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2014 Financial Reflections
The New Year is a time for new beginnings. A time when people make declarations to lose weight, quit smoking, volunteer to help others, and develop better habits. You probably have a mental list of personal areas you want to improve. But have you considered adding a financial resolution to that list? How would your life look if you saved more, spent less, paid off debt, and planned for retirement?
Before you can know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. It’s time to do a little reflecting. Take a look at your finances from 2014. Did you spend more than you saved? Did you take on more debt? Are there areas you need to limit spending like entertainment, dining out, and unplanned purchases?
Perhaps you experienced a financial hardship in 2014 that made it difficult for you to take control of your money. While it can be impossible to predict the timing of some misfortunes, you can ease some of the financial burden in the future by building an emergency fund in 2015. Ideally, you should save enough money to cover living expenses for 3 to 6 months.
If you put off planning or evaluating your retirement strategy this year, the New Year is a great time to meet with a financial advisor and get started. In addition, if your employer offers a 401(k) or other retirement savings option, consider bumping up the amount you contribute and make sure you contribute enough to receive the full match if a match is offered.
Is it time for you to make a financial resolution? If you’d like a fun way to start saving money in the New Year, FORUM is offering a 52 Week Money Challenge with a cash prize incentive. This is an incremental savings plan that begins January 1, 2015 and ends December 31, 2015. It may just give you the inspiration you need for your resolution! Click here for details.
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