As we are gearing up for a new year, some of us make resolutions. Some of those resolutions may be to lose weight, become more spiritual, read more, or even spend more time with the one’s we love. Whatever your resolutions are, I don’t want you to forget about your finances. Let’s make some financial resolutions and make our 2016 the best financial year yet. To get you started, I have included five, and I want you to think of five more.
- Reacquaint Yourself With Your Finances. Check the status of all of your account’s, take stock of your debt’s and evaluate your monthly cash flow. This helps you identify particular areas that need improvement, as well as evaluating of upgrading or eliminating an account would be beneficial.
- Make A Budget. Only 39% of adults have a budget. If you are unsure of how to create a budget that works, then I invite you to sign up for my FREE 30 Day Budget Bootcamp, beginning January 1, 2016. Making a budget ensures that you do not spend more than you bring home, and a budget is step one to financial freedom.
- Improve Your Credit Scores. The best way to improve your credit score is to maintain an open credit card account that is in good standing. The card will then report positive information to the major credit bureaus each month, either building out your thin credit profile or helping to devalue mistakes from the past.
- Increase All Saving’s. Most people are pretty good at wasting money, I know I used to be. Many of us don’t have budgets or emergency funds, we rack up expensive credit card debt by the billion, and we prioritize short-term desires over long-term needs. After all, 1 in 5 people nearing retirement age have absolutely no money saved up, according to the Federal Reserve, and 55% of people say they will have to save more for retirement later in life in order to make up for not putting enough away now. Well, lets take some steps to change that in 2016.Retirement obviously isn’t your only savings need. You also may need to save for college, weddings, vacations, etc. The best approach to meeting all of these savings needs is to establish separate accounts for each, which you fill with automatic monthly contributions from a bank account. This gives you some useful perspective on each of your goals and enables you to better track progress. Your goal for the year should be to boost the value of each of your accounts by 10-15%. This will obviously take hard work and sacrifice, but figure out how much you’ll need to put away each month.
- Stress Test Your Finances. People are generally optimistic in nature, which means it can be difficult to imagine and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Responsible financial management is all about preparation, though, which means it is very important that you put your personal finances through the paces – much like banks and other financial institutions are required to do in order to verify their stability.For example, you may wish to determine if your finances are equipped to handle job loss or the death of the family’s breadwinner. This clearly isn’t an uplifting exercise, but it will enable you to determine if you have the savings, insurance policies and contingency plans necessary to overcome potential hardship.
I hope these five financial resolutions get you started on your own list of resolutions unique to your own financial need’s. I would like to hear from you. What are some of your your financial resolutions? Comment below and let me know.
Money Make-Up Artist, Tracie Threadford
Contouring YOUR pocket’s, lifting your bottom line and highlighting your future.