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new year finances

New Year, New You? How About a new Financial Plan as Well?

The New Year is the ideal time to set up some new financial goals for your family, but it’s essential to start with smaller goals that will help you work towards those that are bigger over time. Regardless of the financial goals you intend achieving, it will be a good idea to set up a support system that will help make it easier to achieve them. 

Below are some examples of financial goals you can consider setting for your family:

Compile a Realistic Budget

Several individuals who earn six figure paychecks still struggle financially because they don’t take the time to compile a budget for their money. As such, setting up a realistic budget will probably be the most important step you can take if you intend being financially successful. 

Although it might seem intimidating to compile a budget for the first time, you shouldn’t let this stop you from doing it. Tracking your income and expenses will not only help you understand your finances better; you’ll also be able to plan ahead for any major financial decisions that may need to be made. For instance, perusing your spending will help you differentiate between genuine needs and wants – which will result in a change in your spending habits over time. 

When compiling your budget, have copies of bank account statements on hand because this will help you see exactly where your money is being spent each month. If you find that expenses are exceeding your income, you’ll either have to cut items out of your budget wherever possible or find ways to earn additional income to cover the shortfall.

Repay Consumer Debt

The next financial goal to set should be repaying any consumer debt you have from store cards, credit cards and any other places where you’ve been making purchases on credit – and your budget will go a long way in helping to achieve this. 

Most financial experts recommend listing debts from smallest to largest, paying as much as possible towards the smallest amount owing and paying minimum required amounts on the rest each month. As the smaller debts are fully repaid, the amounts that were being applied to them can then be rolled over to the next outstanding bill in line.

Start a Savings Account

Up to 60% of Americans have noted that they would struggle to cover a $500 emergency if it arises because of not having any money saved. 

Once your debts have been fully repaid, place the money you were paying towards them into a dedicated savings account until you have approximately three months of living expenses accumulated. This will provide a lifesaving financial cushion in the event of possible job loss or other emergency that may occur.

If the idea of setting financial goals is leaving you feeling overwhelmed, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with an accredited financial advisor. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about taking control of your financial future.

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Make those Financial New Year’s Resolutions Now

Regardless of whether you’ve started to put a dedicated financial plan into place or not, it’s possible to get on track with this at virtually any age while you and your spouse are still earning an income. Below are a few financial New Year’s resolutions that you should consider making – and sticking to – when 2021 rolls around. 

  1. Set up an Appointment with a Financial Planner

If you’ve never worked with a financial planner yet, enlisting the help of one who is reputable should be your first priority as soon as the New Year starts – the sooner you can make that first appointment and keep it, the better. 

Getting your financial affairs in order can be daunting, especially if you have no idea where to start. You’ll need the services of a professional, especially where taxes, investing and other forms of saving are concerned. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, you’ll certainly be glad you hired a professional – especially if you’ve never dealt with these aspects before.

  1. Set Up Retirement Savings Accounts

If you don’t have an IRA or 401(k) set up with your employer, now is the time to gather everything you’ll need to do so – your financial planner will be more than happy to assist you here. 

A 401(k) and/or IRA are among the best and easiest ways to start saving for your retirement, and the sooner these are set up, the better. Keep in mind that contributions to these accounts are pre-tax, so you probably won’t notice the small deduction being made from your wages at the time. However, you’ll certainly notice the lump sum of money that has accumulated by the time you’re ready to retire though.

  1. Pay Debts Off

One of your ultimate goals should be to remain free from consumer debt as far as possible. 

Many individuals don’t prioritize repaying consumer debts because they think they’ll still have a good few years left to do so. However, the quicker consumer debts are repaid, the more money you’ll save on interest and finance charges as the years go by – money that can rather be put into some form of savings instead.

  1. Look for Ways to Save Extra Cash

After setting up retirement, savings and/or investment accounts, many individuals quickly discover that they aren’t setting aside as much money as they’d hoped. If you find that this applies to you, it’s time to start looking for practical ways to trim your budget or increase your income as soon as possible. 

Some options for cutting spending can include switching to more affordable internet service providers, cell service companies and even eliminating physical newspaper subscription services – many news sites offer greatly reduced options for viewing their content online instead. 

While everyone dreams of becoming financially secure, this will only happen if you take the necessary steps to start saving and investing as soon as possible. If you’d like to learn more about making your money work for you, contact us today. 

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