The year is winding down, and the holidays are in full swing. You know what that means: the new year is rapidly approaching. With the talk of resolutions and the added pressure of a new decade, it can be overwhelming to think about planning ahead. However, there’s still time to set yourself up for success in 2020.
Follow these steps to get your finances in order before the countdown begins, so you can hit the ground running in the new year.
1. Set goals for the year
If you haven’t started thinking about what you want in 2020, now’s the time. You don’t necessarily have to set resolutions, but make sure you’re entering January with a few actionable steps in mind so you can get start the year energized and ready to go.
2. Calculate your net worth
A great way to check in on your financial goals and view your progress is by calculating your net worth. Your net worth is comprised of both your non-financial and financial assets, minus your liabilities. To calculate this, add up the total amount in your accounts—including investments and real estate equity—and subtract your total debt. The number remaining is your net worth.
Keep in mind, it’s common to have a negative net worth if you own a home or are paying off debt. Don’t get discouraged if you end up with a negative number. Use your net worth as a benchmark to monitor your progress year after year.
3. Check up on your investments and retirement accounts
Many experts advise against tracking your investments daily and trying to time the market. However, you should try to check on your investment portfolio, including your 401(k), at least once per quarter. Make sure your investments and contributions are in order and your strategy still fits your long-term goals.
4. Start saving
Are you planning a vacation, sending your child to summer camp, or making a big purchase in the new year? If you have any larger expenses on the horizon, now is the time to start strategically saving. Set up sinking funds to start putting money aside slowly, so you don’t have to stress when it comes time to pay.
5. Review your spending
Review your bank statements and make sure you’ve been putting your money where your priorities lie. Use this time to determine where you can cut expenses that don’t add value to your life, like subscriptions you no longer use or extra groceries that end up going to waste.
While you’re scouring your expenses, don’t forget to check out your bank account, and make sure you’re not spending any of your hard-earned money on unnecessary banking or ATM fees. Don’t pay more than you need to; if your bank account is racking up charges, consider Wintrust’s Total Access Checking account, which gives you access to more than 65,000 surcharge-free ATMs and reimburses out-of-network ATM fees.
New year, new you!
Follow these steps, and you’ll be on the fast track to success in the new year. So, relax, and enjoy counting down the final seconds of 2019 with confidence. You’ve got this. After all, you have a plan!
Interested in opening a new checking account? To learn more about Wintrust’s Total Access Checking, click here.