Make New Year's resolutions for finances, too

Guest Columnist
By Grace Allen | Dec 27, 2013

The New Year is quickly rolling in and it’s time for those New Year Resolutions.  If you are like most, I bet losing weight is high on the list, but maybe your financial health needs some resolutions too.  Below is a list of 10 financial resolutions to consider:
•    Create a budget — This is essential to gaining control of your finances and growing your money.
•    Decrease personal indulgences — Cut back on trips to your favorite coffee bars and other personal luxuries. You don’t need to give up all treats but reducing the amount spent on these extra indulgences can put money in your pocket and help balance your budget
•    Fully contribute to your 401K or fund your IRA — This is essential to a financially independent retirement
•    Start an emergency fund — Don’t be caught off guard because the unexpected will happen.  An emergency fund is a financial life preserver.
•    Pay off your credit cards — Credit card debt is probably the worst enemy to financial freedom. Make and commit to a plan to fight back.
•    Eat out less —- Save money while eating healthy meals at home.
•    Do a property and casualty insurance checkup - Are you getting the best rates on your automobile and home insurance?  Don’t just assume. Shop around periodically.
•    Review your cell phone plan — Do you have the appropriate, most cost-efficient plan for your specific needs and family?  Check it out.
•    Hang out with people who are good with their money — From a young age you have been told “you are who your friends are” — need I say more?
•    Drop the gym membership (or other memberships) not being used — You had good intentions when you signed up, but paying for something you do not use is like a slow leak in your boat.

These are just some suggestions on how you can begin the New Year improving your financial health.  As with all resolutions, don’t over commit and underperform.  Small steps can lead to big changes.