BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- According to Fidelity Investments 9th annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study, the number of Americans ringing in the New Year by making financial resolutions is down with only 27% considering at least one.
But I would like to point out though that most New Year’s resolution we make have a financial component to it.
The study did find that folks are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring.
Almost half said they were in a better financial situation this year and 76% thought they would be even better off in 2018.
But most of us still need to work on our money skills as we enter 2018. So, I thought we could review some money resolutions.
We all want money left over at the end of the month. To achieve that goal, you need to figure where you are spending your money each month. Look at your cash flow. What comes in is easy; your salary, child support, pension, bonus, Social Security benefit, alimony.
Now figure out where does it go each month. Do you eat out 2 or 3 times a week? That alone puts a hole in your budget and cooking more meals at home is an easy way to spend less. Another budget buster is impulse buying. Do you need it or do you want it? Figure that out and you may be on your way to Spending less.
Well if you can spend less it would stand to reason you will be able to save more. If you figure out how to have more money left at the end of the month consider making savings automatic. Most of us do not have the discipline each month to sit down and write out checks to our various savings accounts. If we make it automatic the discipline is built in.
Consider contributing money to your 401(k) at work or increase your contribution. Have money debited from your checking account each month for the kid’s college account or your emergency fund. Start an IRA if there is no retirement plan at work. Again, here also you can set it up so the mutual fund company debits your checking account each month so you don’t need to think about it.
A very simple plan will work best.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.