2014 Financial Resolutions
Take Charge of Your Money This Year
January 14, 2014 by Mark Dye
I’ll be honest—I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions. I don’t need to lose weight or quit smoking or any of the other “traditional” promises some usually make (and often break). So this year I’m making a few financial resolutions:
Focus on retirement
No matter what age you are, now is the time to start saving, even if you’re like me and have a few decades left before you retire. In fact, that’s exactly why you need to focus on it now—because it will provide more time to build up more money for the golden years.
Pay yourself first
When I needed brakes on my car, we were able to take money out of savings to cover it. The problem is that doing so drained a chunk of what we had. I’m going to make sure I have $50-$100 a month directly deposited into our savings account. That automatic deduction means I won't spend it anywhere else.
Keep an eye on credit
I know my credit is solid, but I still make sure to get a free copy of my credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s the best way to make sure my payments are being recorded correctly and on time, and helps to catch any identity theft quickly. (And note that AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY site legally able to give you free copies from each bureau each year. Some say “free” but actually charge a fee so check the fine print.)
Insure the future
This is something I really need to handle this year, as my wife and I are both underinsured when it comes to life insurance. We don’t need a million-dollar policy or anything, but we do need enough to cover our house, car payments, student loans and funeral arrangements should something happen to one of us. We just need to get a policy that provides adequate coverage and fits our budget.
We don’t have a ton of debt, but reducing it should be a priority each and every year. Whether it’s that store card with a few hundred on it, or the credit card with a few thousand, paying more than the minimum will reduce our payments while possibly increasing our credit scores.
So what about you—what will be your resolutions this year?