How to Harness Your Inner Financial Guru in 2018

Managing your finances is hard. Paperwork, planning, organization. Yuck!

But you don’t have to let financial difficulties get you down in 2018. It’s time to kick your financial health into gear and leave those nasty FinTax costs (like overdraft and late fees) in 2017, where they belong.

First, Evaluate Your Finances

How much income do you make? What are your expenses? What costs can you cut out? Write it all down. Track your spending for a month to get a clear picture. Figure out the difference between your monthly income and your expenses to see what you’re working with financially.

To finally take control of your finances you first have to evaluate where you’re at. So taking the time for a full appraisal is worthwhile—you may even be surprised at what you see!

Know Your Financial Toolkit

Even the best of financial planners need outside help. How will you use your backups?

Whether you need to transfer funds to a separate bank account or need to access your earned income in the event of an unexpected expense, or the like, have the PayActiv app on hand. (Which should be easy—it’s easily downloaded on any iOS App Store or Google Play Store.) Then, be ready. Things happen. Make sure you know the services available to you 24/7 on your PayActiv app to avoid overdraft and late fees, payday loans, and other costly FinTax in 2018.

Make A Get-Out-of-Debt Plan

You may have taken your debt into account in your financial evaluation. So how much do you owe, if you do? $3,000? $10,000? $20,000+? Whatever the number is, don’t panic. The key here is to get organized—you can do this! Write each debt down on paper including the name of the creditor, interest rate, balance, and your minimum monthly payment. Once you have the total payoff number, you can begin to create a 3-year (or 5 or 10-year) get-out-of-debt plan.

If you create the plan and still need help taking control of your debt, consider contacting a credit counseling agency or a bankruptcy attorney for advice. Remember, leverage your toolkit.

Start Saving

Only 3 in 10 Americans have more than $1,000 in savings. What happens if the car breaks down? The kids have a medical emergency? Building your savings account is the crucial asset you’ll need in 2018 and beyond to boost your financial health. To start saving, set your intentions: Are you saving for rent, to have emergency funds, to pay off debt, etc.? Then, set up your PayActiv’s savings tool to automatically grow financial cushion with each paycheck.

Keep Yourself Accountable

The kicker of New Year’s resolutions is, naturally, keeping them. Yet keeping yourself accountable for your financial goals in 2018 is easier than you may think. Here’s how to do it.

First, keep things simple. Don’t set the goal to pay off your $20,000 debt by the end of the year if you can only safely put $200 per month towards it. (You’ll likely give up if the goal is intangible.)

Second, write all of your goals down in black and white. Paper or computer. Anything works!

Third, set monthly—or even weekly—goals. At the end of each “goal period”, assess: Did you meet said goal? Fell a little short? How can you better accomplish it the next “goal period?” Do this periodically. You’ll then be able to adapt as you go to successfully meet your 2018 goals.

And that’s it. Stay the course this year, and happy harnessing, 2018 financial guru!

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