10 Financial New Year's Resolutions

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The New Year is the perfect time to put into motion resolutions that will have a lasting impact on your financial well-being. Check out these 10 timely tips that have your family’s best interests at heart.

  1. INVENTORY YOUR ASSETS AND REVIEW YOUR WILL AND BENEFICIARIES. Keep in mind some assets like bank and retirement accounts may transfer outside of your will. Is your plan to give to family, friends, and the church up-to-date? Make a date to discuss your plans with your loved ones and executor. While we are not lawyers or financial planners, we can help you explore possibilities.
     
  2. CONDUCT AN ANNUAL INVESTMENT CHECKUP. Are you on track to meet your long-term goals? Is the risk in your portfolio in line with your life stage? Have your needs changed? Are you saving enough?
     
  3. DEVELOP A BUDGET AND STICK WITH IT! Resolve to save more money and to spend less. Before every purchase, ask yourself if it’s a want or a need.
     
  4. REDUCE YOUR DEBT. Develop a plan that includes making extra payments toward your student loan, car loan, mortgage, or credit card debt.
     
  5. INCREASE YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN SAVINGS. Did you get a raise? If you put that additional money into your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account, you will never miss it!
     
  6. CONDUCT AN ENERGY AUDIT OF YOUR HOME, CHURCH, OR WORKPLACE. You will be amazed at how much money and energy you can save! Good energy conservation is good stewardship. Google energy audits on the Web or contact your power company to learn about programs to help.
     
  7. IDENTIFY NEW WAYS TO SAVE MONEY. Have a brainstorming session with your family to identify ways you can work together to reduce spending. Pack your lunch. Eat at home instead of going out to a restaurant. Make your own coffee. Turn off the lights. Stick to your grocery list. Cancel memberships you never use. You get the idea!
     
  8. CONDUCT ANNUAL REVIEWS OF YOUR SERVICE PROVIDERS. At the beginning of the year, compare rates for insurance, cell phone plans, utilities, TV, internet, and entertainment packages, and other providers to make sure you’re receiving the best rates possible.
     
  9. START AN EMERGENCY FUND. Build a 90-day emergency fund. This way you will be prepared in the event of unexpected expenses such as a job loss, illness, repair bills, or unplanned travel.
     
  10. CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT. It’s important to maintain good credit. Check your credit report annually.


This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Faith & Money, a publication of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.