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Every Dec. 31 many of us make resolutions to improve our finances in the new year. If that sounds like you, here are some ideas to help you meet your financial resolutions.
Spend Less and Save More
Spending less and saving more is the simple secret to wealth creation. It's not easy. You have to be willing to make choices and sometimes do without. Start off by eliminating impulse buys, and think about replacing expensive brands with less expensive alternatives.
Create a Budget
Budgeting is the most important thing you can do to ensure your financial success. Developing a realistic budget will help you stay disciplined as well as think mindfully about your money decisions.
Develop Your Estate Plan
Your estate plan tells your family and the court what will happen if you are no longer able to make financial or health decisions for yourself or your children while you are living. In addition, your plan indicates what happens to your possessions once you are deceased. Without such a document, state law will dictate what happens to you and your assets. As part of the planning process, be sure to review your beneficiaries listed on important documents and accounts to make sure they are up-to-date.
Get More From Your Benefits
If your job gives you perks like health insurance or a flexible spending account, be sure to get the most bang for your buck from them. Picking the right insurance plan can help you save on larger medical bills, while a flex account gives you tax savings on money spent on more routine medical expenses. Talk to your HR department and find out what you have coming to you.
Max out Your Retirement Savings
While most people aren't able to start their savings programs by contributing at maximum levels, it's possible to build up to those levels over time by increasing contributions in increments. Also, if your employer offers a match, do what you can to get the maximum match.
For more insight, you might want to check out the book How to Retire Happy, The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire by Stan Hinden, and stop by a PNWFCU branch to learn about your savings options. Our investment services are offered through CFS.*
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Pacific NW Federal Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. CFS and its representatives do not provide tax advice. For specific tax advice please consult a qualified tax professional.