Folks commit themselves to radically changing their lives at the start of the calendar year. About 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions in the average year, and most have to do with health. But the same line of thinking can be taken in the context of your financial health.
We’ll also have a few tips on how to stick to them!
Trim the fat from your budget
There’s another place you can trim fat besides your belly: your budget. Make a plan to sit down with your spouse and discuss how you spend money each week. Look for places you can make cuts without sacrificing things you both enjoy. Pay special attention to groceries and meals out.
Don’t feel like you have to give up everything at once. If you’re eating out twice a week, don’t try to go immediately to zero. Just as you need to start slow when working out to avoid injury, feel free to start slow by cutting back your expenses.
Make a will
Making a will can help to ensure that your passing will be another time of family togetherness. Your family can focus on helping each other through the difficult time of your passing rather than dealing with bill collectors and lawyers trying to divide your stuff.
This resolution really doesn’t take too long. Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to make sure you’re covered. You can take care of it in an afternoon. Preparing a will doesn’t mean you plan to die soon. It’s is a courtesy you do for your family in the event you pass away unexpectedly. Even if it’s not used for many years, making a will can provide peace of mind for you and your family.
Give up store credit cards
The monthly payments drain your income and the revolving door of debt keeps you from ever getting ahead. Beyond the immediate concerns, long-term credit card dependency can ruin your credit and hurt your chances of enjoying a long, happy retirement.
Make this the year of living within your means while borrowing responsibly. Pledge to make this a debt-free year. If you’re keeping a card “for emergencies,” take it out of your wallet. Put it in a safe place and only use it in a genuine emergency. Use your Ideal CU debit card to maintain the convenience of plastic and lose the staggering interest rates. If you do need a credit card, Ideal CU card has great options to choose from. Keep that, and dump the rest.
To set yourself up for a bright financial future, start planning for your retirement. At the very least, make this the year you max out your retirement contributions. If you don’t have an IRA or similar retirement account, that’s another good place to start.
You can set up automatic withdrawals that go into an IRA or savings account to make the process go more smoothly.
Save for big events
The holidays are an expensive time of year. Many families finance their gift-giving with credit cards, and that bill will come due in the next few weeks. Talk about stress! Starting the New Year in a financial hole can hamper your plans to live a stress-free year.
Instead of beating yourself up about it, resolve to do better this year. Start a holiday savings account with Ideal CU. Make regular deposits to the account so you’ll have the money to pay for the next round of holidays yourself. You’ll be thanking yourself in the coming year.