Are you ready to take control of your financial life? We’re here to help!
Financial change is all about discipline. In order to reach your goals, sometimes you have to change your mindset — if you believe you can change your life, you can make it happen!
With some determination and a little guidance, you can get on the track to financial freedom.
Just a reminder: Creating a financially successful lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint — so take it one step at a time and you’ll start to see results before you know it!
Use the information we’ve compiled below to get your financial life moving in the right direction — you can start living a healthier and wealthier life in 2018 and beyond!
11 areas to key in on when working on your 2018 financial plan
- Credit Cards
- Homes & Real Estate
- Identity Protection
Contrary to popular belief, budgeting isn’t actually about restricting yourself and never having fun — it’s about understanding your money, so you can make smarter choices in life. Regardless of how much you make, budgeting is the only way to take, and maintain, control of your life, because being in control of your money is the only way to be in control of your own choices.
- Budgeting 101: A step-by-step guide to taking control of your money
- Budgeting 101: How to create and stick to a budget in 5 simple steps
- How to change the way you think about budgeting
- 7 ways to live within your means and not feel limited
- Michael Saves: My 7 best money-saving tips for 2018
- Budgeting with cash: How to make the envelope method work in 2018
- Save two full paychecks in 2018 with this simple budgeting trick
- Five challenges to help you save more in 2018
Saving money is about being smart – and while it may require some changes, changing a few things about the way you live now can drastically improve the way you live later. And change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because some day, you will want more than what a wasteful spending routine has to offer.
- Saving 101: Why you should save and how to get started
- Choose and switch to a better bank for you
- 5 online banks that rock
- How to find the best CD rates
- 13 bank fees that are a waste of your hard-earned money
- 6 ways to make saving money a habit
- 7 ways to turn saving money into a game
- 4 simple ways to start saving when no one else is
Whether it’s student loans, credit cards, car payments or any other type of debt, it’s costing you money! And if thinking about debt keeps you up at night, it’s likely causing you a lot of extra stress as well. But here’s the thing: once you make paying off debt a priority, it can often be easier than you think. The key is persistence — and with the right plan of action, you’ll start to see results in no time.
- Debt 101: Good debt vs. bad debt
- Your guide to paying off credit card debt
- Debt payoff calculator: How to eliminate credit card debt as quickly as possible
- 10 tips to becoming debt free in as short a time as possible
- 7 things debt-free people never do
- 20 ways to stay out of debt
- How to get out of debt in 5 simple steps
- Know your rights with debt collectors
- What to do if debt collectors are harassing you about an old debt
When it comes to using credit cards, it’s important to understand both the perks and the risks. When used responsibly, credit cards can be very beneficial for your long-term financial goals, but they also carry some hidden dangers that all consumers should be aware of in order to protect their financial future.
- Credit card comparison shopping sites: Not all are created equal
- 7 things credit card issuers don’t want you to know
- 4 credit card traps to avoid in 2018
- 3 things you should never pay for with a credit card
- 6 mistakes to avoid with rewards credit cards
- Debit card dangers: 15 places you should never use them
- Warning: Do not sign up for these credit cards
- Your guide to paying off credit card debt
- 4 smart strategies for paying off credit card debt
Insurance serves as a safety net to cover expenses that you normally couldn’t pay with cash. The cost of insurance can also add up quickly, so it’s important you know what kind of coverage you need and how to get the best deal when you’re buying it.
- Clark Your Life: Buying life insurance
- Want to save big on insurance? Try bundling
- 9 kinds of insurance you can stop wasting money on
- Don’t make this big mistake during open enrollment
- Survey: These are the 17 best health insurers in the country
- Top 25 preexisting conditions that could increase your insurance rates
- 5 reasons home insurers will fire you as a customer
- The $15 insurance policy all renters need
- These companies are on the long term care insurance honor roll
- The cost of home insurance is going up: Here’s what to do about it
- Best and worst home insurers in the country
- Best and worst auto insurers
Taxes are generally the price we pay for the services and programs government provides for us. And as the old saying goes, they’re pretty much inevitable. Still, it’s important to know that you’re paying your fair share and not a penny more than you need to be in order to maximize your finances.
- Tax calculator shows how much you’ll pay under the new tax bill
- What to do when you can’t file your taxes
- 14 red flags that could get you audited by the IRS
- Have a dispute with the IRS? These organizations can help
- 7 tax scams you need to be on the lookout for
- 9 totally legitimate tax deductions for small businesses
- Top 5 tax refund myths debunked
Technology is changing the employment landscape at a rate that few could have imagined. It’s crucial to know where the jobs are now (they may even be inside your own home!) and where they’re likely to be in the coming years, so you can plan for the future.
- The 50 best places to work in 2018
- 49 companies hiring U.S. veterans
- 3 proven strategies for negotiating a better job offer
- Work From Home Guide: A list of legitimate work-at-home job opportunities
- Work from home: Who’s hiring in the top 10 career fields for flexible jobs
- Career expert reveals 9 secrets to resume success in 2018
- 10 words you should delete from your resume
- How to write a resume that computers will notice
- 25 ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2018
Homes & Real Estate
When it comes to basic human needs, shelter ranks right up there at the top of the list. Whether you’re just starting out and looking for your first apartment or at a later stage of life and looking to maximize the value of your home, staying on top of the latest trends is key.
- Buying a home? 15 ways to shop for the lowest mortgage rates
- 6 options for buying a home with little or no money down
- 9 costly mortgage mistakes to avoid
- 3 things you need to fix before applying for a mortgage
- 50 ways house hunters can prep for homebuying
- Pro tips: How to find the best real estate agent for you
- How to lease a home with an option to purchase
- Downpayment insurance: What is it and do you need it?
- Should you pay off your mortgage before you retire?
- 10 cheap DIY home renovations for the thrifty homeowner
- The secret to finding a great home contractor
- Your guide to DIY home security systems
Investing can seem so complicated that some just shut down and do nothing — or hire a salesperson to guide them. A little information can go a long way toward cutting through the confusion, no matter what your investment experience is.
- Clark’s Investment Guide
- Clark’s take: These investment companies offer the best bang for your buck
- Know the right questions to ask a fee-only financial advisor
- Investing 101: How to get started with $1,000 or less
- The best investment companies for your money
- The new investment rule of thumb you should probably be using
- 5 ways to buy stocks for free or very cheap
- 6 ways to start investing when you have $100 or less
- How to invest using peer-to-peer lending
- The great debate between active and passive investing
- Is now a bad time to invest?
It’s easy in the hustle and bustle of every day life to forget that the day will likely come when we don’t want to (or simply can’t) work any longer. Planning for your retirement should be a part of your daily financial goal-setting and actions. Obviously, the earlier you get started the better, but it’s never too late to start taking care of your future self.
- 5 key steps to retiring early
- Don’t make these 7 common retirement mistakes
- How much to save each month to have $1 million in retirement
- Retire sooner using the ‘Fill the Gap’ strategy
- 5 ways to catch up on retirement savings
- 6 ways to stretch your retirement income
- 12 ways to get a bigger Social Security check
- 8 things you need to know about the Social Security spousal benefit
- The biggest mistake you can make with your 401(k)
- 15 things that are cheaper in retirement
- How long $1 million in retirement savings will last in your state
It’s a sad fact of life that there are people out there waiting to take advantage of us all the time. For all the good that it’s done, technology has also given criminals new and ever-changing opportunities to get at our wallets and bank accounts. Knowing how to keep your identity and accounts as safe as possible is critically important in today’s world.
- Two things you must do in order to protect your credit
- Credit Freeze Guide: The best way to protect yourself against identity theft
- How to put a credit freeze in place for your child
- These states are the most vulnerable to identity theft & fraud
- How to prevent credit card fraud from happening to you
- 5 ways to make your online banking experience safer
- Mobile banking: How to protect your identity and your money
- Mobile banking scams: 11 ways to protect your money from hackers
- A strong password isn’t enough: The best way to protect your online accounts
- Online shoppers: Protect your financial privacy
- The #1 way to prevent identity theft at medical offices
- Ways to reduce your chances of tax return identity theft
- How donating your stuff could leave you vulnerable to identity theft