We're already halfway into the first month of the new year and it's not slowing down anytime soon. Many people have made their resolutions and are already starting to slack. Are you one of those? If you had made a goal to improve yourself financially, it's not too late. Here are five things you can do to get yourself on financial track. See the news broadcast.
1. Have a plan and Write it Down.
When's the last time you set out on a long drive without first looking up for directions first (assuming you don't have a GPS). The point is, how do you know where to go without a map to guide you? There is no point in trying to change your financial situations without having a plan to get started. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish; pay off the credit cards, start investing for your retirement, start savings for your kid's college education. Whatever your goals may be, write them down and file them away. Or best yet, put them on your fridge or a visible place that you see them on a frequent basis so you're always reminded what you're trying to accomplish this year. You won't forget what's always in front of your face.
2. Break Free of Debt.
If you've got more than one credit card, cut the rest up. Once you cut them be sure to cancel so you're not tempted to use them again. Keep one for emergency purposes, but for emergency purposes only. The only way to get out of debt is to stop racking up the credit credit cards. That includes department store cards, too; for anybody looking for a loop hole. Then begins the process of paying the credit cards off. Here's a good “snowflaking strategy to implement.
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3. Boost your emergency fund.
If you follow the principles of Dave Ramsey, then you'll want to start off having at least $1,000 in your savings account. While $1,000 is not nearly enough, it's definitely a big step. Once you can get your debt under control and get your $1,000 saved up, then you'll want to look to accomplish of getting at least six to eight months of emergency fund savings at your disposal. Having the right amount of cash in hand will prevent you from climbing into the credit card trap again. Also, with the stimulus packages that get you a check; don't go out and spend them. Pay off the cards or add it to your emergency fund.
4. Invest Like a Champ.
Now that you've tackled your debt and gotten your savings on track, it's time to look at investing. If you've got a 401(k), take the free money in the 401(k) match. If you don't have a 401(k), strongly considering having a Roth IRA for your tax free gains and retirement. If interested in an IRA, here's what you need to know for the 2009 Roth IRA rules.
5. Get insured.
Many people don't have the proper insurance. Life insurance is vital to taking care of you and your family. If you're the bread winner in the family and something happens to you, how do you expect your spouse and your kids to get by? Make sure you have enough insurance to replace the income that will be lost in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.
2009 can be your year to get on track financially, You've just got to make a conscious effort to make a change. Good luck and if there is anything I can do to help, just let me know.
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