With a new year well underway, you may have had good intentions to improve your finances. In order to get your finances in check, you need to have a plan. This plan should include living within your means, spending according to your priorities, and doing what you can to increase your income.

Start the New Year off Right

The very first thing to do is to stop spending more than you earn. Take a look at your income and your expenses, and make sure that what you make exceeds what you spend. Consider your priorities, and what’s important to you. Look at the spending you have that doesn’t match your values and financial goals. Those are the purchases you can stop making to bring your spending in line with your income.

Make a plan to pay down any debt that you have, and stick with that plan throughout the year. You want to make sure that you are getting rid of debt so that your financial resources are your own. Consider a realistic plan for paying off debt, and work on that.

Next, look for ways to earn more money. If you are concerned that there is only so much cutting you can do in your budget, or if you are looking for ways to increase your income so that you have more available cash to help you invest for the future, consider your options. You take a second job, start a side hustle, or look for passive income sources. And, if you want to earn money without doing anything markedly different from what you do regularly, you can consider using a cash back credit card.

A Few More Realistic Financial Goals

Whatever improvements you choose to make, each small change could make a big difference between now and retirement!

About Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over nine years writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.