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How to Get Your Financial Life Back On Track in 2016

  December 3

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4826996338_cca537934c_zThe following post written by staff writer, Kayla.

If that headline hits home for you, it’s probably because you’ve tried and failed to get your financial life on track in years past. Believe me when I say you are not alone. This is definitely something I’m constantly struggling with too.

Almost everybody has multiple recoveries and relapses when it comes to personal finance. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get it right again and that it won’t stick this time.

The key aspect of your success in 2016 is education. Without having a strong understanding of important aspects of personal finance, all you’ll have to drive these personal changes is desire. Desire without knowledge isn’t very powerful and tends to peter out. Therefore, there are some fundamentals which you should get to know before January 1 rolls around.

  • Learn How to Start Investing Right. Getting your financial life in gear isn’t all about covering your bills for tomorrow; it’s about preparing for tomorrow as well. There are many ways to invest, but one of the best is through tax protected methods set up by the government and/or your employers. IRAs and 401(k)s are powerful tools. If they are available to you, try whenever possible to maximize your yearly allowable contributions to enjoy the full power of compound interest over the years.
  • Save Money on Your Daily Life. All of us waste money. Life is busy and you probably have a lot on your plate. (Editor’s note: I just spent $18 on airport food. Why why why!?) Being busy is a great way to let money fall through the cracks of your budget. This holiday season, use some of your extra free time (what’s that?) to look for some of these financial inefficiencies and correct them. There are a million ways to do this; here are just a few:
    • Spend less on daily purchases by using coupon sites. A new one I just learned about is
    • Review all of your monthly payments, like insurance and cable, to see if you could be saving by switching to another company.
    • Sell your car and get a cheaper one that you can pay for in cash.
    • Get creative with entertainment and make more friends, saving money simply by hanging out rather than spending on expensive experiences.
  • Change Where You Live. Okay, it’s not possible for every person in every situation, but more people should take advantage of this method than actually do. If you live in an expensive area where job options are not the best, why not move somewhere cheaper or with a better economy? There are many cities around the country that offer a better financial climate. Making a move like this can make a big difference in areas of life other than those that relate to your wallet, so take this consideration seriously. It could save you thousands every year, as well.

Sometimes personal finance changes are a big deal. Other times they are easy to implement. Whichever ones are most relevant to you, use the occasion of the new year to make some of this stuff happen for you. 2016 can be the year you get your finances right, even if it’s for the very first time in your life.

How are you going to get your financial life back on track in 2016?

Disclaimer: Cat was compensated for this post, but of course, all opinions are genuine.

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19 responses to “How to Get Your Financial Life Back On Track in 2016

    1. That’s great! I’m glad you are making progress and a plan that you can actually stick too.

  1. I completely agree with the car tip. The average car payment is something like $400 a month. That money could go so far toward other goals, such as paying off debt or investing. We once purchased a $750 car, drove it for four years, and sold it for $500. Never took it to a mechanic. That means our “car payment” was about $5 a month. It’s a huge area of potential savings.

  2. It seems to me that the people who become the most financially secure are the one’s willing to make those big changes – like selling their car or their house. And in the long run, they usually wind up with what they want, from sacrificing for a while at the beginning.

    1. That’s a good point. I guess I’m not willing to go quite that far. I won’t be selling my house or my car anytime in the foreseeable future.

  3. I find that I NEED to do budget reassessments every month or 2 whether I feel like I am on or off track. I need the reassurance and if things look dire for whatever reason I do as you say and make some changes. I truly believe that those who are successful at reaching their financial independence goals are the ones who are committed to taking action and that includes sometimes having to make hard choices to stay on track.

    1. Doing a check-in on your budget and making adjustments if needed is a great idea. I have to adjust my budget sometimes to make sure it’s actually in-line with what I spend and is something I can stick reasonably stick to.

  4. One of my goals is to save money on my daily life. I waste so much money running to the grocery store several times a week, not only that sometimes I can’t finish the food and end up tossing it. =/ That is one of my biggest money suckers!

    1. Yeah that’s a bad habit. I’ve got myself pretty well trained to go to the store only once/week now and there are not many times that I go more often than that.

  5. My financial goal for next year is to have a daily savings account. I will keep track all my expenditures and income. And I aim to save each day. Minimizing expenses and maximizing profit is my goal.

  6. 2016 will be better! I have now a list of New Year’s resolutions, this time it’s more specific, and I am ready to reach my financial goals and be back on track, Kayla.

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