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Normally, people wait until the New Year to hit the reset button on their financial goals.  However, there’s no better time than the present to start making positive changes.  Here are seven short-term goals you can still crush this year.

Save $1,000

Fifty-six percent of adults lose sleep over money.  They’re lying awake worrying about their everyday expenses, saving enough for retirement, medical bills and more.  Having a cushion in the bank can put your mind at ease so you can catch more ZZZ’s.  Let’s make it a mission to save $1,000 before the year is out.  To raise the cash, you can sell anything you don’t want or need whether it’s clothes, books or old electronics.  You can also cut your expenses or get a part-time job.

Find a budgeting strategy that works for you

No matter how good you think you are with money you won’t become a true master until you can create and stick to a budget.  There are plenty of budgeting options to choose from.  You can pay yourself first, use an envelope system, a zero-based budget or the 50/30/20 budget.  Don’t just try one method, say it’s too hard and give up.  If there’s anything we’ve learned from Goldilocks, it’s sample all your options until you find the one that’s just right. 

Pay off one credit card

These days it’s not uncommon to be in credit card debt but that’s not a position you want to get comfortable staying in.  Depending on your balance, paying off all your cards by the end of the year may be out of the question.  However, there’s a good chance you can afford to knock out at least one.  Write down how much money you owe on each credit card then aim to pay off the lowest balance.

Set up a Roth IRA

Retirement may be decades away, but you want to be able to live comfortably when the time comes.  Therefore, we suggest you open a Roth IRA and start saving now.  A major perk of contributing to this sort of account is that in the future your withdrawals will be tax-free.  For 2019, you can contribute up to $6,000 to the account.  Plus, an additional $1,000 if you’re age 50 or older.  The deadline to make contributions for this year is April 15, 2020.

Check your credit reports

Everyone needs to check their credit reports at least once a year.  With identity theft running rampant, you want to make sure yours hasn’t been stolen.  Performing regular spot checks also makes it easier to catch and correct harmful mistakes.  If you plan to take out a loan, it’s a good idea to check your credit a few months in advance to make sure there aren’t any surprises.

Read three personal finance books

The best way to get better at managing your money is to educate yourself.  Take a trip to your local bookstore and pick up a few personal finance books.  There are plenty of options which can guide you through each stage of your financial journey whether you’re interested in learning how to juggle everyday expenses, tackle debt or create wealth.  A few classic personal finance books are ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki, ‘The Total Money Makeover’ by Dave Ramsey, and ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ by Thomas Stanley and William D. Danko.

Automate your finances

You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by putting your finances on autopilot.  If you haven’t already done so, sign up for direct deposit.  You spend enough time at your job during the week, we’re pretty sure you don’t want to go there on your day off just to pick up your check.  Next, set up automatic transfers so you can stash some of your cash and spend the rest guilt-free.  Finally, schedule automatic payments for your recurring bills.  You’ll never have to worry about another late fee again.