How to Use Taxes to Achieve Goals
According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. To think in just a little over 30 days the goals you declared you wanted to achieve for the year, for your life fall by the wayside. Although this happens, this does not have to be you! First thing, I want you to do is change your thinking! A major part of your success is first believing that you can achieve your goals. So, take a moment, revisit your goal list, and say I got this! The second major part of success is having a plan of action.
We are now in the second week of February and I want to rebuild your steam! Usually, financial goals are on the top of the list, of course, next to healthier lifestyle choices like eating better and exercising regularly. With it being tax season, it is the perfect time to energize your financial goals. I have a few ways for you to utilize your taxes to help your journey to financial well-being for 2017.
Improve your Credit Score X Pay Off Debt
Was improving your credit score and paying off debt one of your resolutions? You can definitely start this by utilizing your tax refund. This would be the best time to check your credit score. You have to know exactly where you are so that you can make the necessary steps to get to where you want to be. Credit Karma is good but for a more reliable and accurate idea of your credit score, you should go the real source. I suggest using www.annualcreditreport.com to retrieve scores from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). You can also go directly to the individual credit bureaus websites to get your FREE report. You are obligated to get a free credit year every 12 months. Even though you may think you have an idea of your score and outstanding debt, the visual is always greater. Keep it, then next year at this time you can see your improvements! While viewing your credit report, you can look at the debt you have and look at the accounts to see what you need to improve. You want to concentrate on the debts with the biggest impact on the household budget. You may find old accounts that you have paid off but still shows open and currently owe them. Definitely, check for the accuracy and look towards fixing those errors. Tax time is the perfect time to knock down your personal debt. Remember, just because you ignore the creditors when they call, doesn’t make those bills go away. It’s time to face those bills because that is the only way to truly get rid of them. The earlier you try to make arrangements, the more options may be available to you. Focus on the goal and realize that there are sacrifices that you may have to make to get to your financial goal. There are ways that you can repair your credit, don't be discouraged seek help from professionals like myself that can walk you through the best way to clear your debt and improve your credit. Make this the year that you turn it around and trust, paying off debt is a process. However, trust that if can be done.
Resolution No. 2:
Increase your saving pot
This time last year, I was getting ready to travel throughout Southeast Asia. I was beginning my journey of traveling the world. This time to can be critical to supporting your other resolutions like traveling. This is the time to boost your set-aside savings. Set-aside savings is when you regularly set aside money to pay for expenses that may fall outside the monthly cycle, such as property taxes and yes, vacations! In 2016, I visited 3 countries which were one of the experiences that I had. This can be your chance to begin saving for your trips. You will be surprised on how many international trips that you can take for less than $800. I know because of my traveling experience and talking with one of my closest friends Brittany Floyd of Go Some Place Now, www.gosomeplacenow.com, who has traveled to more than 30 countries. She is the source of all my travel inspiration! To also visualize places you can go within your budget, go to www.kayak.com/explore. This website has a unique tool that allows you to scale the dollar amount to show you where you can travel to anywhere around the world! You can purchase flight tickets at whatever site you can get the best price however Kayak just has a nice tool from a visualization standpoint. Outside of flight cost, there are ways you can travel for less and achieve your travel goals. Check out Go Some Place Now website for travel ideas, or feel free to ask me what’s on my list and how I traveled for less. Whatever you decide, I hope you are deciding to make your resolutions come true.
You can also utilize your tax refund to establish, replenish, or deepen your emergency savings account. When you decided to become financially savvy for 2017, it should include being prepared for the unexpected. I’ve had several car accidents, lost a job, and had other situations where I needed emergency funds. This is definitely where the strength of you savings comes into play. Start your cushion with some of your tax refunds.
Resolution No. 3
Plans for Future
One of the biggest investments you can make is investing in yourself. You can utilize some of your tax refunds to purchase a few key things to start that business you’ve been wanting to do. Put your money to put towards things that will make you more money. That’s one of the keys. You may want to utilize your tax return to boost retirement savings or start a savings plan for your child’s college education or even your own. What do your investments for your future look like?
Most times, we make tall orders for ourselves then after the initial excitement either we realize you don’t know where to start, or your goals seems too difficult to achieve. Let me be the first to tell you if you never start, you will never get there. Getting started is the biggest step but being consistent is the second. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with completing your goals. That is what professionals like myself are for. I can file your taxes and we can create a plan to meet your financial goals. Your resolutions do not have to be in the 80% of failing resolutions. Let this tax season keep get you on the track to achieve your goals.
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