You Say You’ve Got a Resolution
December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
What are you determined will be different for 2013? How do you hope to tweak or totally transform in your financial life? Here are some suggestions.
Set goals– Where are you going? Do you want to retire early? Help the kids with college? Setting goals is the first step in changing your life. Writing things down doesn’t make things magically happen. But getting concrete is a beginning of your 2013 awesomeness.
Make a plan- A plan is a map of how you will make the goals come true. It’s the practical way things like how much to save and which debt to pay down first, will be done. What about 401(k)s languishing at old jobs? Maybe it’s time to do something about that money. What about making sure you meet with your advisor about additional retirement savings? Perhaps now is also the time to check on your insurance. Do this regularly to make sure your heirs will be cozy if anything happens to you.
Check your credit– The new year is a great time to get a free credit report. Free credit reports from all three agencies are available at once at www.annualcreditreport.com Or contact Equifax, Experian and TransUnion individually. ( Experian.com, Equifax.com, TransUnion.com).
Where’s your money going? – Have you been tracking your spending? If not, now is a great time to start. How much do you spend as a percentage of your income on your favorite hobbies, my friend? It’s your money and you may spend it any way you’d like As long as you feel in charge and take control of your cash.
Pay down debt – This is the most common practical resolution. Debt costs money, even ‘cheap ‘ debt. So paying things off is good goal. But you can just dream this. To get the debt paid down, and then off, you need to make some concrete plans.
Remember, that you only need to pay what you have contracted to pay with the credit card company or financial institution. Don’t let emotions dictate a repayment schedule that precludes other needs. In other words, neither crazy emotional saving or spending is good. Be balanced, logical and determined.
Save more– This is another very popular resolution. We all want to make our little nest egg a bit more cushy. And in retirement, when you are finished working and earning an income, all you will have saved is all you’ll have to live on. It’s common for folks to wish they had saved more and started earlier. So, if you are also concerned about how much you have saved, the new year is a great time to do something about it. What practical steps are you going to take to achieve your goal? Make a real plan and you have a better chance of succeeding.
Get a free credit report from three agencies at annualcreditreport.com (CR 8732)