Your financial fresh start: 12 resolutions in 12 months

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Change may be difficult, especially when you try to change your financial habits. The process might be easier if you take an incremental approach. Do you want to get on top of your finances this year? Are you looking for ways to improve your fiscal health? Here are 12 financial resolutions to consider.

Work on a resolution each month in whatever order works for you, and by the end of the year, you may feel a lot happier about your relationship with money.

1. Create a Budget

Sit down and create a budget. It should outline how much money you have coming in and going out. If your expenses exceed your income, look for areas where you may make changes.

2. Pay All Bills on Time

Paying your bills late may be stressful and it costs you money. Utility companies generally charge a fee for late payments, while credit card companies tend to charge penalties and may increase your interest rates. Paying your bills on time may require you to tighten your belt for a month or two until you get ahead.

3. Review Your Subscriptions

Many people end up with subscriptions that they do not use, which wastes money. Look through your bank and credit card accounts to find subscriptions you do not use and cancel them.

4. Pay Down Credit Card Debt

Find some extra money in your budget and devote it to paying down your credit card debt. Start with the cards with the highest interest rates and when paid off, go to the cards with the next highest rates.

5. Track Your Credit Score

A high credit score may make borrowing money at lower interest rates easier, which might save you money in the long run. Your credit score may increase as you pay down your credit card debt. You may also want to download an app. There are many apps that track your credit score and give you tips for improvements.

6. Save for Emergencies

An emergency savings account helps you get through issues like an unexpected car or home repairs with less stress. Find money to set aside and if needed, identify one expense that you eliminate so that you save more.

7. Boost Your Financial Literacy

Regardless of how much you know about finances, there is always more to learn. Listen to a financial podcast, read a newsletter, or make other efforts to brush up on your financial literacy.

8. Start Investing

A cash savings account may prepare you for short-term emergencies, but investments focus on long-term goals such as retirement. If your employer offers a retirement plan, consider participating. Fund your individual retirement account (IRA) each year. If you are self-employed, look into a self-directed 401(k) plan.

9. Save for Something Fun

Saving might be easier when you work toward something fun. If you feel like you do not have any extra money for savings, find an expense to eliminate, and then save the money for something fun.

10. Earn More Money

Brainstorm ways to earn more money. For some people, this may mean taking on a side gig, while for others, it means brushing up on skills and looking for more opportunities in your current career.

11. Update Your Insurance Policies

Review your insurance policies for adequate coverage. Get a few quotes for premiums to compare rates and providers.

12. Consult with a Financial Professional

You do not have to handle everything on your own. Schedule some time with a financial professional to get advice on managing your money.

Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations, nor is it intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.

Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.

This article was prepared by WriterAccess.

LPL Tracking # 1-05345916.

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The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.

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