find yourself cutting down on fast food and sugary drinks in favor of healthier meal and beverage options. Americans spend an absurd amount of money on these items as well. Pulling on the reins a little when it comes to your nutrition should free up some spending cash.
3. Consult With a Professional
If you’re still not sure about where to start or which steps you should prioritize, consult with a financial professional. You’ll have to pay for their services, so be sure to account for that in your budget. However, you can expect to receive far more value than what you end up shelling out.
A financial professional will take an expert look at your budget and find more effective ways to spend and save. They can also convince you to give up some of your vices and hold you accountable for how you’re using your money.
Financial professionals also have a lot of knowledge regarding taxes and investment strategies that might seem too complicated to you. They know all the tips and tricks to save money, reduce debt, and maximize savings using a variety of methods. When it comes to finances, knowledge is power. You won’t get more knowledge from anywhere else.
4. Create a Road Map
Let’s take a minute to touch on the financial principles that you’ve probably heard a dozen times. Stay out of debt, pay your bills on time, save money, spend smarter, budget, etc. Even if you know these principles are effective, controlling your finances can be tough without a proper road map.
A road map will give your financial principles direction and purpose. For example, sticking to a budget will be a lot easier if you’re doing so in pursuit of a goal. If you’re budgeting just for the sake of budgeting, you’re more likely to make exceptions to the rules you’ve set.
Your financial road map can include checkpoints such as getting out of debt, buying a new car, or saving for a vacation. The beauty of a road map is that it can be adjusted as needed. You can take a detour without getting entirely off-track, which may happen if you lose your job or incur an unplanned expense.
5. Download an App
The easier you can manage your finances, the better you’ll manage your life. There are numerous mobile apps you can download that will help you stay accountable to your financial goals. A single app is only a click away, and it can be an effective way to master your finances.
For example, a budgeting app will allow you to easily track your expenses so you can monitor your spending on a daily basis. You can update the app while in line at the store so you don’t forget to keep track.
Other apps include mobile banking apps, investing apps, and publication apps full of articles and content on how to improve your finances. Scroll through the different options for financial apps and give a few of them a try.
It’s never too late to get a grip on your finances, and 2022 is as good a time as any to get started. Start setting goals and making plans to improve your finances now. You’ll be able to look back on your progress 12 months from now and be proud of how far you’ve come.