There are few things that inspire resolve to do ‘better’ in your personal and professional life than the start of a new year. Often, one of the most important commitments is to achieve financial security in the upcoming twelve months. What follows are some steps to achieve economic stability at home and at work – whether you are an employee of a company or a business owner.
• Create a viable plan for attending to your finances on a weekly basis. This includes creating a budget and checking your income against what is available. This is one way to make your money stretch further. Be creative and use the multiple tools that are available for this purpose. This will help you to keep your finances organized at all times. Don’t let the bills stack up!
• Make attending to your taxes a regular action. Review your own or your business’s tax brackets from the previous year. Become knowledgeable about changes to the tax brackets and their affect on your company and personal financial health.
• Reconcile your books regularly. Do not wait until you have a ‘mess’ on your hands to ‘call in the troops’. If you do not have the expertise to do the bookkeeping, then turn this responsibility over to someone who does. Ultimately, this is a better option than making yourself, your family’s and your business’s finances a target for an IRS audit.
• Work with a business consultant to identify specific ways in which you are able to reduce your expenditures. For example, perhaps you pay for multiple subscriptions to a business-related journal. This form of communication is outdated and may even give a silent indication to a prospective customer that you lack tech savvy. In the end, January is a great time of year to go over your expenses with a ‘fine tooth comb’.
• Create a multi-year financial plan with benchmarks you can check off as a way to determine if you are on target. Think about where you want to be in two years, three years, and five years. Then work backwards to determine what steps need to be taken to get there.