As we near the end of one year and prepare to start a new one, it is a natural time to make resolutions. This year don’t forget to consider financial resolutions. Do you have staggering credit card debt? Would you like to eliminate your bank fees? If you find yourself in one of these predicaments or you simply want to better your general financial state, think about making one or more of the following five smart money moves in the New Year.
- Adopt a money management system. Set a schedule for checking your bank accounts and credit cards on a weekly basis. Ensure that you always have enough money to cover pending expenses (i.e. next month’s mortgage payment).
- Don’t forget to pay yourself. Regardless of the economy, you should be contributing to your 403(b). These contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, and they accumulate money on a tax-deferred basis. Don’t forget to diversify investments and re-balance annually.
- Create an emergency cash account. You should put away enough savings to cover three to six months of expenses. Set a small, realistic savings goal, and build on it as you can. Think about setting up an automatic monthly transfer to this account to make it easy to keep contributing to it.
- Refinance your home. Refinancing a home can allow you to take advantage of current low interest rates, decrease your monthly payment and increase your cash flow. If you are considering this option, work through the numbers to ensure that it will save you money.
- Take out a fast cash advance. While a payday loan or fast cash advance is not a long-term solution for financial stability, it can be beneficial for getting through a couple of tough months. A fast cash advance is easy to get and the money is available immediately. You don’t have to stress about not being able to register for college courses in time or having your electricity get shut off while you wait for an application to process or money to transfer.