5 Ways to Make 2017 Your Best Financial Year Yet!
2017 is here already, can you believe it? Did you achieve your financial goals in 2016 or did the year just seem to pass you by? If you found that your financial goals went a little bit out of the window then here are 5 simple things that you could change this year to make 2017 your best financial year yet!
The first key to achieving financial freedom and to grow your net worth is to start budgeting. If you currently spend more than you earn then you are never going to make financial progress. If you haven’t done it already, sit down and work out exactly how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to identify areas where you can make cutbacks to free up some extra cash. If you find that you are in a relatively comfortable financial position then why not make 2017 the year that you really begin to put your extra cash to work, rather than just frittering it away?
One way to put your money to work is to invest your cash. You don’t need to be a millionaire already to invest in the stock market. It is possible to invest with just small amounts of money and various government schemes can also make it tax-efficient. Investing through a Stocks and Shares ISA, for example, can help to shield your investments from income and capital gains tax. If you want to pick your own investments then the Stocks and Shares ISA from Hargreaves Lansdown might be a good fit for you, as you can choose to have full control over your investments with this company. If you would prefer to put your investment on autopilot then you could consider using a robo-advisor like Nutmeg, as robo-advisors are growing rapidly in popularity in both the US and the UK.
If you’re worried that the stock market may be heading for a crash in 2017, then this is understandable given recent world events. It is worth remembering, however, that there is no perfect year to start investing. For example, only a few ‘experts’ saw the financial crash of 2008 coming, and many of those would not have predicted the market rally that sees markets at record levels today. The important thing with investing is to just get started and to view it as a long-term project, this way you will more likely be able to shield yourself from short-term trends. For the average investor ‘time in the market is better than trying to time the market’.
Pay Off Debt
Of course, if you are in quite a lot of debt, then once you have sorted out your budget you may find that you are finally able to start paying off your debts. If this is one of your goals for 2017 then it would be a good idea to come up with a strategy to pay off your debts so that you can pay them off in the quickest time possible! You might consider paying off high interest debts first, for example, or you may want to consolidate your debts if this means that you pay a lot less interest overall. All of this could help you to pay off your debts faster. For more debt strategy tips see our eBook ‘10 Top Tips for Paying off Debt‘.
Start Side Hustling
If once you’ve sorted out your budget you find that you still don’t have enough spare cash to make any meaningful changes to your financial position in life, then 2017 may well be the year for you to start side hustling! Side hustles are a great way for you to earn some extra money while keeping a hold of your day job. This blog is one of the best side hustles I ever embarked on. Since starting it over 4 years ago it has provided regular extra money for our family and now I pretty much blog full-time, though I still can’t resist side hustling myself still.
Start A Business
If you think that you chose the wrong career in life or if you need a better paying job, then have you considered starting your own business in 2017? While starting a business can be a huge risk, it can also be hugely rewarding both financially and mentally, as it could give you a great work-life balance and potentially unlimited earning potential. There are many different businesses you could start both online and offline, so why not choose 2017 to be the year that you make the leap. If you need to raise some cash to start your new business then have a read of our review of peer-to-peer lender Zopa, as at the time of writing they will lend money to use for business purposes as long as you are a sole trader and not a limited company.
So, there we have 5 great ways to make 2017 your best financial year yet! Are any of the ideas listed above on your to-do list for the coming year?