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With a new year just around the corner, it’s never too early to get ahead of your personal finances. Now is the perfect time to start setting financial goals for 2019. The holidays can already be a stressful occasion for most, don’t make it worse by not being prepared with a plan. Our team of tax and accounting experts here at Bodine Perry came up with a few ideas on where to start when it comes to shaping up your finances for the new year.  

Credit Score  

Check your credit score for free on credit reporting bureaus such as Credit Karma and see where your score lies. Do you have room to improve or is your credit score well above what you thought it would be? Either way, you will be able to identify what might be keeping you from having a perfect credit rating.   

Show Some TLC to Your Emergency Fund  

Do you have an emergency fund that needs some attention? An emergency fund stores money in a high-yield savings account. We’re talking about an account that you can stash some money in, just in case you run into any unforeseen monetary disruptions. If you start adding to it now, little by little you will see your additions start to accumulate.  By the end of 2019 you could have doubled the amount that you started with.  

Review Overall Spending  Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 4.54.21 PM

Have you taken a step back recently, looked at all of your accounts and considered if everything going out is actually necessary? Expenses such as car payments, mortgage, rent, auto/health insurance and other important bills are mandatory to keep track of. If you have to, categorize your expenses such “home,” “kids,” or “miscellaneous,” in order to keep better tabs on expenses. Make sure that you prioritize what is necessary and decide whether or not you can keep up with going out to eat a few nights of the week or go through the Starbucks drive-through each morning. Cut what you can, keep what you need.  

Budget for the Holidays & Plan Vacations Ahead of Time  

Sit down and plan out a budget for the holidays. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, a lot of money is expected to go out the door. What are you able to spend without putting a huge dent in your account?  The earlier you think about giving yourself a price range, the earlier you can start saving for those parties, gifts and special occasions. Save even more time and money by planning your family vacation before the new year. Sure, next summer might seem like lightyears away but factor in: 

  •  Kids  
  • PTO 
  • Travel Expenses 
  • Exchange Rates 
  • Work Schedules.  

It’s easier to plan months ahead of time and you can potentially end up saving thousands of dollars.  

Don’t let the fear of not knowing where to start keep you from being financially successful for the new year. If you need help getting started on organizing your personal finances for 2019, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let our experts work with you to achieve your financial goals and get you to where you want to be. Call us at (855) 851-8318 or visit bodineperry.com 

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