In honor of the New Year and all those resolutions we have every intention of keeping, Sincerely Savannah is featuring a series throughout January that features personal finance tips that will help put your bank account in the green. We’re going to kick the series in gear with tips on profiting from the improving economy.
After years of dealing with the repercussions of a diminishing economy, we are finally getting out of the storm. The economy is finally improving, which can be seen through the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Gross Domestic Product and personal income increase, as well as the overall unemployment decrease and flourish of the stock market.
Maybe your past spending and saving activities were not as wise as they should have been, but now, you have the best opportunity to jump start yourself. What better time than a new year? It’s important to know exactly what to do as the economy grows so that you can grow with it. Below are eight ways to do just that.
- Pay Your Debt
One of the only ways to appreciate an improving economy is if you are able to freely participate in it, and the last thing you want is to be tied down by loans and debt. Your first goal should definitely be working towards paying your outstanding bills and everything else weighing heavily on your wallet. It’s important to do this before you get hit hard with growing interest rates.
- Save, Save, Save
If there’s anything that a bad economy has taught us, it’s that our money is not always there when we need it. That’s why now is the perfect time to make sure you have all your bases covered. Put what you can in your savings. Ideally, you want about three months of your salary saved up for emergencies.
- Look Into Purchasing a Home
If you’d like to buy a home in the near future, now would be a good time to do consider doing so. As the interest rates rise, so will your potential mortgage. Buy while rates are still low. If the nomad in your heart says you’re not ready to make that sort of geographical commitment, at least begin to save for the preferred 20 percent down payment.
- Avoid Inflation
In order to avoid being overly affected by inflation, it’s important to lock in what you can so that your costs don’t skyrocket. Maybe this is your cellphone bill or your cable bill, but whatever it is, you’ll be thanking yourself later.
- Don’t Overspend
This one sounds pretty obvious. With a chance to rejuvenate your finances, you don’t want to be foolishly spending where you don’t need to. Beyond that, when you spend less, you save more. With higher interest rates, you’ll have the opportunity to make more on your savings.
It’s a great time to start investing, if you haven’t done so already. Remember, you must make any contributions to your IRA by April 15 in order to count in your 2014 tax bill.
7. Look for New Employment Opportunities
If you experienced a brutal layoff during the recession, you’ll definitely want to be looking for a job now. Companies are going to be looking to hire, so spruce up your resume and any platform you have online. Even if you were fortunate enough to keep your job, you still might be interested in something better. Brag about how you’ve helped your company grow during its darkest time.
- Get That Raise
You wouldn’t have dreamed about requesting a raise when the entire country was struggling. As people seem to be getting back on their feet and can’t moan about the economy anymore, now is the best time to ask for some more money.
There’s no time to waste in getting started on some of these practical tips. They’ll be sure to put you and your finances ahead of the game so that hopefully you can grow as the economy grows.
Share your own personal finance tips in the comments!