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Financial Fitness For The New Year

12/26/2014 at 2:30 | Posted by Jennifer Hall // Staff Writer
(Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Wikimedia Commons)

Many people embark upon the New Year by evaluating their lives. They look deeply at their relationships, career, life goals, and of course financial situation.

By examining the financial successes and setbacks of the previous year, one may decide to keep or amend current financial objectives.

As we prepare for 2015, here are a few easy tips to get you on the road toward Financial Fitness for the New Year.

Set Goals
What are you trying to obtain by achieving financial freedom? What will you do with the growth of your financial resources? Set clear goals this year. Include a timeline along with a strategy for achieving these goals. Establish a budget to coincide with both your goals and the time you’ve designated to achieve them.

Reduce Debt
Debt is the antithesis of financial health. There are two simple ways to eliminate debt: 1. Reduce what you’re sending out, or 2. Increase what you’re taking in. In other words spend less money or make more money. Re-access what you are spending on creature comforts. Downgrade or completely eliminate your cable package, reorganize your current wardrobe instead of shopping for new items, opt for generic grocery store brands, and pack your lunch instead of eating out every day. If you’ve done all you can to reduce your spending, consider an additional source of income. Part-time jobs are a great way to supplement your wages. Consider working at your favorite retailer on the weekends or a few afternoons a week. If you need more flexible options, look into creating your own blog or selling Avon.

Keep a record of your expenses. You can save money by eliminating unnecessary purchases. Review the goals that you’ve set for 2015. Figure out how much you will have to save per month to reach these goals. Consider setting up an automatic draft to your savings account for that amount. Remember, a savings account is a form of security; set money aside for various objectives including emergencies, college, and investments.

Plan for Retirement
Are you prepared for retirement? Many people are not. Regardless if your 5 years away from the big date or just in your twenties with decades to go, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. In fact, the earlier that you get started the more you will have at your disposal when the time comes. To get the ball rolling, make sure you’re contributing to your employers’ 401K plan, and take the time to research other retirement options like pension plans and IRAs.

Start a Life Insurance Policy
Life insurance protects your loved ones in the event of your passing. A good policy can pay off your debts, and cover your funeral arrangements; while ensuring a better financial future for your kids, spouse, and extended family.

Give Back
Donating to a charity is a great way to “pay it forward”. By giving back you’re not only offering encouragement and support to others, but you will often find an enriched sense of well-being within yourself.

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