A new year is upon us! What new year’s resolutions do you have for 2014? Do you want to improve your financial situation this year?
Here are 8 financial new year’s resolutions to consider.
1) Spend Less and Save More
This is the first step to financial success. If more is going out than coming in, then the rest of the financial resolutions don’t matter. Two things all of us can do is stop the impulse buys and eat out less. In 2011, the average American household spent $2,620 eating away from home.
2) Create a Budget
Now that you are committed to saving more money, the best way to achieve that goal is to create a budget. Seeing those numbers before your eyes will help you to cut down on the unnecessary spending. There are many how-to guides on the internet that can help you get started.
3) Pay Down Credit Cards
Although 55 million Americans pay off their credit cards in full every month, about 90 million Americans carry an average of $8,000 in debt month to month. Are you counted among them? Paying the minimum payment on a $1,000 balance could take you about 10 years and an extra $1,000 to pay off. There are many steps you can take to tackle your credit card debt.
4) Max Out Retirement Savings
Now that you have some extra money to invest, it’s time to make it count. Putting that extra money into you retirement accounts will pay off in the long run. Read this article to find out how you can invest.
5) Increase Financial Literacy
Knowledge is power and that is especially true in the financial world. Don’t be left in the dark. Visit a financial adviser or read our blog Smart Military Money to bone up on your financial know how.
6) Increase Physical Fitness
While most people will hit the gym this new year for health reasons, getting in shape can save you financially as well. Smokers and people who are overweight usually pay a higher premium — 14% more for smokers and 22.6% more for those in the “Obese” BMI — than their healthier counterparts.
7) Create a Will
Though we hope for the best, we always must be prepared for the worst. Take advantage of your JAG office on base or use affordable online tools to create a will.
8) Review Your Financial Day
Take 10 minutes at the end of your day to review how you spent your money. Did you succumb to a fast food craving? Did you have to have that “For Sale” item? How can you improve your daily spending habits? This daily practice can help you to emotionally bolster your convictions to achieve your new year’s resolutions, especially numbers one and two on this list.
Good Luck and Happy New Year!
Photo courtesy Tax Credits