Do you want to whip yourself into better financial shape for the new year? Did you look at your finances in 2019 and wonder where your money went? Ready to set a budget and keep your money in order in 2020?
Lucky for you, CNBC senior personal finance correspondent Sharon Epperson has weekly tips and resources to help you. Check them out below:
Week 1: Keep track of where your money is going
- Calculate your net worth
- Create a simple budget
- Keep track of every expense you pay this week. Try the 60% solution.
Week 2: Get rid of 1 recurring expense
- Skip at least one or more impulse purchases.
- This can help you figure out what to eventually cut from your spending.
Week 3: Properly saving for the future
- Put your savings on autopilot, and start small. Put $20 away per week in 2020 into a savings account.
- Rethink where to stash your cash. Look for a high-yield savings account.
- Boost your retirement savings. If you have a 401(k) plan, increase how much you contribute every year by 1%.
Week 4: Pay down your debt now
- Make a list of all of your debts — include the amount you owe and the interest rate.
- Decide on your strategy to pay down debt. Use the “snowball” by first paying off the smallest balance entirely, then others. Or use the “avalanche” approach by putting the most money toward debt with the highest interest rate, and keep going down the list.
- Set all debt payments — credit cards, student loans and mortgage — on autopay. Pay the same amount on the same day every month.
Tips and resources
- Try cutting out one recurring expense this week, and skip at least one impulse purchase — more if you usually make a lot. You may be surprised by how much you can save by taking these steps.
- Here are few tools to help you keep track of where your money is going: Net Worth Worksheet, IRS Withholding Calculator, Budget Calculator. Some additional tips from Sharon Epperson: First, calculate your net worth. Next, determine if the correct amount of tax is being withheld from your paycheck. Then, create a simple budget. (Hint: Start by keeping track of every expense that you pay this week.)