Now that 2021 has arrived, you are probably looking closely at your finances. With so much economic upheaval from the ongoing pandemic, it is more important than ever to make sure your finances are in excellent shape. Whether you’re hoping to pay off a mortgage, buy a new car, or just build up an emergency fund for you and your family, there are many things you can do to make these things a reality in 2021. To find out how, here are some of the best personal finance tips you should put into practice during the new year.

Schedule Budget Meetings

In case you haven’t heard, almost 80 percent of all millionaires who built their fortunes from scratch did so by making budgets an important part of their planning process. If you’d like to follow their path to success, you should schedule monthly budget meetings to look over your finances and develop a financial plan of action. Whether it is a meeting only with yourself or with your spouse and even the kids, doing so each month will help everyone get on the same page and plan accordingly.

New or Used Car?

Like many people, 2021 may be the year you decide it’s time to get a new vehicle. However, while you may be tempted to immediately purchase a brand-new vehicle, you should stop and consider the benefits of a used vehicle. Since a new car will start depreciating the second it leaves the dealer’s lot, buying a used vehicle that is less than three years old can save you thousands of dollars in insurance costs and other expenses.

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Credit Card Discipline

Perhaps more than anything in 2021, practice credit card discipline when it comes to using plastic for your purchases. To begin with, try using your credit cards only for essential items, rather than things you buy on impulse. Also, make sure you pay off your credit cards each month, since this will keep you from wasting money on interest payments. To help you, it may be best if you used one card only for groceries, another only for gas, and so forth.

Lower Entertainment Expenses

While this sounds like you should not allow yourself to have any fun in 2021, that’s not the case at all. Instead, you should simply look at your current entertainment expenses and make a few cuts. By cutting your expenses in this area by only five percent, the average couple can save more than $500 per month. For example, rather than always going out to eat, consider staying home and fixing a meal now and then. By doing so, you can take the money you’ve saved here and put it to work for you somewhere else.

Enjoy Free Stuff

Believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can get for free that will save you a large amount of money. For example, take the kids to your public library. Not only can they check out plenty of cool books free of charge, but most libraries also have programs for kids as well as adults that are free of charge. Once you start looking around, you’ll also find lots of free concerts, movies, and more that will keep money in your pocket.

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While there’s no doubt 2020 was a tough year for everyone, 2021 gives you the chance to make some improvements regarding your finances. Whether you are determined to do better with your credit cards, create and stick to a budget, or just enjoy some time at a library, making personal finance a top priority in 2021 will pay big dividends.