The most popular New Year resolution in America is “staying fit and healthy”. But, what about finance? However, you must be in good health to enjoy the money you earned and saved, but your financial fitness needs your attention too. Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity Investments, said, “For a lot of people, taking that first step to get educated can be an important financial resolution“. Why he said it? Maybe for these reasons:
- In the US, 38% of households are burdened with credit card debt.
- In 2001, almost half of the US households had credit card debt. In 2001, the figure fell lower to 38%. And, recently, the average US household holds 52% more debts than previous years.
- Most of the people don’t know how to start automated savings.
- 62% of US people have less than $1,000 in their savings account. They don’t value an emergency fund.
- Almost 706,000 Americans (age 65) announced their retirement with the burden of student loan debt.
Yes, these are the reasons why you must make some financial resolutions at the beginning of the year. There is no rule that you must make 10 or 20 financial resolutions each year. This leads to excuses like “I ‘have enough time to achieve it”, or “I’ll work on it in next year”. You can make one resolution that you must achieve at the end of the year.
Here are some of them that you can consider as a financial resolution to stick to.
1. Allocate time for checking your credit reports
Do you know that reviewing credit report is important for your financial health? I know most of you’ve hardly checked your credit reports in 2015 due to busy schedule or forgetfulness. But, from now onwards, you must request a free copy from the three major credit bureaus. Thus, you’ll be able to know about the accuracy of your credit report. If you find any wrong listing, then take action as soon as possible to get the issue fixed.
2. Ditch the bad financial habit (if any)
Stats revealed, most of the working Americans,
- Spend $2 on coffee each day.
- Visit restaurants 3.1 times every week.
- Drink 11.2 carbonated beverages each week.
- Spend $1,270 on alcohol each year.
- Spend $33 on gambling each month.
So, just think how these habits are burning your pocket. There is no wrong if you carry your lunch from home instead of eating out with coworkers or just plan your meal each week so that you don’t have to take stress for meal planning and cooking. Remember, you must be determined to ditch the habit that is ruining your financial life. Otherwise, you won’t be able to form a stress-free financial life.
3. Find out an expert for help
Investment is a vast subject and it’s quite normal that you never understand. But, you must invest your money for making more in the future. So, this year you must find a qualified professional to solve the matter. The task is not so easy as it sounds. But, you must try your best to find a person you can trust on and who can take care of your financial issues.
4. Gain more financial knowledge
As per the Standard & Poor’s Rating Services 2015 Global Financial Literacy Survey, in the USA, 57% of adults are financially knowledgeable. So, almost half of all adults in the US have less or no financial knowledge. So, become a financially educated person should be a major resolution this year. If you’re one who doesn’t love reading at all, then you may consider visual learning. You can find many videos on financial coaching, investment, credit counseling, and money management available on YouTube.
Visual learning helps to remember the things for a long time. So, don’t underestimate these videos. You can consider online financial advice as well. There is plenty of good financial websites, journals, and magazine available. Some company offers, saving advice, financial learning to their employees. So, ask your employer to get these offers. Remember, every mistake count. So, make sure you don’t commit any financial blunder in 2016.
5. Reduce financial obligations
According to the report of Value Penguin, In the US, average household credit card debt is $7,697. On the other hand, students completed graduation with the burden of $35,000 student loan debt. This is the reason you should reduce your credit card usage. These mounting credit card debts are the outcome of living beyond your means. And unfortunately, there is no shortcut solving the problem. Student loan forgiveness rarely helps and bankruptcy is the ultimate option. Only, a proper debt elimination strategy and your determination help you to reduce this type of financial obligations. Don’t hide your financial problems. Otherwise, you’ll be in a severe financial crisis in the long run. So, you must craft a plan to get rid of your financial obligation instead of praying for a miracle year after year.
Finally, if you ask me how to fulfill the financial resolution, then I would say “determination”. This is the key to achieve any success in your life. Just write down your resolution and keep it in front of your eyes, leave credit cards at home, stop visiting Starbucks, etc. Do whatever that helps you to stick to your resolutions. Good luck!