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This is a 3 part post on things I recommend you do, incorporate, get, you name it, that will help you get right in 2018. Yesterday, I discussed part 1 – Health and Wellness. When thinking of new year goals and resolutions, improving our health and being mindful of our wellness, should always be at the top of our list. Even though we shouldn’t wait for a new year to check-in with ourselves, a new year always brings with it the momentum we need to develop healthy self-care habits. If you missed that post, click here to catch up. Now, let’s dive in to part 2 of this 3 part post series- Personal Finance!

Personal Finance – Part 2

I recently did a poll on @Makerealcents Instagram and asked my followers if one of their goals in the 2018 was to focus on their personal finances. An overwhelming majority, roughly 90% of those who answered the poll, said “yes.” Make 2018 your come back year for personal finance. Get focused and committed on your financial goals and really start to take the next steps to getting your financial house in order. You’re already on the right track by being apart of the Make Real Cents community! Here are a few things that can also help your finances in 2018:

1.) Coupon Filer –

In my “B*tch Better Have a Budget” post (click here to read more), one budgeting essential and MUST have for a cash budget is an accordion file. I use a small accordion file to keep my budgeted cash organized but it also helps with receipts and other things I may need come tax time.

Free Budget Sheet

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2.) Personal Finance Book –

As I’ve mentioned countless times before, this book is a game charger for anyone trying to get out of debt and achieve quantifiable personal finance goals. Dave Ramsey, while I don’t agree with everything he says and does, has got the “getting out of debt” and money part right. I will always urge my followers to read his book “The Total Money Makeover because it inspired me to embark on my own debt free journey. It is a quick, easy read, and is something that will undoubtedly change your life when you read it. If you don’t have debt, you may want to check out Dave’s other book Complete Guide To Money. I’ve read both books and personally recommend them to anyone that I know.

3.) Savings Account –

Commit to not being “all talk” this year and open a savings account! It literally takes 5 minutes to set up a Qapital account on your phone (app in iTunes) or a Capital One 360 account online. The best thing you can do this new year is automate your savings, I guarantee, this time next year you will be thanking yourself because you did.

4.) 2018 Planner

While digital calendars are great, I’ve found myself reverting to a lot of old school ways as of lately. There is something to be said in the art of simplicity and getting back to the basics. (Side note: this is coming from the person who still has a cd sleeve in my car but thats besides the point..) In order to get organized with your finances (dates, appointments, deadlines, goals, milestones, etc.), you need a plan(ner) and a budget. Having the big picture in front of you, helps you conceptualize your progress. A 2018 planner for the new year is an essential tool to have in your budgeting arsenal.

Click here

5.) Downloading Personal Finance Apps- 

Having apps on your phone like Mint and Personal Capital will only further your efforts to get focused and organized when it comes to your personal finances in the new year. I’m obsessed with Personal Capital by the way. They have a ton of cool features all for Free99! Below is an example of the Personal Capital Dashboard that I found online –

6.) Set at least one financial goal this year – 

Whether it’s to get out of debt, save more, set up a Roth IRA (one of mine), buy a house, etc. set at least one achievable goal that will stretch you but is also obtainable this year. Once you achieve it, make sure you celebrate the small win and keep it moving!

Personal Finance Part 2 – Summary 

Things you can do in the New Year to help you get your financial house in order:  

  • Get Organized – Have a plan, get on a written budget, and stay organized
  • Stay engaged with your finances by constantly looking to improve your financial I.Q (e.g. reading a personal finance book or subscribing to blogs like this!)
  • Start saving or increase your savings
  • Plan and track your spending, set goals, and be consistent with your approach
  • Become obsessed with checking in on your finances via a tracking app
  • Set a goal that will stretch/challenge you a bit

What goals do you have for the new year when it comes to your finances? Drop me a comment!


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Written by Carmen

Creator of, a blog dedicated to all things personal finance and money. Crushed over 38k in debt in less than 18 months and I’m on a mission to help others achieve financial freedom.