Your 2015 Financial Goals
Whether or not you make New Year’s Resolutions, the New Year is a good time to take stock of important milestones, including your personal financial situation.
Did you run up some holiday debt you’d like to pay off quickly? Are you falling short of having $3,000 in your emergency fund? Or maybe you’re thinking it’s time to quit relying on credit cards to make ends meet.
Starting an Emergency Fund – Setting aside money for emergencies is one of the most important things you can do to help ensure financial stability. Wouldn’t it feel great not to rely on credit cards or short-term loans to pay for an unexpected home repair, medical bill or car repair? If the goal of a $3,000 emergency fund seems impossible, remember, it won’t happen in a month or two. But consistently setting aside a set amount, plus earning extra money for the sole purpose of building up your emergency fund. will get you that much closer to the goal.
Stop Using Credit Cards – Do you really want to be paying off this week’s groceries five years from now? If you’re relying on credit cards for everyday purchases or making minimum payments on maxed-out balances (or both), it’s time to make some changes. Credit counseling can help you break the credit card habit by helping you develop a realistic budget based on your actual income.
Start or Increase Retirement Savings – It may seem like it’s a long way off, but the years pass quickly. If you don’t start planning for retirement now, you could find yourself in financial trouble later in life. Enroll and contribute to a 401(k) plan if it’s available to you, or start a Roth IRA. Your future self will thank you.
Establish and Follow a Budget – It’s not trendy or glamorous, but a good, old-fashioned budget might be just what you need to help you reach your financial goals. After all, how can you make good decisions if you don’t know exactly what you’re working with? It doesn’t have to be complicated; even a basic accounting of how much money is coming in, going out and where it’s going can help you make better financial choices.