A recent survey by Fidelity Investments revealed that more than a third of Americans intend to make a financial resolution for 2017. The key to success is having access to the right tools for the job, and using them to reach achievable goals. Here’s some advice to help make those first steps toward a financial resolution a little easier:
Take time in the beginning of the year to start a thorough financial review. This should include all income, expenses, debts and savings. The more often a budget review takes place, the easier it becomes. If it has been a while since the last review, restarting the process may seem daunting but the longer it is put off, the harder it becomes to get started.
Now is the best time to turn things around and get back on track toward financial goals. The best news is that help is available if and when it is needed. Free financial tools like MyMoneyCheckup, available through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Sharpen Your Financial Focus program, are a good place to start.
Time is the biggest enemy when debt is piling up and budgets are broken. Bringing unpaid debt into the new year leaves little to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight. Acting quickly to address these problems can help make it easier to recover financially. It is like pressing a reset button. The key to success is knowing what options are available, and making informed choices based on the facts.
Put Debt In Its Place
If debt is getting in the way of life, start the year on the right foot by putting debt in its place. Focus on the accounts that are charging the highest interest rates and start power paying the balances until they are gone. The faster debt is retired, the more money can be saved on interest and fees over the long term. That means more cash for savings and important financial goals. When debt problems are more serious, involving past-due balances and debt collection, it’s time to reach out for help from a nonprofit credit counselor who can offer expert guidance that may include a plan for affordable debt repayment.
Financial goals are important, so give them the time and attention they deserve. Putting a plan in motion this year can make all of the following years even better. For help making those goals a reality, speak to an NFCC certified counselor at TFS.