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Four Steps to Develop a Personal Budget Plan for the New Year

(This article is sponsored by Axiom Bank.)

If you’re into traditions, you know it’s that time of year when many of us set out with good intentions saving money is often on top of the list.

Tackling your finances is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But according to US News and World Report, 80% of us revert to our old habits by mid-February.

Here are some steps to help keep your financial goals on track in 2019:

Step 1: Get organized

It’s important to map out your goals by writing them down on paper. In fact, that’s what billionaire Richard Branson does, and told CNBC it’s been one of his secrets to success. Branson says a written record allows him to reference something every morning and get in the mindset to tackle what’s on the list. Checking items off can help motivate you to keep moving forward.

Step 2: Set measures for success

When you sit down to begin writing your goals, start small and be as detailed as possible. Set daily targets that ultimately work toward your major objective, such as saving money or paying off debt. Tools, like Axiom Bank’s AxiomGO mobile app, can also help set measurable marks for smart saving and spending. The My $ Manager function allows you to input your goals and track your progress.

Step 3: Study your spending habits

Many of us think we have a good grasp on how we spend our money. But if you find yourself a little short at the end of the month, it might be time to study where the money is going. Where can you cut back? AxiomGO makes this process easy. You can create individual spending buckets, such as mortgage/rent, car, gas, groceries, entertainment, etc., and set a limit for each. The My $ Manager function automatically tallies money from that category and alerts you when you’re reaching the limit you set.

Step 4: Start now!

It’s easy to keep putting things off but procrastination limits your ability to get ahead. Billionaire Warren Buffett agrees. He says getting control of your finances is all about mindset. You have to make a conscious effort to stick with your budget. Think about ways to engage and challenge yourself to meet goals, such as going a day without spending money on non-essential purchases.

Make 2019 the year you take control of your finances. Developing a new habit takes time, but the lesson Richard Branson follows every day is “try and try again, but never give up!”

Photo Credits: Axiom Bank

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