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Financial Resolutions in 2015

3/05/2015

The New Year is a chance for many to start fresh and begin again, the first page in the book we (thankfully) get to rewrite every year.  Along with the ever-popular fitness resolutions, many people vow to stick to financial resolutions in the New Year, because let’s face it, finances can get out of shape too.  If you are one of those individuals, these tips may help you jumpstart your personal finance goals in order to get healthier and wealthier in 2015.

  • Simplify your finances. Consider consolidating all of your investment accounts or creating a central hub (there’s an app for that) to keep track of all of your credit card bills. If you haven’t made the switch to paperless bills, be sure to keep all your financial forms and documents organized.  Use folders for specific accounts and keep bills separate.  This will not only make it easier for you to access information should a problem arise but it will help foster a more streamlined process for keeping track of your bills each month. 
  • PERK up. Start the New Year by going through all subscriptions and recurring fees you pay, especially ones automatically withdrawn from your bank account.  Are they all necessary? Consider cutting back on items such as magazine subscriptions that you never get around to reading every month, or the Netflix account you rarely log onto. Keep in mind the PERK method.  Divide items into categories labeled Postpone, Eliminate, Reduce, or Keep.  This will help to put into perspective what can stay, what needs to go, and what can be pushed off for a few months.
  • Consistency can be conducive to saving. Use consistent tasks in your life as a reminder to save money.  For example, if you go to the grocery store every Sunday morning, start putting $20 away for saving before that trip every week.  Writing your rent check? Why not put a certain amount away in your savings account while you’re at it. Pairing the money saving act with daily, weekly, or monthly tasks will help you stay on track and consistently save more money.
  • Reassess your financial situation every year. Take a close look at all of your financial loans and credit card bills.  Individuals often begin paying an amount and do not change it when they may be perfectly capable of doing so.  Maybe you recently received a holiday bonus or raise -this money can be used to pay larger sums on any existing credit card bills or loans and help you avoid more interest in the long run.
  • Create a budget.  A budget, or spending plan, will allow you to live each day more intentionally and reach your long-term goals more effectively. Mapping out where your money is going each month will help you to better understand what recurring purchases you can cut out and what areas you may need to improve upon, in order to stay within your means.

Remember, there’s no better time than now to get your finances in shape. Taking control of your finances will not only put you on a path to a wealthier life, it will also lead to a healthier life, free of money-related stress.