Thinking about turning over a new financial leaf in 2017? It’s not too late. There’s no way around it- debt and any type of financial struggle is oppressive, however, you are not alone. There are many people experiencing the same difficulties as you are. It can be extremely stressful and can impact your life in many ways. The changes required to turn over a new leaf don’t have to be overly-complicated, but it does require a plan. We’ve mapped it out for you below. Implement a budget and stick to it. A budget needs to take into consideration the amount of income you receive and your average expenses. You will likely need to make some changes to your spending habits in order to live within your means. This might have to include turning a blind eye to those bargains that seem to be just too good to pass up and perhaps reducing the number of credit cards at your disposal. Limiting temptations by doing away with superfluous cards or even reducing the amount of money you place in your accounts might result in a boost to your finances in the long run. A big factor of this equation is taking a good, hard look at our expenditures and being able to differentiate necessities from luxuries. This is certainly not an easy task, but it can be a vital step to relieving yourself of money problems. Another aspect to consider is the amount of time required in order to get your finances back up to par. Do the appropriate calculations to determine a financial timeline that realistically works for you. Depending on how much money you are looking to generate or save up, you can then decide what your goal is: do you want your finances to be back on track in six months, a year, two years? Critically assessing your situation will help you determine how much you’ll need to set aside each month to pay off your debt. Once you have figured that out, you can begin creating a written plan to use as a guide towards achieving your goal. While you’re already in the financial mindset, why not review your credit score? Do you know what your current credit score is? If the answer is no, the first step is to find out. If you are consistently on time with your payments and loans, chances are that your credit score needs no fixing. On the other hand, if you think you credit could use some improvement, now’s the time to integrate a repayment plan within your budget to get your finances under control. Are you currently investing? While it may seem like a daunting feat, investing your money as soon as possible is one of the greatest ways to achieve your financial objectives. For those who are already investing their funds, consider increasing contributions. There are a number of financial advisers out there prepared to assist you with your investment portfolio and an even greater number of resources on the web for you to get started for free. Create a plan to get started so you can take advantage of all the compound interest possible.