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Look back at 2016 now to make 2017 better

If you have a desire to make 2017 better financially than 2016, a great place to start is to review what is working and not working in 2016.  This will help you be more successful in 2017, especially if you had a few hiccups financially that proved challenging to overcome.
How can looking back help make 2017 more successful?
If you have made financial missteps in 2016 that have caused you serious problems or kept you from attaining your goals you can revisit them to learn how to avoid them in the coming year.  Past performance can sometimes be a very good indicator of future performance.
What are some of the common financial mistakes that should reviewed?
Two that are the most common is not having a budget so that you know where your money should be going and the second is not tracking your spending so that you know where your money actual went throughout the year.  If you look back at 2016 and really don’t know where you spent your money, this can be a serious concern going into 2017.
What else can a person learn from looking back at their financial history?
One might discover that they have financial obligations they have forgotten about that will have an in the coming year. The most common culprit is the “buy now and pay” in 9 or 12 months interest free deals. Forgetting about these purchases can put a strain on your upcoming budget when you have to start making those payments.
Even though all financial goals should be reviewed, what are the most important?
The three most important goals to review are your retirement savings, emergency savings and debt reduction goals. Hopefully for all three, you have or will achieve all targets by the end of the year.  These three goals have the biggest impact on your overall financial well-being both in the short and longer term.
What if any or all three are behind goal?
This is why an early look at 2016 results can really help.  It allows more time to develop strategies for improved performance in 2017. This might mean making changes to holiday budgets or changing vacation plans or other changes to generate the extra money to meet these goals.
Any other areas to review to get ready for 2017?
Look at your costs for entertainment and communication services like internet, mobile phone and cable or satellite TV.  It is often easy to keep adding new services and not realize that you are spending a large proportion of your income on these services.  Now is the time to shop services and try to trim that budget before 2017 rolls around.
What is an expense that is often overlooked in reviews?
By the far the most overlooked expense is the gym membership fee. If you are an avid gym user, then this expense is worth it. If you have visited the gym about as often as visiting the dentist, this is an expense that you should stop before 2017, no matter what your 2017 exercise resolutions turnout to be.

Posted: 11/17/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Budgeting, Financial, Money Matters, Planning

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