We are a bit more than half-way through 2019, and now is a great time to check in on your financial goals. Maybe you set some money-related New Year's resolutions, or you've been working toward a big milestone. Take some time to assess your progress and if you've lost sight of your goal, take action to get back on track.
Here are three common budget goals that get left behind:
Blowing your budget?
This happens to many of those who are trying to budget for the first time. You start with the best intentions, but life happens, and you need extra money for a car repair, or you decide to take that last-minute weekend trip. Your budget is blown, so now what?
It may be necessary to just start over. Also, it's possible that your blown budget isn't your fault. If it was too strict, or you started with unrealistic goals, try again.
Be sure to set aside money for emergencies; even if it's just a few dollars out of each paycheck. This safety net will help shield your budget from normal emergencies that we all face. Also, don't forget to put aside money for seasonal expenses, like back-to-school time and holiday gifts.
Your budget should work for you by telling your money what to do. If you are using an overly complicated app or you don't love the format of your paper budget, take another approach.
Lagging savings account?
Don't give up on your goal of saving money. Even if your savings account isn't at the level you'd like, keep going.
If you have problems paying your bills and saving money, the issue may be your income. If you've already taken steps to lower your bills and you live within a budget, consider adding extra money by selling things you no longer use or need, turning a hobby or interest into something you get paid for, or getting a part-time job to help boost your savings.
Paying Off Credit Cards?
You vowed to pay off your credit card debt this year, but it's not looking good. Here are some suggestions for reducing credit card balances.
- Make payments on time. Use direct debit from your checking account if possible, so you never miss a due date.
- Try to tackle cards with highest interest rates first.
- Once those balances are paid off, use the money you were putting toward those to pay more toward remaining credit card balances.
- Pay more than the minimum whenever possible.
Don't get discouraged if you aren’t meeting your financial goals. Reevaluating and starting over can be a great way to motivate yourself going forward.
If you are facing something which may derail your goals, consider a personal installment loan to help you get over the hump. Perhaps your car breaks down and you don’t have an emergency fund. A personal installment loan is made to fit into your budget and allow you to make set payments for a specified term. This may help you stay on track with your financial goals and making on-time payments can also help improve your credit.