Start the New Year Right, Set Financial Goals

New Year Goals 2020

As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are looking toward the new year with big plans and aspirations. Carry this excitement over to your finances, too! Set financial goals in the new year to build a stronger financial future for you and your family.

The previous year is history. You cannot go back and change the past, but you can make choices today to improve your financial outlook. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to know where you are right now. To do so, take a serious look at your current financial situation.

Set financial goals that are SMART

The first step is to outline your goals for the future. As you think about your goals, remember to keep them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Look through your budget and determine how to allocate your earnings to best meet these goals. Check the progress toward your goals on a monthly or quarterly basis and adjust as needed.

Revisit your budget and debt

Next, review your banking statements and find out how much money is coming in and going out.

Now is the perfect time to build a budget if you do not already have on. Visit Money Ready 101 for tips and guidance.

Also know your current debts—credit cards, vehicle loans and student loans, for example—and make a list including the current balances and interest rates.

Create a debt payoff plan by either tackling the debt with the largest interest or the debt with the smallest balance first.

Start or add to an emergency fund

It is inevitable that unexpected events will come up during the course of the year. Make a goal to have an emergency fund available to cover unplanned expenses. Experts recommend having three to six months of living expenses readily available in a savings or money market account.

Plan for retirement

Did you blink and all of a sudden it’s a new year? Don’t let another year pass before you get serious about saving for retirement, so you can enjoy the life you want after your working years. There are many options to save for retirement, so check out Money Ready 301: Plan to Retire for more information.

If your spouse is covered under the Blended Retirement System (BRS), he or she can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and receive a matching contribution up to 5%. The TSP is also available in the Legacy Retirement System but without the match. The TSP is like a civilian 401(k) plan.

If you are working, check with your employer to see if you can contribute to an employer-sponsored plan. Make sure you contribute enough to take full advantage of any company match.

Finally, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is another option. Even if you are not earning an income, you can contribute to an IRA as long as you file a joint tax return with your spouse. More information is available, here.

The new year is a great time to make a fresh start on your financial future! Just remember these suggestions: use a budget, pay down debt, choose SMART goals, save for an emergency fund and plan for retirement. Set yourself up for success now! You will be grateful in the future.

Are you ready to join the mission?

MilSpouse Money Mission™ is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Get started, here! Connect with us on social media and share this post.

New Year Goals 2020

As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are looking toward the new year with big plans and aspirations. Carry this excitement over to your finances, too! Set financial goals in the new year to build a stronger financial future for you and your family.

The previous year is history. You cannot go back and change the past, but you can make choices today to improve your financial outlook. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to know where you are right now. To do so, take a serious look at your current financial situation.

Set financial goals that are SMART

The first step is to outline your goals for the future. As you think about your goals, remember to keep them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Look through your budget and determine how to allocate your earnings to best meet these goals. Check the progress toward your goals on a monthly or quarterly basis and adjust as needed.

Revisit your budget and debt

Next, review your banking statements and find out how much money is coming in and going out.

Now is the perfect time to build a budget if you do not already have on. Visit Money Ready 101 for tips and guidance.

Also know your current debts—credit cards, vehicle loans and student loans, for example—and make a list including the current balances and interest rates.

Create a debt payoff plan by either tackling the debt with the largest interest or the debt with the smallest balance first.

Start or add to an emergency fund

It is inevitable that unexpected events will come up during the course of the year. Make a goal to have an emergency fund available to cover unplanned expenses. Experts recommend having three to six months of living expenses readily available in a savings or money market account.

Plan for retirement

Did you blink and all of a sudden it’s a new year? Don’t let another year pass before you get serious about saving for retirement, so you can enjoy the life you want after your working years. There are many options to save for retirement, so check out Money Ready 301: Plan to Retire for more information.

If your spouse is covered under the Blended Retirement System (BRS), he or she can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and receive a matching contribution up to 5%. The TSP is also available in the Legacy Retirement System but without the match. The TSP is like a civilian 401(k) plan.

If you are working, check with your employer to see if you can contribute to an employer-sponsored plan. Make sure you contribute enough to take full advantage of any company match.

Finally, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is another option. Even if you are not earning an income, you can contribute to an IRA as long as you file a joint tax return with your spouse. More information is available, here.

The new year is a great time to make a fresh start on your financial future! Just remember these suggestions: use a budget, pay down debt, choose SMART goals, save for an emergency fund and plan for retirement. Set yourself up for success now! You will be grateful in the future.

Are you ready to join the mission?

MilSpouse Money Mission™ is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Get started, here! Connect with us on social media and share this post.

Team Member

We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.

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