Will 2018 be the year that you finally take control of your finances and take the steps you need to get out of debt? Even if you have the best intentions, this can be a difficult task. In fact, a recent study showed that almost two-thirds of Americans are incapable of passing a basic financial literacy test and that number is growing, year after year. If you have difficulty with your finances, now is the time to adopt some financial New Year’s Resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions for Financial Health
Now is the time to take the steps you need to have a healthy financial future for you and your family. In 2018, resolve to:
- Check your credit score regularly. Knowing what your credit score is gives you an idea of how much work you are going to need to do to become credit-worthy. Having a better credit score means that lenders will offer you lower interest rates, reducing the amount you owe over the life of your loan or credit card.
- Build your emergency fund. Living paycheck to paycheck can make it difficult to save money, but you should save between four to five months of income to cover you in an emergency. Think about events that have set you back financially, such as unexpected car or home repairs, and work emergency expenses into your budget.
- Take advantage of direct deposit and online banking to automatically funnel a percentage of your paycheck into savings. That way, you’ll never even miss the money because you’ll never see it in your checking account.
- Pay down high interest debt. If you’re only making the minimum payments each month on your credit cards, now’s the time to start paying those off. If you have multiple accounts to pay off, start with the highest interest account.
- Consider using your 2018 tax refund to pay a big chunk of your debt. It’s not as fun as spending it, but doing so will give you more financial freedom in the long run.
While some Americans have made great gains in paying down their debt since the financial crisis, there are some segments of the population who are still struggling. If you fall into this group, filing bankruptcy may be what you need to make a fresh start in the new year. The Law Office of Larry Karandreas is ready to help you find your way back to financial fitness.