We see the same thing every year. The ball is falling to ring in the new year and we are all feeling pretty good about our resolutions for the year. At least for now.
But it's not January anymore. Let's check in. How do these resolutions hold up?
No shame if you're off track – we all do! But that is why we are here to argue that we make resolutions all year round. No need to burden yourself with seven must-dos in January if you can accomplish your goals one by one. You probably have a better chance of making it through anyway.
Here are seven financial goals you can achieve this year. Start with a couple and see what you can achieve over the next few months! These are your resolutions – do them in ways that will work for you.
Monetary Goal # 1: Build Your Emergency Fund
If there is one thing we learned in 2020, it was that most of us were not prepared for an emergency. And unfortunately, building your emergency fund isn't really possible when you are actually in the middle of that emergency.
Make your emergency fund a priority in hindsight (in the truest sense of the word). Do your part if you can and aim to save enough money to cover the expenses between three and six months.
If you haven't opened a separate emergency account yet or want to make more interest on the money you save, try a company called Aspiration. Get $ 100 just for opening a new debit card account.
Sure, many accounts offer sign-up bonuses all year round, but often you'll have to jump through hoops whose minimums feel impossible.
But aspiration makes it easy. All you need to do to start earning your $ 100 is: Open your Aspiration account and deposit at least $ 10. Then set up and receive three direct deposits of at least $ 500 each from your paycheck or government benefits. That's it! Then just wait for your check.
Even better? Your money earns 16 times more interest than the average bank account.
Enter your email address here and link your bank account. And don't worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under military encryption. This is nerd talk for "that's perfectly safe".
Financial Goal # 2: Reduce Your Credit Card Debt
If you have credit card debt, you know. The fear, the interest rates, the fear that you will never escape … you keep adding them to your list of New Year's resolutions but it seems impossible to get there.
And the truth is, your credit card company doesn't really care. It only gets rich by fooling you on high interest rates. However, a website called AmOne would like to help you meet that year-round money goal
If you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, AmOne compares you to a low-interest loan that can be used to pay back every single one of your balances.
The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you'll get out of debt much faster. Plus: No credit card payments this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is why after 20 years in business it probably still has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $ 50,000 online. You need to give AmOne a real phone number to qualify, but don't worry – they won't spam you with phone calls.
Financial Goal # 3: Reduce Your Budget
First of all, make sure you have a budget. Then, make it a year-round goal to check in every few months – there are likely to be expenses you can cut or change to free more cash. For example, when was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should shop for your options roughly every six months – this could save you serious money. But let's be real. It probably isn't the first thing you think about when you wake up. This need not be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age and your options will be presented to you.
Insure.com has saved people an average of $ 540 per year.
Yup. That could be $ 500 in your pocket just to take a few minutes to consider your options.
Financial Goal # 4: Check and Improve Your Credit Score
When it comes to your credit score, staying organized and on top of things is important. And not just in January when you add it to your resolution list! After all, it plays an essential role in any large purchase you want to make – whether it's a house or a car. So add this to your list of year-round money goals.
If you want to get your credit going again – or even if it's on the right track and you want to improve it – use a free website called Credit Sesame.
Within two minutes, you'll have access to your credit history, any accounts in debt, and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You can even spot bugs that are holding you back (every fifth report has one).
Atlanta-based James Cooper used Credit Sesame to boost his credit score by nearly 300 points in six months. *** "They showed me the pros and cons – how to puncture the me and cross the T," he said.
Would you like to check it out yourself? Registration is free and only takes about 90 seconds.
Financial Goal # 5: Stop Overpaying When Shopping Online
Given the amount of online purchases we all make, it can get overwhelming to search 15 different websites to find the best price on each item. But now you can add that goal to your year-round resolutions and avoid the time and energy saving task of price comparisons.
Wouldn't it be nice if you received a notification while shopping online at Target and were about to overpay?
This is exactly what this free service does.
Just add it to your browser for free. Before you check out, other sites including Walmart, eBay, and others will be checked to see if your item is available for a cheaper price. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price drop notifications, and even view the item's price history.
Let's say you buy a new TV and assume you've found the best price. Here you will get a popup informing you whether this exact TV is available elsewhere at a cheaper price. If coupon codes are available, they will be automatically applied to your order.
Last year it saved people $ 160 million.
You can get started with just a few clicks to see if you are overpaying online.
Capital One Shopping will compensate us if you receive the extension via the links provided.
*** As with Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score. 50% see an increase of at least 10 points and 20% see an increase of at least 50 points after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decline in their creditworthiness. Any improvement in score is the result of many factors including paying bills on time, keeping your balance low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, proper financial planning, and developing better credit habits.
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