There's still time to set financial goals for the year

Clock in the foreground

If you didn’t jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon on January first, you may think it’s too late to set goals for the year and start making progress, but you’re wrong. There’s still plenty of time to set financial goals and make them a reality; you just have a little less time to do it so you need to be focused.

There are a variety of financial goals you can set that would improve your financial outlook by the end of the year. Here are just a few that can make a big difference:

Create or increase your emergency fund

Having a well-stocked emergency fund provides peace of mind should an unexpected repair come up and it provides a cushion if you experience job loss or a large medical expense. With an emergency fund, you have an immediate funding source in case of emergency; you don’t need to wait for your next paycheck to get your car fixed or call a plumber. Creating a cushion of cash that you can easily get your hands on if you need it should be a priority.

Reduce or pay off debt

If high interest fees are costing you money, it’s time to get out of debt once and for all. That money can be put to better use. It may take more than a year to get it all paid off, depending on how much you have, but you can make significant progress in a year. Getting out of debt will free up more money for saving and investing, and even allow you to do things you haven’t been able to do before, like start your own business or take a big trip.

Increase your income

If you haven’t started creating multiple streams of income yet, this is your year. You don’t need to quit your job, you just need to make more money, and if your boss isn’t giving you a raise, you need to do it for yourself. Creating multiple streams of income allows you to pay off debt faster, increase your savings quicker, have more money to invest and put towards retirement funds. You can start a side business in your free time; the options are unlimited. And, if you do it right, there’s no ceiling on the amount of money you can make, unlike your job. If you don’t have any other financial goals this year, this one should definitely be on your list. It will help you reach all the others.

Live on less than you earn

If you’re over your head in debt, it may be because you’ve been living above your means. It’s time to cut back and start living on less than you earn so you can get out of debt, save money, and live a better life. It’s time to give your budget a thorough exam and look for places to trim. Start with utility bills, entertainment, and grocery spending. If all else fails, it may be time to downsize or trade in your car for a decent used one.

Just because we’re already into 2018 doesn’t mean it’s too late to set financial goals. The sooner you make them, and commit to them, the sooner you’ll reach them. It doesn’t matter if it’s January or July, set your goals and create a plan for reaching them.

Emilie writes about overcoming debt, while balancing trying to eat healthy, stay fit, and have a little fun along the way. You can find more of her work at