5 New Year’s Financial Resolutions

by Niomi Williams, Associate Program Director, CU Money Sense

new years resolutions

Some people may not believe in making New Year’s Resolutions, but everyone should at least have financial goals. Below are five tips/goals/resolutions to consider this year:

1. Keep track of your spending. Try using a financial app like mint.com (free) to help you keep track of where your money is going.

2. Review your monthly and yearly expenses. Determine if you should spend less, focus on debt, or save more.

3. Create a budget. We say this all the time, but budgets really are awesome. It helps you tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Schedule a one-on-one financial coaching session with CU Money Sense to help you plan out a budget for the new year.

4. It’s never too early to think about retirement. If you’ve ever worked part-time or full-time, chances are that your current or former employer enrolled you in a retirement plan, such as a 401(k). There might not be much in the retirement account, but even if there’s a few dollars in it, you have some options on what to do with that money. Take the time to find out which (if any) retirement accounts you might already have—you can do this by contacting your (former) employer.

5. Live like a college student. Let’s say you received a refund check this month, after paying all of your tuition, books, and expenses. I know from experience that it’s so tempting to spend that refund on fun stuff—new clothes, dining out, ski trips, going out with friends, etc—because it can seem like FREE MONEY. But then two months later, you bank account has less than $50 in it and you’re suddenly panicked because you’re broke and can’t remember what you spend all that money on! I see it happen all too often with students, which is why is it’s important to embrace the “poor college kid” perception and try to keep your lifestyle within your means (by not spending more money than you have).

These are just a few ideas to help you get on track with your personal finance. If you have any questions about ways to best handle your money, remember that we are here to help! Schedule a one-on-one appointment with our Certified Personal Financial Manager; appointments are confidential, personal, and specified to your needs.

 

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