Whether you are ready or not, the holidays are just around the corner. The weather is cooling off, pumpkins are everywhere – and leaves are starting to turn colors. Thanksgiving will be here shortly, and before you know it, you’ll be hanging stockings on the chimney for Santa Claus to fill with treats and toys. This time of year can leave you frazzled and financially hurt when it is all said and done. So, as you begin to reflect on this year and the things you’d like to do next year, make financial goals one of your priorities. Freedom Debt Relief recommends that you evaluate your finances for the current year and set family financial goals for the new year. Here are some that you should consider:
Create a Budget for Your Family
Creating a budget is a great way to start off a new year with your financial health in mind. It helps you track your spending, organize your other financial goals, and get a true picture of how much discretionary money you have after everything has been paid. A budget also helps to prevent you from overspending.
There are numerous ways to create a budget. You could make a spreadsheet to track your money, a software program, or utilize one of the many apps, such as Mint, that are available. Freedom Debt Relief recommends that you select the tracking method that is most comfortable for you so that you will stick with it.
Evaluate Your Retirement Plan(s)
Another financial goal that you should have each year is to evaluate your retirement savings and make any necessary changes. Contribute more (if you can) to your 401K or another contribution plan. Even a small increase can make a big difference in the long run. You can also check with your employer to see if there is an option to automatically increase your salary deferral percentage each year.
Freedom Debt Relief recommends that if you have retirement accounts from previous employers, consider consolidating them. Consolidating your plans does take time, however, in the long run, it is beneficial because it will be easier to make changes to your asset allocation and track your portfolio’s performance.
Analyze Your Asset Portfolio
In addition to addressing your retirement plan, Freedom DebtRelief also recommends that you analyze your asset allocation on an annual basis. Make sure that it reflects your current goals and thinking and that you are at an appropriate risk level for your age and stage of life. Look for ways to improve your current portfolio and make any necessary adjustments. You can do this on your own, or seek advice from a knowledgeable financial advisor.
Reduce Your Debt
Reducing and potentially eliminating your debt should be a financial goal, especially as you get older. Consumer debt is costly, and it is not tax deductible. High interest rates on loans and credit cards could prevent you from keeping more of your money for yourself. Look for ways to consolidate your cards to one with a lower interest rate and pay it off quickly. Or consider a home equity loan or line of credit, which are both tax-deductible.
If you are at a point where your debt is significantly more than you can handle, you may want to consider a debt resolution program like Freedom Debt Relief. Over 400,000 people have enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief. Contact us online to learn more about our program.