This time of year, a lot of us start making New Year’s resolutions. We want to get in shape, quit smoking, spend more time with our families, etc. With 2014 underway, it’s important to consider making resolutions that could keep you financially fit as well. Here are a few resolutions to help you kick those bad habits that may be holding you back from pursuing your financial goals:
Talk to a financial advisor. Do you avoid getting a financial checkup the same way you dodge your yearly health exam or long-overdue dentist appointment? Just like visits to your doctor, regular appointments with your financial advisor are crucial to successfully managing your financial health. A financial advisor can help you rein in your spending, ramp up your savings, plan for retirement, navigate the investment market, and suggest strategies designed with the goal of preserving your assets. Not currently working with a financial advisor? Consider hiring one in 2014!
Create a budget. With the help of a financial advisor, it’s easy to set up a budget for the year to come. With a working budget, you can get an overview of your larger financial picture, as well as tackle any potential problem areas in more manageable pieces. Once you have your budget in place, address one thing at a time. Start by reviewing your bank balances, paying a bill that has been sitting on your desk for weeks, or making a quick call to one of your financial institutions to address any nagging issues.
Get out of debt. Now that you have a budget in place, you should be able to start working your way out of debt. Start reducing your debt right away by getting rid of credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Consider consolidating debt to a low- or no-interest credit card to help you pay down debt even faster. Another way to get out of debt is to reduce the amount you spend every month. By downsizing your expenses, you’ll be able to afford to put more money towards paying off your debt.
Save for retirement. With other financial matters on the front burner year after year, it’s easy to let your retirement savings slip. And there is always the fear you won’t have enough money to retire. Make sure 10-15% of your income goes right into your retirement savings. Does your company offer a 401(k) plan? Sign up and contribute the maximum amount, especially if your company has a 401(k) match program. An IRA is another retirement savings option. Contact your financial advisor to find out what type of account is right for you.
Manage your investments. Managing your finances is a balancing act, and it’s all too easy to get out of sync. Make sure you think about your long-term goals when investing, and not just the current market trends. A balanced and diversified portfolio is suggested, and your financial advisor can help you create one.
When it comes to financial resolutions, it can be difficult to face your fears. But don’t put off getting your finances in order another year. Contact a financial advisor for help, and get started today!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
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