From stock market crashes to inflation to the doubling of the price of common household goods, now is the time to get your finances in order. All you need is a plan that you know how to stick to. Here are some tips to get your finances back on track this year.

Set financial goals

If you’ve been flying by the seat of your financial pants, it’s definitely time to change that. With so much economic uncertainty, it’s important to set financial goals. If your employer contributes to your retirement account, challenge yourself to match that contribution. If you save 10% of your annual salary, push yourself to save 15%. Your goal should be increase your savings in a way that still lets you do the things you love. Being too strict usually only leads to overspending down the road. Give yourself a crazy little amount of money each month to spend without feeling guilty.

Try to spend less

This advice is probably easier said than done, however, it is possible to spend less each month and keep the extra cash in your pocket. The first step is to identify hot spots in your current spending habits. If you can’t resist a coffee and a bagel on the way to work, cut back to once or twice a week. Black coffee costs pennies on the dollar to make at home, and the price you pay for a bagel is twice the cost of a pre-packaged bag of six on the market.

Also, make sure you don’t pay unnecessary overdraft fees on your bank account. Many banks will allow you to overdraw your account and then charge you a fee. As a general rule, if you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it. Simple lifestyle swaps can also result in savings. Too, add plant-based protein to your diet and buying less (more expensive) meat protein at the grocery store can add up to a significant saving each month.

Pay off your debt

Car loans, credit card debt, and student loans can drain your bank account. In fact, it may seem that the more you pay, the more you owe. When it comes to paying off debt, you have to tackle it with flying colors. If your credit cards have high interest rates, you should ask for a lower rate and pay extra each month. Even $15 more per month can reduce the total amount of interest you’ll have to pay.

You can also tackle one debt at a time and pay it off in full before moving on to the next. If student loans are piling up, you should consider refinancing. You can look at Serious student loan refinancing options. Refinancing your current loans can lower your monthly interest rate and it will save you money each month. You must be current with your payments and have reasonably good credit to apply.

Learn to invest

Just about everyone you know is investing in something now. Whether it’s Bitcoin or EFT, you also need to get into the nitty-gritty. If you’re new to investing, there are plenty of free videos and guides online to help you get started. There are also apps you can download to start investing as little as five dollars.

This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or management of EconoTimes