We’re now a few weeks into the start of a new year… but it’s not too late for you to implement some meaningful resolutions. In particular, you may want to think about some ways to be more mindful and responsible in the management of your personal finances. There are a number of different forms such resolutions could take, and we have 10 suggestions for you to think about.
Resolve to Improve Your Personal Finances
- Make an achievable budget. One of the most common errors in household finance is making a budget based on the numbers you think you “should” have, as opposed to making a budget based on your actual needs, values, and financial priorities. Make this the year you sit down and create a budget you can stick to, and that will bring you closer to accomplishing some of your financial objectives.
- Pay down your credit card debt. Even by allocating a small portion of each monthly budget to paying down credit card debt, you can start to improve your personal finances. Consider paying down smaller credit card debts first, scoring some early “wins” and using that momentum to tackle larger debts.
- Build an emergency fund. It’s often recommended that families have $1,000 set aside as a kind of “rainy day fund,” allowing them to tackle an unexpected home, auto, or healthcare expense. Even setting aside a smaller amount can prove helpful.
- Contribute to your retirement account. When’s the last time you made a contribution to your IRA? Consider setting a goal to contribute a certain amount of money by the end of the year. Feel free to contact one of our wealth advisors for additional details, or to ask about contribution limits.
- Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor. At Stonepath Wealth Management, we make a priority to check in regularly with our clients and to help them assess their financial goals. We also welcome you to reach out whenever you’d like to set up a time to talk, and to make sure you’re in a good place with your money and your investments.
- Resolve to improve your credit score. Improving your credit score can be advantageous the next time you seek a loan, whether that’s an auto loan or a home mortgage. Some ways to improve your credit score include paying all your bills on time, not opening too many new lines of credit, and paying down existing debts.
- Make more meals at home. This may sound like an unusual “financial” resolution, yet you may be surprised by just how much of your monthly income goes to eating out. A few meals here or there can really add up, and many families don’t quite know how much they’re spending by not cooking more meals at home.
- Review your estate plan. It’s generally recommended that you sit down with your estate planning lawyer once a year or so, ensuring that you have an up-to-date list of heirs and beneficiaries, as well as an accurate appraisal of your current assets.
- Talk to your spouse or partner about retirement. Are you and your spouse or partner on the same page about retirement? When’s the last time you had a conversation about your retirement timeline, expectations, and desired lifestyle? That’s a good issue to discuss together at least once a year or so.
- Set up college funds. If you have little ones and haven’t yet established educational savings funds, now is an ideal time to do so. Reach out to Stonepath Wealth Management if you’d like to discuss 529 savings plans or other options.
We wish you all the best in making and keeping some meaningful financial resolutions this year. Connect with Stonepath Wealth Management if you have any questions.