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Set Your Sights On A Better Financial Life In 2021

If you were placing bets on what would happen in 2020, I guarantee “pandemic” wasn’t on the board in Vegas. The entire year felt as though we couldn’t catch a break, and many of us are happy to see 2020 drawing to a close.

As we look forward to 2021, a bit of planning and some good fortune can bring Lady Luck back on our side! Here are several things to do to make you feel better, financially, in 2021.

Invest In Yourself
We learned a lot about ourselves in 2020, from how to create workarounds to making do with what we had at home. For the job market, most people found themselves in these categories - Still employed, Still employed, but now working from home, furloughed/laid off, but called back or found a different job, furloughed/laid off, trying to make ends meet on unemployment.

No matter what category you find yourself in, you experienced some disruption to your daily life and have endured hardships because of the uncertainty of the times. Early on during the pandemic people began to do things to invest in themselves by improving their life through art, music, crafts, learning new languages, grow a kitchen garden, and more.

These are all ways to invest in yourself. In addition, you can do more of investing in yourself by learning new things. There are free resources online such as blogs, YouTube, and some online course for finances, fitness, coding, baking, cooking, and other topics or skills that can improve yourself in terms of finding a new job, making yourself more marketable, or giving yourself an advantage when it comes time for promotions or raises.

Take Control of Your Finances
Another way to invest in yourself is to continue to contribute to your emergency fund and retirement account.

Streamline your banking. Close old accounts, switch to online bill pay and sign up for e-statements to reduce paper waste. Shred your old bank statements, expired warranties, old Social Security statements and tax documents that are over seven years old.

Consolidate your debt. Consider rolling all your high-interest payments into one low-rate personal loan. Close credit cards you don’t need and create a payment strategy to lower your debt. Plan to pay off credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

Refinance your auto loan. Unlike refinancing your mortgage, refinancing your vehicle loan is usually quick, easy and painless. No appraisal will be required and usually there are minimal, if any, fees. Doing so could save hundreds of dollars each year and sometimes thousands over the life of the loan. If your current car loan interest rate is above 6%, you might want to investigate refinancing.

Plan for next year. Be intentional and specific about your financial goals for the next 12 months. Set up your 2021 budget, open your holiday savings accounts for next year’s shopping, and write down your financial aspirations. You’ll thank yourself later.