2020 is here and you know what that means – new year, new you. This is a common saying that people tend to use every new year as they plan out resolutions to try and better aspects of their life going forward. People make all sorts of new year resolutions, from trying to become healthier to quitting a bad habit. A popular resolution that many people like to make is to be better about their money. Budgeting can be a difficult task, but there are plenty of things you can do to be better about your finances in 2020. Here are a few personal finance tips to consider for the new year.
Consolidate Credit Card Debt
It’s easy to amass credit card debt if you’re not careful, especially if your card has a high-interest rate. More often than not, the interest rate on your credit card will be higher than the interest rates on all of your other expenses (such as mortgage and student loans) combined. If you’re in this situation, it’s a wise idea to look into consolidating your credit card debt. Credit card consolidation usually involves taking out a personal loan that ranges anywhere from $1000 – $100,000 and can be repaid within 2 to 7 years. When taking out one of these personal loans, you’ll get a fixed interest rate with it in order to repay all of the debt, and if you’re lucky it could be much lower than your credit card interest rate.
Create An Emergency Fund
A great way to make sure you always have enough money is to start an emergency fund. You’d be shocked to hear that four in 10 adults living in the United States do not have any type of emergency fund saved for dire situations. Unexpected expenses are no fun, and not having the money for them is even worse. Start off 2020 right by setting aside a little bit of money every paycheck. It’ll pile up before you know it, and you’ll be ready to face any financial situation that comes your way.
Put Your Tax Refund To Good Use
The new year also means that tax season is around the corner. It’s always a pleasant surprise when you get a nice tax refund check, but it’s important you use it properly. You could go out and buy yourself something nice, but it’s probably better to pay off some debt with it. Even if it’s not enough to pay off all of your debt, any amount of extra money helps. On top of that, get on the phone with your loan servicer and make sure your payment goes toward the principal as opposed to next month’s payment, that way you are making the largest impact you can as opposed to just paying more interest.