1. Educate Yourself About Personal Finance
From 401K plans at work, to managing a budget, or determining how much money to put towards savings or children's education funds, make it a goal to educate yourself more about personal finance. How do taxes play into your financial situation? What should you do when you get a year-end bonus check? How can you improve your credit score? Learn how to pay off your debt as quickly as possible.
Whatever it is, start now so you're not another year behind!
2. Increase Your Net Worth
What is net worth? It's the total of your assets minus your liabilities. Assets are the things you own and can include your retirement plans, stocks you own, Health Savings Account (HSA), checking and savings accounts, etc. Liabilities are all your debts such as loans, credit card balances, mortgage balances, etc. Whatever is left over is your net worth, so if it's in the negative, which for many US households is the case, than make it a priority to increase your net worth.
Track how much is going towards paying off your debt and how much is going (not going) towards increasing your assets. Maybe put another percentage worth of your income into your 401K plan, maybe go out to fast food or dinner 1 less time. Every little bit helps.
3. Create a Plan to get out of debt
Check out my previous blog post on creating a plan to get out of debt. Create a spreadsheet, use Excel or Google sheets to create a financial plan, or a robust program such as the Worth Account to help you do it all.
4. Increase Your Income
Have you asked for a raise? Have you tried negotiating your income? Have you had a performance review at work last year and didn't get the raise you felt you deserved? Maybe try working on negotiating skills to help you negotiate a better raise next time that performance review comes around. Although your employer may not have the funds to give the raise you request, most will respect the fact that you are inquiring about a raise. Look into taking on additional responsibilities so that you'll become more noticed at work to become a potential candidate for a promotion. Any increase in income will help your financial situation. One great book that has helped me with salary negotiation Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute. This book goes into great detail on how you can negotiate your salary to help increase your income, and I highly recommend the read.
These four examples will hopefully give you a start on accomplishing some new financial goals for 2015