People have a lot of financial concerns even as you start the new year and it pays to know which one you need to prioritize. There are a lot of areas you need to cover and trying to do all of them at the same time will spread you out too thin. In the end, you will feel exhausted and burned out with little results to show for it.
One of the top financial concerns for consumers
With all the financial areas to worry about especially at the top of the year, CNBC shares that people are mostly concerned about saving money for the year. They would rather save money than try and lose a few pounds they gained over the holidays. There is no question that for most people, losing weight is on top of their New Year’s Resolution for the year.
It is really a good investment to try and live a healthier lifestyle which includes a weight loss journey. In fact, it is one of the areas you need to focus on for the year. It is just that there are some people who might have gone through difficult times the past years due to a lack of funds that they prefer to give importance to saving money over weight loss.
There are also some people who will prioritize paying down their debt obligations over limiting screen time from their gadgets. This can mean that people are glued too much to their gadgets that they do not want to lose any screen time or they really see the value in managing their debt payments better. However, being committed to being better in money management can give you an advantage when it comes to reaching your goals.
Financial areas to focus on this year
Now that you have an idea about the financial concerns consumers worry about the most for the year, there are other areas of your finances you can focus on as well. Here are some of the worth looking into in order to help you strengthen your finances for the whole year.
Create better financial habits
You may not realize it but your financial habits play a big part in how successful you can be in managing your finances. The challenge is that your habits are quite easy to overlook because of the fact that you go through them without putting in much thought.
Habits can have a positive and negative effect on your finances as it gives you structure but you need to take a look at what these habits are. You need to make sure that they are helping you reach your goals and not pushing you further back from realizing them. One way to do it is to take a look at some of your financial problems and identify if there are habits that contribute to them.
You might not realize it but you might have a habit of buying something really expensive every time you get your salary as a reward to yourself. It could be something you have been doing for a long time that you do not realize you are charging so much on your cards. Take a look at your habits and keep the ones that help you strengthen your finances and slowly take out the ones that add unnecessary stress.
Stronger reserve funds
One of the financial concerns you might have dealt with in the past is stressing over your finances when an emergency strikes. You have no idea when it will come and there are times when it can happen at the most inopportune time. If it hits you and you do not have any savings, your first resort is to usually come up with the cash as quick as possible.
This normally leads to reaching for your credit cards or even taking out payday loans at really high-interest rates. These options can definitely tide you through a dry spell but what if you did not anticipate the amount of time it would take you to get back up on your feet? You might start to miss payments and this can compound your financial problems even more.
This is the reason why you need to pay close attention to your reserve fund for the year. It is ideal to have that amount early on to help you address any unexpected situations life throws your way. Having a reliable reserve fund will also help you manage financial stress. This can take a lot of weight off your shoulders giving you the chance to focus on other important areas of your finances.
Better credit use
One of the biggest financial concerns of people in the past year is the fact that they have overused their credit cards. USA Today even shares that credit card debt at the start of 2019 already breached the $1 trillion mark. This can either be a good development signaling consumer confidence or the exact opposite where people are beginning to spend mindlessly.
If you want to have better control over your finances for the year, this is one area you need to focus on. Your credit card can be a very tempting tool to use partly because of the convenience it offers. A single tap or a quick signature gives you the ability to make a purchase you want without any cash payments involved.
You need to remember that using your credit cards is similar to taking out a small loan from a lender. This comes with all the interest rates, fees, and penalties all other loans are packaged with. If you start missing payments, you are obligated to pay more in the coming months. Make sure you only use your card if you are certain you can everything back at the end of the month. If not, you might be better off saving for the purchase first.
A healthier version of yourself
Another one of the financial concerns people have is not directly related to money but has a lot more to do with their health. However, you need to understand that apart from living a better life, a healthier lifestyle can positively impact your finances as well. It might not be readily visible but you will certainly feel that over the course of time.
For one, a healthier mind and body allow you to perform at your peak levels. This means that you get to do your job or run your business quite well. It would also help you make better decisions giving you better results. Having a healthy lifestyle also lowers the chances of reporting sick and missing days of work.
As you get older, you will certainly feel the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. You would notice that you do not easily get sick and you are stronger and healthier as you age. This also means less emergency doctor’s appointments and fewer medications for your body. In retirement, you get to have a better quality of life as well.
People have a lot of financial concerns especially at the start of the year and you just need to lay them out and identify the areas you want to prioritize. You cannot work on all of them all at the same time but redirecting your efforts can help you cross out one item after the other.