5 Financial New Year Resolutions
I am assuming you have made your New Year’s resolutions for this year, but let me ask you a question, have you made a FINANCIAL resolution for 2017? Making resolutions isn’t something new and typically involves getting a new gym membership, but let’s be real, we probably will go for a few weeks, and that’s it. I would like to tell you about something more important than going the gym, and that’s how to be fiscally fit for 2017. Let’s have a look at these five financial New Year’s resolutions to make your 2017 better than last year.
Consider your Debt what age group does you fall into?
People in their late 20s or 30s are at the age where they may want to purchase a car, a house, or planning to start a family. If you are in your 40s or older, you may be putting children through college, or planning for retirement. If you are either of these age groups, then you need to take a hard look at your debts. To prioritize, make a list of debts along with the interest rate for each loan. First, select the loan which needs most of your attention and plans to reduce the debt burden. “I see a lot of people in debt for years because they never set a deadline,” says Deacon Hayes, a personal finance expert from the site Well Kept Wallet. “You want to work with certainties, and setting a deadline gives you direction.”
Save for Emergencies
Life is filled with uncertainties, and when things go without planning, you find yourself up a stream without a paddle. There are many things that can happen without given notice such as getting laid off, a sudden leaky roof, or your car breaking down. When things like this happen, you must be prepared. It is vital that in 2017 you make an effort to save for a rainy day. A good rule of thumb is to set a target to cover at least three months of expenses which include rent, mortgage payments, food, commuting costs, and utility bills, etc. “Instead of using a credit card if your car breaks down, you’ll have cash available,” Hayes says. “Not only do you have the financial buffer, but you have the emotional capacity to deal with the unexpected cost.” It would be best if an amount automatically deducts from your paycheck every month and goes directly into your savings account. If you find this option difficult, try a side job so that you can save extra money. Try out selling unused or unnecessary stuff on eBay or doing odd jobs. Any little bit helps and in the end could help you when you need help the most.
Look carefully at your Credit Report
According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 35 percent of Americans completely ignore their credit reports and never check it. Start 2017 off by signing up for a monthly monitoring service. United Financial Counselors utilizes and prefers Monitor Credit 365 for our clients. Once you have your credit report, review your report for errors, delinquencies, and fraudulent charges. If you see any red flags, use 2017 to clear them up before you plan to make any big purchase. United Financial Counselors and United Credit Advisors can assist in your credit restoration and will help you delete the in-accurate items off your credit report. For more details on how to dispute your report errors, please visit United Credit Advisors.
Start Saving for your Retirement
You are never too young to think about saving for your retirement, but planning now will save you in the future. The earlier you plan about your retirement savings, the better you will be in the long run. Everyone wants less financial stress later in life right?
Ways to Start Saving 401(k) plan
Check if your employer offers this plan. If your employer offers this plan, enroll yourself and educate yourself about the benefits. Making sure you’re contributing enough is important. If you don’t have this retirement plan, it would be best to open an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA).
Think of your child’s future
Your child’s future is in your hands. Think wisely! Investing in a 529 savings plan (education saving vehicle) is a great option. Under this program, you can take out your money tax-free. In most cases, for example, where cash is withdrawn for college or tuition expenses, 529 plans aren’t subject to state or federal tax. Should you have any question related to this blog, please contact one of our counselors who can educate you better about your future financial plans.