Believe it or not, it‚Äôs 2020. You‚Äôre not just starting a new year‚Äîyou‚Äôre entering a new decade. With this in mind, you might want to make some resolutions that focus on your finances. According to¬† Psychology Today, 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. If you‚Äôre thinking about dieting or eating better, this isn‚Äôt very encouraging. However, when it comes to your money, there are some changes you can implement now that will have staying power and won‚Äôt be forgotten by spring.
Review Your Credit Report
This is important for your financial future in many ways, particularly if you want to buy a house or a car (and that‚Äôs just for starters). If you need to make some repairs to your score, the new year is the best time to do this. Better still, you‚Äôre entitled to three free reports each year. Check it out. See how you‚Äôre doing. You‚Äôve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Get Out of Debt
This might be easier said than done, but it‚Äôs absolutely possible. One very helpful tool is Unbury.Me. It‚Äôs free and easy to use. Just create an account and map out a payment plan that works for you. If you want to wipe away your debt quickly, there‚Äôs the avalanche method, which attacks the highest interest rate debts first, then moves to the second highest and so on. But this isn‚Äôt the only solution. There‚Äôs another tool that actually uses your purchases to help you pay down debt: Qoins. Here‚Äôs how it works. You round your purchases to the nearest dollar, then apply the cash to your debt, i.e. student loans or credit cards. So, in essence, you can go on living your life while shrinking your debt.
Evaluate Your Insurance and Disability Insurance Needs
As you age, your insurance needs change. Think about how much protection you really need. For example, would you be better served by term or permanent life insurance? What about disability insurance? For the latter, make sure you have enough coverage. Life happens. It‚Äôs always best to be prepared.
Refresh Your Retirement Savings
If you work for a company that offers 401(k), 403(k) or 457 plans, consider asking your employer to withhold enough through salary deferrals to make sure you reach the maximum limit each year. If you‚Äôre over 50, you can raise the amount to make catch-up contributions. If you‚Äôre self-employed, you can contribute to a SEP IRA, profit-sharing plan or independent 401(k) plan. Making retirement deductions from your paychecks, especially when they‚Äôre maxed out, might take a bit of getting used to. But once you‚Äôve retired, you‚Äôll be very glad you had the foresight to act now.¬†
The truth is that the above resolutions are just the tip of the ‚Äúmoney-berg‚Äù. You can go deeper into each area. If you want further assistance, consult a financial planner or your accountant. The biggest takeaway from all these suggestions is simple: begin now, or as soon as you can. When you‚Äôre making the most of your money today, you‚Äôre working toward a more secure tomorrow.