Keep your financial resolutions
How are your financial resolutions going? Are you progressing?
Many people vow to make financial resolutions at the start of the New Year. If you’ve resolved to save money, these tips may help.
Try simple, solid financial resolutions you’ll be less likely to abandon, including:
- Check your credit report regularly. If you’re worried that a security breach has put you at risk of identity theft, keep a close eye on your credit reports as well as your statements, watching for unauthorized accounts and charges. Check statements regularly, if not daily.
- Track your expenses. Take an inventory of where your money goes and decide how much you want to spend on things like cable, cellphones, clothing, and coffee. Calculate how much you’d save by carrying your lunch instead of eating out. Lower-cost substitutes add up to big savings.
- Automate. Set up direct deposit to your emergency fund and retirement accounts. Use the New Year as an opportunity to bump up contributions to your employer’s 401(k) plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
- Get organized. Set up a recordkeeping system that ensures you won’t have to spend valuable time looking through piles and drawers for statements, receipts, policies, and warranties. Back up online files regularly, and keep important documents in a safe deposit box.
- Live beneath your means. This is good advice for everyone regardless of income level. Establish a cushion to fall back on in case of job loss, medical emergency, or weather-related disaster.
After you set your financial resolutions
Schedule quarterly or monthly check-ins:
- By April 1, ask what progress have you made?
- By July 1, are you half-way there?
- Write progress check-ins on your calendar now, and reward yourself throughout the year. That way, you won’t get to December having forgotten your financial resolutions for the year.
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