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2017If you fell short of your budget goals this past year, but are ready to turn things around for the better in the new year, make sure you're making some financial resolutions you can actually stick with. A recent Fidelity survey of more than 2,000 adults found that the most popular financial resolutions include saving more, paying off debt and spending less.

Whether you are saving up for a dream vacation, want to buy a new car or you just want to build up your emergency savings account for some financial security, put yourself on the fast track to reaching your financial goals with some smart money moves.

Here are seven financial resolutions you can actually keep:
  1. Know Your Debts. Taking the time to calculate your current debt load can make it easier to prioritize your debt repayment plan and finally get ahead this year. Even though you may have been putting off this task for some time now, the simple act of writing down all outstanding debts and interest rates can give you a better perspective on where you stand. You can organize your debts by interest rates and balances to start paring down that debt load this year.
  2. Automate Your Savings. One of the smartest money moves you can make this year is to automate your savings. Just choose a set amount that will be withdrawn from your checking or savings account, and label it as a recurring monthly expense. Automating your savings can make it that much easier to build up your savings account without thinking too much about it.
  3. Clean Up Your Accounts. If you have multiple checking and savings accounts – and are paying maintenance fees to keep them active – take some time to figure out exactly what types of accounts you need and which accounts offer the most benefits. Don't be afraid to consolidate balances and close some accounts this year. This can make managing your finances that much easier and also help you save some money on banking fees.
  4. Set Up A Working Budget. If you have been avoiding budgeting altogether or just have a hard time working with a budget, make this the year when budgeting becomes a high priority. You can use free software programs or apps, or just prepare a basic budget using your favorite spreadsheet program. Update your budget regularly, and make sure you account for all sources of income and expenses. Working with a budget can make it easier to set and achieve those financial goals, and give you an accurate idea of how much money you are working with at any given time.
  5. Pare Down Monthly Expenses. One of the benefits of preparing an accurate budget is having an accurate idea of your cost of living – how much it costs you each month to live the life you currently live. Knowing where your money is going is the first step to downsizing some of those expenses. Take a closer look at all recurring monthly bills and payments, and think of ways you may be able to reduce costs. This might involve contacting creditors to reduce monthly payments, negotiating rates with your cellphone or cable company or canceling subscriptions that you no longer need or use.
  6. Build Up Your Emergency Fund. Even if you are already contributing to a savings account for luxury purchases or a vacation, make sure you're also doing yourself a favor by contributing to an emergency savings fund. Building up your emergency fund is a smart money move no matter how much you earn. Just add those contributions as another expense in your budget so you don't have to think twice about making the "payment." It's an investment in your future that can pay off in the event of a personal or family emergency.
  7. Invest In Your Health. Make sure your health and dental insurance payments are going out on time and that you have insurance policies that will give you the best possible benefits in the event of an emergency situation. Don't be afraid to shop around for the best rates, and review benefits and disclosures carefully. You can also make other investments toward your health and well-being to avoid the high cost of medical care. Joining a gym or health club, buying healthy food and making time for wellness activities can help you stay in shape and prevent many costly health and medical problems.
Don't forget about insurance when you're doing your financial review. Call Raymond Preston & Reed at (615) 866-2728 or contact us online to get learn more about the policies we offer.

(Article Courtesy: Insurance Technologies Corporation via U.S. News and World Report)

Notice: Content from and links to third party web sites other than those owned by Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC) are offered as a service to readers. ITC was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.
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