As we look forward to a new year and a new decade with opportunities to learn and grow, it’s important to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments from 2019, including your financial wins! Celebrating the big moments as well as the small moments or #MajorMinorstones as we like to call it, is important to recognize to build momentum and keep pressing forward. Financial victories look different for everyone but here are 4 common financial goals to celebrate as well as some tips to reach them if you aren’t there yet!
You Raised Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the easiest ways to get a snapshot of your financial health. If your credit score did indeed go up from the start of the year, give yourself a pat on the back! Even an increase of 20-50 points can help you, especially when it comes to applying for loans.
If you haven’t checked your credit score recently, use Turbo to see what your number is! Not all credit checks are created equal though. There are two types– a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry. As a general rule of thumb, routine credit checks are always soft inquiries that won’t hurt your credit score. Reserve hard inquiries for when you’re applying for a new line of credit or a loan because those could slightly lower your score depending on your credit history!
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to your credit score since a higher score can benefit you financially in several ways from better insurance rates to easier approvals for housing. Make sure you’re aware of the factors that affect your credit score: payment history, credit utilization ratio and age of credit. Improving your credit score is a great goal to have in the new year; try to be specific and establish a target score you’re aiming for and then set a timeline and plan around it. Improving your credit score doesn’t happen overnight, but it sure can happen in just six months! The sooner you address what is potentially bringing your score down, the faster your credit will go up!
Did you raise your credit score in 2019? Tell us below!
You Paid Off A Loan
Did you pay off a loan or make significant progress towards paying off your debt this year? Congratulations! Regardless of the amount you’ve paid off, it’s worth taking the time to recognize how far you’ve come because we know it’s no easy feat. Whether it’s student loans or credit card debt, celebrating your progress is also a good motivational tool to take a step back and remind yourself you’re reaching your goals one small step at a time.
Ultimately, becoming debt-free means less financial stress and more money in your wallet for savings and spending on things you care about without feeling guilty! Extra kudos to you if you’ve paid off a major loan like your car or mortgage this year. You also can finally say you own those assets without worrying about making another payment. If you’re still working on tackling that debt to make it more manageable, consider creating a repayment plan using a free loan calculator and finding the right strategy for you. For example, you can follow the Avalanche Method where you first focus on the debt with the highest interest rate and work to pay that off first. You’ll save money in the long run since less interest will accrue over time.
Did you pay off a loan in 2019? Share some tips on how you did it below!
You Had Consistent On-Time Payments
This may seem like a trivial accomplishment but it should not be overlooked! Remember how perfect attendance in school was a huge deal? The same mentality applies to your bills. On-time payments are another factor in determining your credit score. You also avoid late fees and maintain lower interest rates so really, this step can have a major impact. You could even say it pays to be on time.
Ensuring your payments are made on time is one of the easiest ways to boost your credit score. If you’re struggling with this goal, consider automating payments where you can, setting up reminders and writing down due dates on a calendar. You can also make changes to when some of your payments are due around what’s most convenient for you. Just go online or call to find out about this process for your specific bills.
Pro tip: if you are concerned about not having enough money in your bank account to pay these bills later, set your due date to right after payday!
Did you have consistent on-time payments in 2019? Tell us below!
You Worked Toward Building Your Savings
If you have $1,000 or more in your savings, you’re doing better than most Americans. In fact, only 40 percent of Americans are able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense for an emergency with their savings, according to Bankrate. Having a rainy day fund in case things ever take a turn for the worse is smart and helpful if you can swing it. If you’ve achieved this goal, you definitely deserve an #adulting badge!
If you don’t have a savings account set up yet, make it a priority in the new year and start automating your savings so a portion of your paycheck goes right into your savings. Just by having an account set aside for savings, you’re more likely to save at least a little bit of what you earn. Since it’s harder to withdraw from a savings account, your temptation of spending that money will reduce significantly. Creating little spending barriers for yourself can help you build your savings in the long run. Once you’ve started saving and have some money set aside for that emergency fund, you can save for important life moments like retirement or for personal goals like a travel fund.
Did you significantly progress with your savings goal in 2019? Tell us below!
When it comes to actually finding ways to celebrate your financial victories, start by listing out the goals you’ve hit and recognizing the hard work it took to get you there. Share your success with your friends and family because #RealMoneyTalk… we know this wasn’t easy and your big money moves deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated! Your friends and family might even learn a few things from you and be inspired to improve their own finances.
Having a nice meal or dessert is another fun way to celebrate. Or plan a day trip somewhere nearby so you can explore your own backyard or neighborhoods you don’t hang out in as often! Finally, if you accomplished a huge financial goal that you’ve been working on for a while like becoming debt-free, throw a potluck style party! After all, if we throw parties for graduations, engagements and other life events, why not one to commemorate being debt-free or accomplishing other financial goals?
If these goals sound far off or you’re unsure where to start on your financial journey but want to commit to better financial habits, use this list of financial victories as inspiration for your 2020 financial resolutions! You can also check out more tips on how to *actually* stick to those goals.
What other money goals have you accomplished this year? Comment below which financial victories you’re celebrating this year and which goals you are planning to work on in 2020!