Freshening Up Finances for the New Year

When was the last time you took a fresh look at your finances? If you’re like most people, it’s likely been a while. I typically pay attention to the financial emergencies and immediate spending needs rather than thinking long term about my financial plan and savings habits. Recently, I realized I was ignoring the opportunities to do better with my finances all around. It was time to be proactive instead of reactive.

Case in point, I’ve been dealing with student loan debt long enough for it to become an automatic payment I manage but don’t really think about. I would love to pay my loan off sooner and pay less, but it wasn’t my focus. I was missing out on opportunities to handle this debt smarter and better and had no idea I was essentially throwing away money that could have been saved or better used elsewhere.

An email from my mom prompted me to take a fresh look at refinancing my student loans. Though at first skeptical, I trusted my mom’s counsel and did some research. After filling out an online form, I was able to get an interest rate that cut thousands of dollars off over the lifetime of my loan and decreased my repayment time. Without having to change my budget!

My first reaction: It can’t be this easy.

It was, further confirming my mom’s awesomeness.

With the New Year here, it is an incredible feeling to start off in a financially better place. If you haven’t done it in a while, take a quick look at your finances. What has found its way comfortably to the background and become more-or-less easily managed and forgotten? Then look online, talk to friends and family – what are your options? See what you can freshen up. Refinancing might not be the answer, but maybe something else will. Are you able cut coupons, bring lunch to work, carpool with colleagues to save on gas, or create a savings goal? You might be surprised at what can be done and how easy it is to get financially on track for your goals this year. Wishing you a financially savvy 2019.