With 2014 just around the corner, now is a good time to reflect on the progress you have made so far and look into ways to finish the year strong.
Are you on track to meet your savings goals? If not, don’t worry. Your efforts have likely produced healthy financial habits that you can carry through 2014 and beyond.
Of course, there’s still time to save more money for 2013. Have you considered setting up automatic savings? You can have your bank automatically transfer money from a checking account to a savings account every month. If you have direct deposit, your employer might be able to deposit a portion of your check directly into savings; if the money isn’t in your checking account, you’re less likely to spend it!
Financial freedom during your retirement years won’t happen overnight; it’s a goal to work towards every year. How are you doing so far in 2013? If your expenses have kept you from investing as much as you had originally planned, that’s okay; it’s important to take care of your present needs. But if you do have some extra income, try refocusing your retirement efforts this month. If your employer matches 401(k) contributions, contribute as much as possible – it’s free money so take advantage of it! Do you have an IRA? Try maxing out your contributions.
If you don’t have a retirement fund yet, there’s no time like the present to start one!
2013 in review
Before the end of the year, take a close look at your finances during 2013. Did you meet your financial goals? Did your net worth increase? Why or why not?
The point of the review is to learn from your experience and apply what you learn to your finances in the new year. With 2014 just a few weeks away, you should be thinking about your financial goals for next year and preparing to budget for those goals. As you do that, keep in mind all the things that worked that didn’t work, as well as all the financial surprises (both good and bad) in 2013. Use this information to help you decide what your goals will be next year and how best to reach those goals.