3 New Years Money Goals Everyone Should Have

By on December 13, 2013

New Years ResolutionsWhen it’s the New Year, I try not to make unrealistic goals. Last year, I bought a pair of $100 running shoes in January thinking that if my frugal self spent that much on a pair of sneaks then surely I would become a runner.

Well, many of you know how that turned out, seeing as I’m sitting here pregnant in my pj’s working from home. I think my running shoes are in my closet. I really wouldn’t know though, since I spend most of my day wearing socks around the house.

The point is that I know myself. I know I’m not a runner. After taking classical ballet for over 22 years, running just isn’t my thing. I’ve never been “an athlete” in that sense of the word, and so thinking that expensive shoes would magically change me into a runner was probably a bit over the top.

Still, there are some goals that I do like to set and goals I believe everyone can make. These are money goals! The best thing about money goals is that you don’t need extreme intelligence or athletic prowess to complete them. Horray, right?

These goals are simple, things everyone can accomplish regardless of their current status:

1. Build An Emergency Fund

Oh come on, all the cool kids are doing it! You know you want to and you know you’ve been meaning to, so let’s make 2014 the year of the emergency fund. All it will take is setting aside $20 a week to create a fund that’s over $1,000 by the end of the year. That’s pretty simple, considering how easily we can save $20 just by avoiding the Target dollar section when we buy groceries.

2. Make a Dent in Debt

Once you are on track to getting an emergency fund set up, it’s time to make a dent in your debt. I’m not saying you have to wipe out 20k worth of debt (although that would be awesome!) I’m just saying work on your smallest credit card balance or pay above the minimum on your student loans. I recently wrote about how I stopped paying extra on my students loans due to the fact that I’m pregnant with twins. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that I paid off around $6,000 of loan debt this year. I also managed to side hustle enough to send back $13,000 of my husband’s medical school loans that we received for living expenses this year. So, even though I slowed down towards the second half of the year, I’m still excited and proud of my progress.

3. Save Before You Buy

All of us will probably buy one big gadget next year, whether it’s a new TV or the new iPad. These gadgets usually cost a few hundred dollars, and it’s really rare for someone to save up the money ahead of time. Next year, make that your goal. It will only take a few extra months of waiting to save up the cash before you purchase something big, and trust me, it feels great to walk out of the store knowing you didn’t add to your debt!

So, there you have it: three easy ways to make some awesome money goals next year. Can you think of any that I missed?

Photo Credit: Bayasaa

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com. Follow her on Twitter @BudgetBlonde or like Budget Blonde on Facebook.

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