Financial experts say these three simple new years resolutions will are the most important changes to make in 2020.
When it comes to achieving financial independence, most agree that taking small, measured steps is far more effective than overwhelming giant leaps. Instead of making vague resolution like “save more,” experts recommend getting into new habits that will bring you closer to your overall financial goals in 2020.
Money expert, best-selling author, radio host and CEO of Ramsey Solutions Dave Ramsey told CCN that putting pen to paper is the key to increasing your wealth in 2020. He recommends purposefully writing out a budget to stay on track with your finances.
When you give every dollar an assignment before the month begins and you live according to the numbers you write down, you will get the stress off of your back. It will feel like you got a raise. You’re money is out of control when it’s not in control. It sounds basic, but if you don’t have a clear written plan for your money, then you’re just hoping.
He’s not alone, a host of finance experts recommend purposeful budgeting to keep track of spending. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren advocates for the 50/30/20 budget rule, calling for after tax income to be divided as follows: 50% on needs, 30% on wants and 20% for saving.
Paying off debt, especially high-interest debt, should be a primary focus when it comes to budgeting in 2020. Last year U.S. consumers who did their Christmas shopping on borrowed money racked up $1,230 in debt. Most of those people said they planned to pay it off via minimum payments, making their splurge all the more expensive.
Rate Rush CEO Harry Maugans told CCN that shoring up your investment portfolios is more important than ever this year:
Max out your Roth IRA and diversify your investments! The stock market is at an all time high, but it can’t stay there forever, so missing out on a little upside now is worth avoiding a big drop when things inevitably reverse course. Ensure your portfolio has a healthy balance of market exposure, and alternative or non-stock investments.
Brian Davis, the co-founder of SparkRental.com had a similar perspective, saying that diversified investing is the key to building wealth. He recommends using an automated service to make stock-picking easier for those unfamiliar with the stock market.
Everyone with a net worth under $500,000 use a robo-advisor to help them invest. Only around 55% of Americans own any stocks at all, and failing to invest in equities is a surefire way to not build wealth. The Americans who don’t own any stocks are often intimidated by the process of choosing equities to invest in, but in today’s world they can delegate that to AI algorithms. Many robo-advisors are free; I personally use Charles Schwab’s robo-advisor service, which is free if you have at least $5,000 invested. Regardless of which you use, the important point is simply to open an account and start automating your savings and investments.
2020 could be a tricky year to pick winning stocks as uncertainty looms over the U.S. stock market. Still, most analysts are expecting to see relatively smooth waters ahead which bodes well for well-diversified portfolios.
Sandy Yong, the author of The Money Master, says 2020 is the year to know your worth and ask for a pay increase.
Negotiate a raise with your boss. Since it’s the time to have an annual performance review, it’s a good opportunity to share the highlights of what you have accomplished the past year and what value you bring to the company. You should also do some research online to view comparable salaries within your industry and with your job title so that you are informed about the standard compensation ranges. You can look up statistics through Glassdoor, Linkedin or Payscale.
Research from Columbia Business School suggests that asking for a specific sum of money is more effective than rounding. A precise number implies that you’ve done your research and are well-informed about your own worth.
Yong’s tip isn’t just for those at the top of the food-chain either. Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed.com says strength in the U.S. labor market has given lower-paid workers more bargaining power.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.
Last modified: January 30, 2020 9:02 PM UTC