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  • New Year, New Finances

    With the New Year comes new resolutions. Many of us choose to make saving more money a goal for the New Year. However, many of us will fail to keep our resolutions. Partly because our goals are too vague. If you want to achieve your goal, you‘ll need to be more specific.

    Here are some tips on how to help you achieve your goal of saving more.

    Spend less.

    You cannot control when you will get a raise, but you can control how much you spend. (We know, much easier said than done.) In order to make this a reality, you’ll need to set yourself up with a budget. Creating and sticking to a budget is difficult for anybody. Most of us have the intention of saving money and managing our expenses, but fail short on the execution.

    Take a look at your expenses and see where you can cut some costs to maximize savings. Maybe you can pack lunch a couple days a week or cook more meals at home. Evaluate your memberships and subscriptions and decide what services are most important to you - and cut the ones that aren't. Track your spending and take a look where your money is truly going and adjust as needed.  Consider using coupons when shopping to help with your spending. 

    For more budgeting tips, check out these articles:

    8 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Budget
    Budget-Friendly Vacation
    Budgeting For Pets

    Eliminate debt.

    Knocking down debt is something many of us are concerned about. In order to achieve this goal, you’ll need to develop a strong plan for tackling this goal - and make it realistic. There are different methods to paying down debt such as using the “Snowball Method.” Using this method, continue paying the minimum payment on all your accounts, but start applying extra towards your bill that has the smallest balance. Once your smallest debt is paid off, move onto the next account that now has the smallest balance, applying what you were paying before to this account. 

    Another option is to find the debt with the highest interest rate and start paying extra towards that account. Then once that bill is paid for, apply that payment to the next account and so on.

    The key is to find an option or method that works best for you and stick with it. 

    Here are some of our other articles to help you along the way:

    A Smart Way to Manage Credit Cards 
    Understanding Your Credit Report 
    5 Tips for Establishing Good Credit  

    Set SMART goals.

    Setting SMART goals will help you make these goals a reality. SMART goals are a more detailed and specific version of your current goal. SMART goas are defined as:

    Specific: Know exactly what you want to accomplish. Avoid the common “save more money” goal, and be more specific. For example, plan to save $1,200 in 12 months. 

    Measurable: Determine how you will track your goal? For example, set up automatic savings to a separate savings account and monitor your account regularly. 

    Achievable: Set the bar high, but not too high. Your goal should be realistic and something you can attain. 

    Relevant: Your goal needs to be important to you. Think about what it’s going to take to accomplish the goal.

    Timely: Give yourself a deadline to accomplish your goal. Setting a time-frame motivates you and creates a sense of urgency to accomplish the goal. 

    Some additional articles on saving:

    Our Team's Top 10 Money Tips of 2019
    Tips to Help You Save on Energy This Winter
    Understanding Your Account Balance


    As the year progresses, be sure to do regular budget checkups to see how you’re doing and make adjustments as needed. Try to make goals that can be attainable and that make sense for you and your family.  

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