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How to Enter the New Year Financially Sound

By: Michael Millington

New Years is upon us yet again, and with that comes New Year’s resolutions. Along with the regular wishes of losing weight and earning more, many Americans look to get their existing finances in order. The problem with resolutions is the mentality that normally accompanies them. Spending habits and debt issues don’t just disappear as soon as the year changes (like many people thought would happen at the turn of the new millennium). It takes time, dedication and a plan to start off the new year on solid financial ground. Let’s discuss each of these premises and how they will impact your ability to become financially stable.


The Financial New Year


Dealing with Time

The first thing you need to consider when looking to shore up your finances is time. You’ll need to allocate some time at the beginning of each month towards budgeting your income and handling existing debts. The more time you dedicate to this part of your financial planning, the better of a plan you’ll have in the end. Make the effort to create a far reaching plan so you’ll have guidelines to follow for months to come.

The other side of the time aspect is making sure you set aside time to speak with professionals about your current circumstances. If your finances are beyond your ability to deal with on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to a financial advisor, consultant or debt specialist for help. Making the time to talk to one of these individuals will not only help create a plan for you to follow, it will also establish a point of contact with someone who is professionally trained in dealing with personal finances.


Dealing with Dedication

Being dedicated to correcting your finances is one of the tougher aspects of starting the year financially sound. Not unlike with going to the gym, the beginning of a new year starts with a rush of adrenaline to do what you said you would in your resolutions. After the high of getting started wears off, you can quickly find yourself slipping into your old habits. Maintaining the dedication throughout the process is key. Without it, it will be hard to justify continuing any newly created financial plans.

If you think that you might have a problem with staying the course on your own, consider a financial expert as a life coach as well. Since it is the job of the expert to give you advice and see that you follow through, it’s not unlikely for a professional to understand the hardships you might be dealing with. While they aren’t licensed therapists (if you’re experiencing severe mood swings, depression or harmful thoughts, please go here) they have seen many cases like yours and can help to guide you in the right direction.


Dealing with the Plan

Stick to the plan. Once you’ve resolved to creating a plan, you must stick with the plan. In order to mitigate the potential negative aspects of the plan, take note that at this stage your financial arrangement is essentially automated. You know what you earn, you know what you owe, and should know what you can dedicate to your debts and obligations. Don’t deviate if you want to reach your goal on time.

In the event that there needs to be an emergency change to the plan, make sure you tell your financial professional helper about it. In many cases a financial plan is made in an ideal situation. However, very rarely do these plans remain uninterrupted. If this happens to you, don’t panic. There are always ways to handle bumps in the road. So long as you make the time and put in the effort, you’ll be well on your way to starting the new year in great financial shape.