Take control of your personal finances heading into 2017

Life has a habit of derailing even the best-laid financial plans. And if 2016 is anything to go by, then 2017 is set to be an absolute rollercoaster. Thankfully there are goals that one can set that can help absorb the up and down nature of finances. It’s a good idea to distinguish between goals and dreams. One’s goals are simply dreams with an action plan. This helps convert a simple desire into tangible results – especially true for financial goals since there’s often regular monetary investments. Here are a few goals that one can set to bring more financial freedom in 2017.

Set your goals early

November is the perfect time to set goals for the following year. One should take the time to write down their goals for 2017 and to share them with others who can help keep one accountable.

Increase your emergency fund

A well-stocked emergency fund can lift most of the financial strain from one’s shoulder. In a topsy-turvy financial world, one’s emergency fund can help cushion any unexpected blows, such as a loss of a job or major medical expense. One of the greatest personal finance planning tips is putting money towards an emergency fund to give oneself breathing room of between three and six months.

Get out of debt

Ignoring the good debt vs. bad debt debate completely, the great thing about this goal is that anyone can (and should do it). If one’s to get the most out of their finances then it’s an absolute must. Getting out of debt means that one has full control over their income – a useful place to be for saving and investment purposes. It also helps one be more flexible in their lifestyle. That new job opportunity or those last-minute travel plans are a lot less risky if one is without the anchor of debt.

Start planning for retirement

This is an important goal, regardless of whether one is 18 or 35. Even if one absolutely loves their work, retirement plans are a major outlet for financial freedom. And the earlier one begins to put money towards retirement, the easier it is once the time eventually arrives. There are a number of reasons that might keep one from retiring when planned, making proper planning all the more important as it’ll allow more flexibility.

Give up a costly habit

Everyone has their vice. And it’s usually expensive. If one can cut down on a specific habit and rather put the money aside for savings, then one will be in a far stronger position come the end of the year.

Reaching a point of financial security has nothing to do with luck. It’s a simple matter of making sound financial decisions and sticking to one’s established goals. And it’s never too early to start.