It’s time for those annual New Year’s resolutions – the goals that almost no one sticks too after January. But there are some easy-to reach financial resolutions that can help retirees make the most of precious post-retirement dollars.
Let’s get started with five easy-to-achieve financial resolutions for 2024.
Create a budget. It’s the most important thing anyone can do. A lot of people don't realize what they’re actually spending on a monthly basis on average because maybe not all bills are paid out on an ongoing monthly basis. The first rule of investing is not to lose money. The second rule is to not forget the first rule. When it comes to your New Year’s resolution, the first rule is to create a detailed financial plan.
Start an emergency fund. Revisit the emergency fund and ensure there are 3-6 months’ worth of expenses for a rainy day. For those without emergency funds, start building one. Even if it’s just $50-$100 per month, it's a start. Whatever you can contribute is better than doing nothing at all. Cutting costs is a great way to build an emergency fund.
Check your credit report. Typically, people can check for free at freecreditreport.com/ and while checking- close any old credit cards or store cards with high interest rates. While at it; reassess all of the monthly subscriptions. These dollars can be repurposed to the emergency fund.
Don’t buy things you don’t need just because they are on sale. One very popular financial New Year’s resolutions is to stop buying clothes and gadgets just because they are “on sale.” It may seem like a great deal and one you can’t pass up, but if it's not something you need or truly want, you are wasting money. Stick to your budget and don't buy things just because they’re on sale!
Pay off high interest debt. Today’s high interest rates make it imperative to pay off your credit cards or any other high interest debt obligations. If you’re sitting there with a $10,000 or $20,000 in credit card debt, and racking up at 20% or 25% APR, you’re much better off trying to pay that down as quickly as you can.
One last thing
When people set New Year’s resolutions, most set them for the short term and only keep them for a few weeks or months at best. To be in good shape, you need to resolve that you’re going to do these things for many years to ensure you meet your long-term financial goals.