Friday, January 3, 2014

Make a New Year’s resolution to rid stress from your life…

It’s simple, get your finances in order--you won’t believe how good it feels to be money smart.

Tips for making the list:

Sometimes this is easier said than done. To keep in the mindset, try wording your goals positively, such as “we’re going to spend money only on things we truly value.” If you stray from your goals, don’t beat yourself up or dwell on your mistakes. It will only serve to make you feel worse and keep off track. Just jump right back on that horse and promise yourself to stay on the path.

Keep your resolutions attainable.
Check in with your goals at least once a month. Set a reminder for yourself. For instance, decide that every time you make a payment on that credit card bill, you’ll revisit your financial resolutions; this will help you track how far you’ve come. Remember that if you’ve made it this far, you can reach your goal!

Be specific.
Make instructions for yourself for just how exactly you plan to attain your goals. Instead of saying you will save more, write a budget up. This will help keep you on point.

Make a contract with yourself.
With your resolutions set, document all your goals. You could even include reasons for committing to them. At www.FutureMe.org, email this to your future self a month, two months, six or 12 months in advance, or print out the letter and place it on the fridge, so you can be reminded of why these goals are important, especially when other crises seem to get in the way.

What our in-house experts recommend you put on the list:

Review your insurance.
Your policies may be outdated and not suited for your current needs. Review what you have: homeowners, life, even auto may be insufficient relative to your present financial situation.

Check your credit score.
Be aware of where your credit stands and take steps to repair any negative aspects. You get three free credit reports each year, there is no excuse for not reviewing what is one of your most important financial reports, especially since errors in these reports are not uncommon. www.annualcreditreport.com

Invest what you can.
Even if it’s just a little, invest in yourself and family. It could be as simple as paying yourself first by contributing to your savings each month, or it could be a retirement fund, an education fund, or making extra mortgage payments. Consider these things as investing in yourself and your future.

Taking care of these will allow you to enjoy a happier, more prosperous and stress-free new year.

Written by: Sarah Cornwall, Marketing Resources, at Family Services, Inc.