The first fiscal quarter of the year marks the beginning of a fresh start when it comes to finances with certain annual priorities that should be handled during January, February, and March.
Starting off a new year can give you the chance to make afresh start when it comes to managing your finances that can seem like adaunting task at first glance. Fortunately, there are some easy monthly steps to take that will help you annually with managing your finances during the first fiscal quarter in chronological order.
For the first month of the year, you should focus on setting financial and career goals that will help shape your financial status for the year while giving you the motivation to stay on track to achieve your goals. It’s up to you to figure out what goals you want to achieve like increasing your savings rate, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund.
When setting your career goal it’s best to consider your options whether you look to advance in your current company or look for a new job offering a higher salary. These goals should be determined early for the best success in achieving them by the end of the year.
The next step towards tackling annual finances is by reviewing expenses, credit report, and credit score. Reviewing these financial aspects will help to get your finances in order and consider changes that can help save you money and cut back on expenses where you can start by looking at your spending history.
This will give you a better idea of what expenses you can cut back with the extra funds you can save, invest, or put towards a necessary spend. Having a good credit score and report are important to track as 20% of Americans have an error in their credit report according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Keeping track of your credit score and report will ensure if there are any mistakes, they can be corrected that can save you money in the long run.
This is the time to consider a money challenge along with reviewing your investment and banking fees. A money challenge might seem like an elevated form of budgeting but is actually a pre-designed regimen with specific actions at specific periods of time.
There is a variety of money challenges to choose from with a popular option being the 52-week savings challenge in which you start off by saving $1 the first week, then $2 for the second week, and continue saving the dollar amount matching the weekend number of the year until reaching $52 for the final week of the year. Using this method, you can save over $1,300 by simply putting money aside once a week.
This time can also be used reviewing banking and investment fees to see if there is another option that works better for your financial goals. Fees might seem like small chunks of change but can add up creating a financial impact without knowing it. It’s best to review your bank statements from the previous year to review additional fees or interest charges that can be resolved by moving to a bank with less or no fees that is primarily offered by non-traditional banks like the online banking service Chime.