Financial Resolutions and How to Keep Them
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
At the start of every year we vow to eat healthier, exercise more, and become more financially secure. But you know what they say, "a goal without a plan is just a wish." Here are some common financial New Year's resolutions and how to achieve them.
We'd all love to have an emergency fund, a vacation fund, and new home fund, but saving that much money every month can be difficult for most people. With the right plan, you can make this goal a reality.
The plan: Schedule a financial counseling session with us to help understand your budget and where you can cut out expenses. Once you understand what you can afford to save each month it's all about making it happen. Most employers will even split your paycheck into separate accounts if you ask them to. Try depositing the amount you'd like to save each paycheck directly into your savings account. This way you never see the money in your checking account and you're not tempted to spend it.
Raise your hand if you've ever said you were going to pick something up for dinner because you just didn't feel like cooking (we know we have). Or if you bought a fancy coffee to make Monday morning a little more bearable instead of drinking what was available at work. There are lots of small changes we can all make to help us spend less.
The plan: Saving more and spending less go hand in hand. If you haven't already, schedule a financial counseling session with us. We can help you identify your financial goals and make a plan to meet them.
Improve Credit and Pay Off Debts
No one likes having debt hanging over their head—or the bad credit that sometimes comes with it. The new year is a great time to get a handle on both.
The plan: There are a lot of small things you can do to start rebuilding your credit. One of the easiest ways to take control is to sign up for online bill pay. This will help you make sure you're paying all your bills on time and in full, which will help improve your credit over time. If you have the money in your budget, try adding a little bit to each bill that's due. That will reduce the amount of interest you have to pay and help you get your debts wiped out faster. Credit cards can have some great benefits, but only if you're using them responsibly. If you tend to get in trouble with credit cards, go ahead and cut them up while you're trying to get your finances in order.
Save for Retirement
Ah, the Golden Years. They seem like a long way off, but we should all be saving for them today.
The plan: If your employer offers you a matching contribution for your 401(k), be sure you're contributing at least enough to get the match. So, what happens if your employer doesn't offer a 401(k) plan? You can always set up an IRA and contribute to it each month on your own. Every time you get a raise, think about how much of it you can add to your retirement account. After all, you were doing just fine before you the raise, so you won't miss it too much if it goes right into your retirement savings.
Are you ready to make 2018 your best financial year yet?