Working on your New Year’s resolutions?
Did you know that over half of all consumers make a financial New Year’s resolution, according to Fidelity Investments?
The top resolutions?
- Save more money
- Pay off debt
- Spend less money
- Make a long-term plan
- Make a budget
- Pay down credit card debt
Consumers start this New Year feeling they are in a stronger financial position than they were a year ago. That’s great news.
We’ve worked with hundreds of consumers over the years. Here’s what we feel really makes a difference, and separates the financial success stories from everyone else:
A commitment to maxing your retirement plans. This is the number one key to success. If you don’t save, you’ll never reach the finish goal. We just reminded clients with SIMPLE-IRA savings plans of their contribution limits, and were gratified to see many bumped up their last minute savings to max out their plans. Bravo!
A willingness to defer spending. You’ve heard the saying – “It’s not what you make, it’s what you save.” If you make a lot of money but spend it all, you’re worse off than before, having just reinforced some really damaging consumption habits. Enjoying the present is great, but you need to set a little aside to prepare for tomorrow, as well.
A receptiveness to smart investing approaches. If you save a lot, but stick it in a savings account, you’ve just squandered your top asset. Investing it too aggressively can also prove deadly. Put the emotions aside, think strategically and play for the long-term. A moderate approach can help you avoid the “crash and burn” scenarios, and get you to your goals on schedule and without all the anxiety.
Is saving more one of your top financial resolutions for 2014?
We participated along with other financial experts in a recent Consumer Reports article on how to kick off the New Year on the right financial footing.
Check out some of our financial tips at “Financial resolutions worth keeping.”