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How to Make the Best New Year’s Resolutions

Dec 23, 2015

2016 is right around the corner! While many are reflecting on the last twelve months, others are setting goals for the year ahead. How can you make sure your financial New Year's resolutions are met with success? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Think through the big decisions

This year, you might feel inspired to finally commit to a major purchase such as a new home. While New Year's enthusiasm is great for helping bite the bullet on investments you've been putting off, major purchases often require more careful consideration. This is especially true in buying a home. Before acquiring a mortgage, it's important to raise your credit score as high as possible to lock in a good interest rate. There's no rushing when it comes to credit.

You'll also want to save enough to cover the initial costs and any unforeseen expenses that come with new homeownership. This includes property taxes, insurance, add-ons and general upkeep.

Be Reasonable

It's easy to aim too high when making your resolutions. Do yourself a favor and set goals that are financially smart and reasonable. For instance, paying down your debt is a great objective. Just make sure you're being realistic. If you plan to use a huge portion of your income to pay your debt off, you might not have what you need for your daily expenditures. If you pay your debt and neglect other obligations, you may end up relying on new credit to cover daily living costs.

Apply the same rule to your savings. Stacking up savings is a great resolution, but make sure you're not later transferring money out of your savings every month just to cover the usual expenses.

Be Specific

When it comes to making resolutions, clarity is key. All too often, people say, "I want to save more." What is more? In order to achieve your goal, you need to make it specific. Think about what you're saving for. Is it retirement? An emergency fund?

It might help to write down somewhere: "This year, I will save for retirement." Having a clear understanding of what you want will help drive you to success.

Good luck in 2016!

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