4 Financial New Year’s Resolutions

With the new year right around the corner, many people are gearing up for their New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like many, getting your finances into better shape often falls lower on your list of resolutions compared to fitness goals or quitting bad habits (again). But this year, we encourage you to make financial fitness a top priority. Here are 4 super-specific (yet entirely realistic) goals you can add to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

1. Pay off Debt

The Average American household now carries about $16,000 in credit card debt from month to month. Excessive debt, interest fees, and minimum payments associated with credit cards often crowd your ability to pay other essential bills or save for retirement. If you’re having trouble with high credit card balances, you should resolve to improve your debt situation in 2019. Many options exist for people looking to address massive debt. For example, you can use debt settlement services such as those offered by National Debt Relief. A debt consolidation loan or credit counseling may also be helpful. However you choose to go about it, resolving to get out of debt is one of the best ways to improve your financial situation in the upcoming year.

2. Establish an Emergency Fund

If your emergency fund is already well-established, kudos to you! But if not, this is something you’ll want to get ahead of, stat. Regardless of your situation, knowing you have some money saved away in case of an unexpected financial hit offers insurmountable peace of mind. Whether it’s car troubles, medical bills, or a job layoff, an emergency fund can provide a financial cushion to lay on while things get sorted out. Although establishing an emergency fund should be a top financial priority, it could take some time to build.

A good rule of thumb is to have enough money in your fund to cover three to six months of expenses. If you don’t have much to start building with, start low! Start adding increments of $50, $100, $1,000 – whatever you can afford – then watch your emergency fund grow!

3. Open an IRA

Another financial New Year’s resolution we’d recommend you make for the new year is to open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This is a great, easy way to begin saving for retirement because it benefits you now and later.In2019, you can drop up to $6,000 into your IRA, and that money is tax-deductible. That means if you earn $50,000 in gross income in 2019, but you put $6,000 in your IRA, you’ll only be taxed on $44,000 of your income. On top of that, many employers offer retirement benefits and will match a percentage of your investment per pay period! It sounds easy enough, but don’t make the mistake many investors make when opening an IRA –puttingmoney in and forgetting about it. It’s not enough to simply have money in an IRA. You’ll need to invest it.

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4. Learn the Basics of Stock Market Investing

Investing in the stock market can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. All those crazy looking charts, news reports about what the DOW and NASDAQ are doing, and stories of people losing fortunes during stock market crashes could scare off anyone! But here’s the deal: You don’t have to be a Wall Street financial analyst, or advanced at all, to understand and benefit from the most basic, low-risk stock investments. As one of your top financial New Year’s resolutions, commit to learning the basics of how the stock market works so you can make educated decisions about where to invest that nice wad of cash going into your new IRA! Seriously, you can learn 90% of what you need to know to get started for FREE, online.

Every year people make New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, yet many forget about the health of their finances. Think about how much stress would be removed from your life if all your funds were in order! Begin by making your own list of financial resolutions, then make 2019 your best fiscal year yet!

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