Start the Year Off Right Financially
Published on January 22, 2013 by arothstein
Broadview University Accounting students would like to share some tips for starting the year off right financially. Financial issues can be very stressful, but a little time and effort right now can put you on the path to a less stressful 2013! Accounting and finance are great areas for those looking for a career boost!
The new year is a great time to take a look at your life and decide on a new direction. When you are making new year’s resolutions don’t forget about your financial picture. Like most resolutions, financial resolutions take time and effort but are well worth it when you achieve your goal. Understanding the basics of finance is a good start. Putting a plan in place to help you end the year in better financial shape is the first step.
- Tracking what you spend is the first step in any plan. You need to know where the money is going before you can decide what to change. Keeping a log of where your money goes can be a big surprise. Over the course of the year spending on small things can really add up. That special coffee everyday or lottery tickets can really eat into any budget. Small things are easier to change than big expenses and they can really add up to big savings.
- Begin a rainy day fund this year. Everyone needs to have a fund they can draw on when something bad happens. Your car needs repairs, the washer dies or a large bill suddenly pops up. This happens all the time and if you have your rainy day fund in place you can make it through these times without a lot of panic. The best use for a rainy day fund is to help cover expenses if you cannot work for a length of time. This can happen to anyone and is not always about losing a job but also the possibility of being unable to work for health reasons.
- Work on raising your personal credit score. This not only can get you a lower rate on loans but your credit score impacts insurance rates, credit card rates and, if you rent, where you can live. These are great reasons to make sure you keep your score as high as you can. Check your credit to make sure that all the information is correct and to protect yourself from identity fraud.
- Reduce your monthly bills and add the extra to savings. Refinance your mortgage to the current low rates. Check out the rates you are paying on any other installment loans. Another way to reduce your monthly bills is to take a hard look at everything you are paying for. Do you have services on your cable bill or cell phone that are not being used? Get rid of the items not being used to lower the bill. Another thing to check yearly is insurance. Do you have enough or too much? Can you get a better rate with another company?
- Saving for retirement is a must and the earlier you start the better retirement you will have. Learn the basics of finance and how investments work to help you get your retirement on track. Look to the lifestyle you want when you retire. There are some great free planners available online to let you see where you are now and what you need to do to get where you want to be.
These steps can help put you on the road to a better financial future. Taking the steps one at a time or all together can help you reach your goals and have a great new year. An Accounting degree from Broadview University can improve your career and your financial situation!
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