Whenever a new year comes around, people inevitably end up reflecting on how things are going in their lives. If there’s one constant in all of this, it’s that financial issues tend to be at the center of concerns for those who set out to make big changes around the new year. Even those who are happy with their salaries tend to run into issues with money, and there are things that all of us can do to work towards improving our financial lives.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to become a financial boss in 2014, with the following being just a few examples.
1. Make Sure You’re Being Paid What You’re Worth
The economy is certainly on the up-turn, but that’s not to say that everyone is making what they’re actually worth. This is especially true for those who are recent college grads, as entry-level positions aren’t exactly paying well these days. You’re a professional, though, and you know what you’re worth. Taking a low offer isn’t going to get you anywhere if you’re looking for a new job, nor is working for a poor salary at a job you’ve been at for years.
You owe it to yourself to make it clear what you’re worth, but just be sure you have the data to back things up. If you can make a good case for yourself, your professional career should never have to suffer.
2. Switch to a Roth IRA
When it comes to the types of accounts that you have at your disposal and which are your best options, it’s difficult to find a better candidate than the Roth IRA. Roth IRAs come along with the benefits of tax-free earnings, which can make a huge difference over a long enough period of time. What you agree when switching to a Roth IRA is paying any applicable taxes now, which is done in return for gaining tax-free earnings in the future. It’s a savings plan that people of all walks of life can benefit from if they utilize it properly, and making the switch is more than worth considering.
If you’re not well-versed on what switching will do for you, take a few moments to read more on why converting to a Roth IRA may be right for you.
3. Change Careers
One of the major reasons why people experience final stress is because they either don’t like their jobs or are simply not making enough money doing what they do. Changing careers can be a scary, sometimes dangerous move to make, but it can also be one of the best things you can do for yourself if you feel like it’s the right time. If the idea of moving on to something bigger and better appeals to you, it’s important to remember that career changes don’t happen overnight. You’ve got to keep your current job, all the while taking steps to break into what might be a completely different industry, depending upon your interests.
Put the right amount of work in, though, and you’ll find that there are few things more exciting in life than leaving behind a job you can’t stand.
4. Start Planning for Retirement
It’s not uncommon for those under the age of 30 to scoff at the idea of saving for retirement. After all, it’s decades away, right? Maybe so, but waiting too long to get the retirement ball rolling can have hugely adverse effects on your financial health years down the road. The simple fact of the matter is, the earlier you start planning and saving for retirement, the less issues you’ll run into once you reach retirement age. Investing as little as $100 per month into a 401K can be a great way to introduce yourself to the practice, and it’ll add up, too.
The most important thing is not to be scared of retirement planning. It might seem overwhelming, but it’s less confusing than you likely think.
5. Track Your Habits
Have you ever looked at your bank statements and asked yourself how you possibly could’ve spent so much money in a month’s time? It’s a common issue that results from a problem most people have to some extent – a lack of organization. Tracking your spending habits via an app or simple ledger is an essential aspect of understanding how and where you spend your money. Over time, you’ll learn to develop a keen eye for spending trends that you may have, which will allow you to cut back in certain areas to further tweak your budget.
Most online banking platforms will automatically sort your purchases into different categories, so be sure to look into how you might be able to take advantage of this feature.
Being a boss is about taking control. 2014 can be your year, so long as you put in the work.