New Year’s Financial Resolutions | Fee-Only Financial Planners Long Island | Financial Health 101

By Michelle Herbst
Director of First Impressions

It is that time of year again when people make New Year’s resolutions. Many people focus on changing their eating habits, starting an exercise routine or adding more physical activity to their lives, right any wrongs, or to live a kinder more caring life. However, how many people concentrate on making financial resolutions?

Financial resolutions can help you build up your financial morale. Setting resolutions at the beginning of a new year can help one to reach short and long-term goals which can improve the way you feel. Taking control of your finances, whether you are just beginning or finding ways to continue to enhance your goals, is a great feeling. Here are a few tips to help improve your financial picture for 2019 whether you are a beginner or a seasoned saver.

Save More and Spend Less – Sure this is always easier to say then to do. However, if you set up small goals, you can reach them. 

  • Start with making savings automatic. Set up a recurring transfer to take money from your checking account to be placed into your savings account or investment portfolio. This gives you a chance to save before you can spend it. 
  • Boost your retirement savings. Most people want to live comfortably during their golden years.  Contribute enough to your workplace plan to secure your employer’s match, which is typically between 3 and 6 percent, if one is offered. If you don’t have the means to max out your 401(k) or an IRA, make it a goal to save more than you did the previous year either adding to your investment portfolio, emergency fund, or savings account. 
  • Create a budget. There are several apps and software programs that can assist you with creating and using a budget. Once you set time aside to create one, it will be easier to get a more accurate sense of what and where you spend your money on such as food, entertainments, car, home maintenance, vacations, and so on. You just might surprise yourself as to how much you are spending in one area. 
  • No Spend Week Challenge. Going to your favorite coffee house to get a “Cup of Joe” or while on line at the grocery store you grab a candy bar, or go to lunch with coworkers, all adds up by the end of the week. Challenge yourself to not spend your money mindlessly and cut out nonessential items for a week. This is a week that no money leaves your hands or bank account as you can eat at home, find free entertainment and skip shopping. How much money did you save? Take your new-found savings and add to a credit card payment or simply save it. 

Slowly, these tips and suggestions will change your financial habits and help you to reach your 2019 goals and beyond. 

Protect and Prepare – If you have not assembled your financial A-team, now is a great time to get started. If you have a team in place, then re-evaluate them and make any necessary changes. Set time aside to meet with your tax preparer, “Fee-Only” Fiduciary financial advisor, estate planning attorney, or another financial expert. 

  • Review Your Beneficiaries. Every year you should review designated beneficiaries for all your accounts as they will be the first to inherit your assets in the event of your demise. 
  • Prepare or Update Your Will. Having a last will in place not only can give you peace of mind, it can also make things easier on your family and friends. 
  • Estate Planning. If you do not have and an estate plan, start planning with what you can afford. Then, as your financial situation improves, you can expand as your needs change and develop more of a complex plan. If you have a plan in place, be sure that you review and update it not only once a year, but as your family, financial situations, or laws change. 

All your documents should be in a safe location where a trusted and competent family member or close friend knows how to access them. 

Educate – You can increase your personal finance expertise using many resources. 

  • Subscribe to a Personal Finance Podcast. There is a plethora of options to listen to and get tips and expert insight on topics such as personal finance, real estate, careers, investing, and more. 
  • Read a personal finance book. There are books that are for the personal finance novices who want to gain a basic understanding, books on how to get in a healthy money mindset, as well as books for those who want to learn how the personal finance industry operates behind the scenes.  
  • Follow your “Fee-Only” Fiduciary Financial Advisor on Social Media. Most importantly please follow us on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) for continues updates on the latest financial tips and tricks throughout the year.  

Whatever your choice may be, listening, reading, or attending a financial seminar, educate yourself and have a more active hand in what happens with your money. 

There is a lot you can do to improve your financial health and to help you reach your financial resolution goals. It is about taking the first steps and the new year is the best time to get started! To discuss your financial future with a “Fee-Only” Fiduciary financial advisor, contact us at 631.218.0077 or at info@rwroge.com, to schedule a complimentary consultation.

© Copyright 2019 R. W. Rogé & Company, Inc.  All Rights reserved.

Michelle Herbst is Director of First Impressions of R. W. Rogé & Company, Inc.  603 Johnson Avenue, Suite 103, Bohemia, NY 11716.  Phone: (631) 218-0077; Website: www.rwroge.com

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