I can’t believe it’s already 2013! 2012 seemed to fly by – especially the second half. With the the beginning of a new year comes the opportunity to wipe your slate clean and start over in a lot of areas of your life. A lot of people make “New Years Resolutions” where they focus on a few key areas for a couple of hours/days/weeks/months at the beginning of the year and then give up on them or just forget shortly after. A lot of new years resolutions have to do with exercise, relationships, and other lifestyle changes that people try to make.
New Year’s Finances
One area that is frequently overlooked is getting your finances straightened out in the new year. Now is the perfect time for this task because you can look back on any data you have from 2012 and make a plan to improve things in 2013. It doesn’t matter if 2012 was awesome or horrible, you should make a plan to improve and tighten things up in 2013. Maybe you want to take a little vacation or upgrade some of your electronics (or even THIS) – now is the PERFECT time to start planning for this! Here are the areas I would suggest focusing on:
- Net Worth – If you’ve never taken a complete look at your net worth, now is a great time to set a baseline to measure against. If you have done it before but stopped for one reason or another, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to update it and see how you’ve done since your last update.
- Budget – Make sure you have a budget that includes all the necessities and enough of the fun things that you won’t be tempted to overspend! If you’re planning on taking lots of vacations, make sure you plan for those here. If you’re aspiring to reach financial independence sooner rather than later, then make sure your budget reflects this!
- Financial Goals – You should put your short and long term goals here. Your short term goals could just be to pay all your bills on time, but make sure you write them out. Your long term goals can be as varied as you want. If you want to replace your car in the next couple of years, here is a great place to plan for that – just make sure you include it in your budget!
- Aspirations – I’ve clearly laid out my aspirations – financial independence, location independence, and contentment – have you? Spend some time thinking about what you really want out of life and put that down in writing. This one may not strictly be financial-related, but a lot of aspirations (at least mine) do have a financial component to them.
Let’s Get Going!
One way to jump start your new year is to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway that you see below. Each action you take will give you entries to win either $100 cash or a $100 gift card!!! I don’t usually participate in or promote these type of things, but Jeremy does a great job of pulling together a great cross section of personal finance blogs to participate in his giveaways. So if you get some time, make sure you enter and once you’ve done that go and look around the other websites of the other entrants – I’m sure you’ll find some interesting articles and blogs!
I hope you all had a great holiday season and an amazing 2012. By making plans now, we can ensure that we have every opportunity to have the best 2013 possible! I’ll be back soon with my goals for 2013 – so get working on yours!!
Thanks for the pic - Signither - licensed CC by 2.0