How To Make Sound Financial Resolutions For The New Year

Friday, December 30th, 2011
Updated: December 30th, 2011
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Once the frenzy of holiday shopping has subsided, you will have a little bit of time to determine a few personal finance resolutions for the upcoming New Year. You may be carrying some outstanding credit card debt due to the holidays with you into 2012 and if you take a moment to make a plan now you can chart out how to best go about ditching your debt early on in the New Year.

Be Clear About Your Goals

The key to getting yourself back on financial track following a season of overspending, is to establish a few simple, realistic and attainable financial goals for yourself. Identify what is setting you back and formulate a plan of attack on how to deal with it. Once you have identified what, exactly, changes you wish to make in order to improve your overall financial situation you can take definite steps towards implementing them.

Cut Your Credit Card Expenses

If you are looking to avoid paying a ton of money in interest charges on your outstanding credit card balances, a balance transfer shortly after the start of the New Year may be exactly the right move for you. Over the past few months, card issuers have been flooding the market with tantalizing balance transfer offers, and because of the nation-wide decline in late payments and delinquencies there is every reason to believe that such deals will be around throughout the New Year. If you are approved for a card with 0% APR for a fixed amount of time on all transferred balances, then you are buying yourself time to pay down your balance without pesky interest piling up. Depending on the offer, your transferred balance could be interest free for over 20 months. If you are considering transferring a balance, be sure you go about it the right way. That is, formulate a plan to pay everything off within the promotional period of time and don’t make any new charges until all your debts have been paid off in full.

Consider Consolidating All Your Debts

If you have outstanding debts spread over a few different areas – credit cards, phone bills, etc. – perhaps 2012 is the time to consider seeking out a low interest loan to use to pay off everything and from there on out your repayment plan will entail only one bill per month. Some lenders are advertising loans that have interest rates lower than those on your current credit cards. Also if you are incurring any late fees in your struggle to remember to remit payments to multiple places on time, whittling down your debt to one single payment per month is well worth it.

Don’t Skimp On Savings

No matter what other financial resolutions you might make, be sure to make one to save. Although interest rates on savings accounts are currently lower than low, you still want to put aside a portion of your earnings on a regular basis to build up an emergency fund should you fall upon hard times in the future. Whether you choose to resolve to saving a set amount each and every month, give up a few of your discretionary expenses and sock away the savings or simply to squirrel away whatever you can, whenever you can, make a new savings plan for the New Year and stick to it.

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