New Year’s Resolutions

How to Keep Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2017! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Improving personal finances is a popular New Year’s resolution that we can all benefit from. Success can be attained by starting out with small steps. Most dieters know that the key to success is to monitor every morsel you eat. You can use the same strategy when designing a livable budget. Like a strict diet, however, if your budget is too difficult to follow, it’ll probably be history in a month.

Here are a few ideas to help you meet your goals:

  1. For one month write down every cent you spend: rent, food, gas, clothes, cable, insurance, 401(k) contributions, entertainment – everything. Where can you eliminate expenses? Spending $4 a day on coffee adds up to over $1,000 a year. See how reducing your spending on one expense can make a difference.
  2. Consolidate debt. List all outstanding debt balances and their corresponding interest rates. Then, begin to identify ways you can consolidate your debt. Transfer high-rate balances to a loan with a lower rate. Having one low monthly payment is more manageable and saves you both money and time. Many credit cards offer low balance transfer rates as well. Find out the rates you’re paying and then see how much money we may be able to save you.
  3. Set savings goals. What happens to your budget in the event of an emergency? It’s always a great idea to have a savings plan in place. Start slowly with a few dollars each month. For example, set aside $1 a day for a month. Then double that amount to $2 for the next month. Double that again the following month, and continue the pattern. Use our Savings Goals calculator to make a plan and stick to it! Earn money and secure your savings by opening an investment account, such as a high-yield Money Market Savings Account or a Share Certificate.
  4. Look to the future. Buying a home, paying for college and retirement are all big-ticket items that require sound budgeting and credit management skills. If you’re not already participating in your employer’s retirement plan or an IRA, make that your top financial resolution!

With these tips, you can rest easier knowing you have sound financial security measures in place. Have a wonderful and prosperous 2017!