With 2019 around the corner, you should be thinking about your financial goals.  Getting your finances on track is something that should always be on your to do list. The key to making a goal achievable is to make sure it is specific, attainable and with a time frame attached to it. As an example, if you are looking to save money, decide on a specific and realistic dollar amount you want to save and by when. Now that we have an idea on how to set a goal for yourself, let’s get into setting you up to reach your financial goals in 2019.

Here are 5 key financial goals to set for a successful 2019

1. Make more money

Money makes the world go round and in 2019 it has never been easier to boost your earning potential. With extra money, you have the opportunity to achieve other goals you may have for yourself (paying down debt, taking a vacation, saving for a rainy day). These are just a few things that making some extra dollars can contribute to. Here are some easy ways to put extra money in your pocket:

  • Try and get a promotion at work.
  • Pick up flexible work. Think babysitting, becoming an Uber driver, dog walking, babysitting.
  • Get online and check out things like surveys.

The key to making these financial goals come to fruition is to be specific about how much extra money you want to make each month and your plan of action to make it. So this would look something like I want to make an extra $500 per month dog walking and babysitting. This gives you something much more concrete to go off of than just saying you want to make more money next year.

2. Cut down on spending

This may seem like one of those obvious financial goals, but there is a way to go about spending less money that is more deliberate. You want to start off by looking at how your spending was from the year before. If you are not using a budgeting app, this may prove to be a bit more labor intensive. The main things that are a drain to your budget are usually eating out and shopping. The good thing is these are not that hard to cut down on.

Take the time to figure out what you tend to spend your money on. Is it morning runs to Starbucks? Eating out with your friends a few nights a week? Getting sucked into sale emails from your favorite store? Whatever you soft spot is, figure out a way to reduce it. Make coffee at home, have friends over for a potluck or unsubscribe from those emails. Next, you want to come up with a realistic dollar amount to cut down. Before you know it, you will see your finances getting back on track.  You will be meeting your financial goals before you know it.

3. Focus on paying down debt

If you have debt looming over your head, this should be a top financial goal.  With the new year approaching, so comes the holiday debt for many. In order to avoid this additional debt, start saving for holiday shopping as early as you can.

Regardless of the reasons behind the debt, you need to be very specific about how much debt you can pay off each month. This means coming up with a date and an amount you can properly budget for each month. You also want to take any extra income you make (bonuses, a raise, tax refund, side gig income) and put all or some of it towards your debt. Remember that you are bleeding money through interest the longer your debt lingers.

4. Boost your credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers associated with your name. Therefore, improving your credit score should be up on your list of financial goals. Not being able to attain credit can affect all aspects of your life from getting a car to renting an apartment to buying a home. Not to mention the negative health effects bad credit can have on your overall health. So this is quite an important part of life you want to give proper attention to.

Checking your credit report  is something that you should be doing every year. Everybody has access to a free credit report from the three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). By regularly checking where your credit stands, you will have an ongoing idea of where your score is at and if something seems off, you can catch it. When you get your reports, be sure to go through them thoroughly and see if there are any inaccuracies.

5.  Invest in yourself

We are our own greatest commodity. We are also in charge of our careers and our earning potential. So investing in yourself is another important financial goal.  Here are a few ways you can start investing more in yourself:

  • Buy books that will help you learn a new skill.
  • Attend conferences and workshops.
  • Obtain a certificate.
  • Get a mentor.
  • Join a professional organization
  • Join an industry related group for networking.

Final thoughts

As we approach 2019, we all want to set goals and resolutions that will help better our lives. As you start thinking about what you want to improve on this year, financial goals should be top of the list.  Take the time to sit down now and come up with a detailed list of goals along with specific strategies on how you are going to achieve each of them. The above list contains five key goals to focus on that will help improve your financial well being.