5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New Year! Ring it in with resolutions that will help you strengthen your financial position and set the stage for long-term success. Here are goals you can set and start working toward today:
Save for a house. If a home purchase is in your future, check your credit report now, urges Marc Shaffer, a certified financial planner in Overland Park, Kansas. You’ll be able to review your credit history and report any errors or omissions to the credit bureaus. You’ll also have more time to improve your score. A good credit score can improve the rate you get on your loan, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Be budget-savvy. Identify where and how you are spending your hard-earned dollars so you can plug money drains. “You really do need to track everything and create categories to put things in perspective,” says Shaffer. Software and apps such as Quicken, Microsoft Money and mint.com make budgeting and tracking expenses easy.
Reign in credit card debt. Review your card statements to see which debt you can tackle first. Get a feel for the payoff amount using this online calculator .
Get insured. “As a young professional, your biggest asset is not your retirement account, but your ability to earn money,” says Shaffer. Protect your paycheck by obtaining disability and life insurance coverage. Disability insurance coverage replaces a portion of your income if you cannot work due to a disabling accident or illness. Life insurance offers long-term security for you and your family if something unexpected were to happen.
Give back. When you reach a stage where you’re making good money and meeting your financial goals, consider giving charitably to your university, church or a mentor organization. “It’s great to give back to organizations and institutions that helped make you successful,” says Shaffer.
Contact your State Farm® Agent to learn about an Insurance and Financial Review and what it can mean for your long-term goals.