There’s an old saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Life is full of change and unpredictability. Who knows what the new year will bring? What wonders and horrors, what successes and failures, what defining and ignoble moments that could await you over the horizon? And yet we make plans, we make resolutions, because that’s what we do. We’re human beings. We build tools, we make plans, we strategize. Our ancestors drew maps so they could travel the world: We map out our year with resolutions so we can know where we’re going and where we need to be.
When you make your resolutions, don’t forget to make a few for your finances! The new year is a chance to start fresh, to discard bad habits and adopt a few good ones. At Hacker Accounting, we know how important good financial habits can be to our clients. It’s what separates a thriving business from a struggling one. If you’re wondering what kind of financial resolutions you should make to start your year off right, we’ve got seven suggestions here to start you off!
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Revisit Your Goals
What were your financial goals last year? As both a business owner and as an individual? Which of those goals did you meet, which ones did you exceed and which ones did you fall way short on? Take all that information into consideration as you set up your benchmarks and goalposts for next year. Make several goals that you know you can build up to achieve, and set a few ambitious yet unlikely ones as well. Give yourself a challenge to meet and you may very well rise to the occasion. Just remember: If you want to grow, you NEED to set goals. Not having any kind of plan is a great way to get nowhere fast.
Prioritize Your Debts
The royal road to having a golden credit credit rating is paying off all your debts. Some debts are more important than others, though. Know which of your debts need to be paid off first and organize your payments with that in mind.
Put together a list of your liabilities, organizing them by their annual interest rates. Pay off the debts with the highest interest rates immediately. It won’t do you much good to be investing your money and trying to increase your profitability when so much of your earnings will be eaten up by ballooning interest rates. You’re better off popping those balloons then letting them float away with your business.
Track your Spending
The key to getting better with your money is understanding what you’re doing with it. Track your daily expenses and look for patterns in your spending habits. There may be areas in your life that you’re spending way too much money on, and other areas that could use a bit more investing. For this to really work, though, you need to be honest with yourself: Track every penny! You may be surprised by what you discover.
Pocket Your Change
Don’t underestimate the savings power of your pocket change! Anytime you do a cash transaction, don’t neglect the change. Pay the total in whole amounts and pocket whatever’s left. Even if it’s just a few pennies! Whether it’s for petty cash or personal expenses, loose change can add up quickly. Stash your change in a large container and let it pile up over the year. You’ll be surprised at how much money you could end up with when you cash those coins in.
A major part of being comfortable with your money is to adopt an abundance mentality. If you’re convinced that you’re on the verge of financial doom and have to squeeze every last money, you’ll end up closing yourself off to lucrative opportunities that may present themselves. Optimism isn’t just psychologically healthy: It’s the fuel you’ll need to drive off the beaten path and take risks.
To gain an abundance mentality, be generous with your money. Give to charities: It isn’t just good karma, it also comes back to you come tax season. By giving some of your money away, you’re reinforcing the idea that you WILL get that money back and then some in the future. You’re saying “Yes” to possibility and future growth, instead of saying “No, no, I need every penny!” because your future prospects seem scant.
Open an IRA
Have you opened an Individual Retirement Account yet? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on what should be an essential part of your financial planning. Talk to your accountant to figure out whether a Traditional or a Roth IRA is better for you. Both types of accounts offer major tax advantages that can wrack up a significant amount of money for your retirement.
Learn and Grow
Most of us aren’t born with financial savvy: We have to learn our acumen. If you want to be smart with your money, get smart by reading about money! Read books on investing, finance, business, sales, accounting and taxes. Understand what you’re spending, how you’re spending and what you could be spending on. Money and economics are only mysterious to most people because they don’t put the work in to understand it. Knowledge is power: Power up your business by bettering yourself through education.
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Attain Your Financial Resolutions
Start your New Year on the right foot: Come to Hacker Accounting and let our experienced bookkeepers and accountants help keep your business on the right path and attain your financial resolutions. Give us a call at 602-375-5251.