As Arizonans begin to think about New Year’s resolutions, one of the most important to consider for 2018 is getting your financial house in order. Experts at Desert Schools offer four basic tips below to boost your financial prowess and create a more positive outlook for the future.
Make a realistic budget and hold yourself accountable
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 40% of adults have a budget. Moving into the New Year, gather your bills from the last six months and make a list of your recurring expenses. Rank them in order of importance with the major necessities at the top. Cut unnecessary expenses as needed to live within your means and add to your savings. Finally, keep track of your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your new budget.
Pull your credit report
Credit reports from the major bureaus are not always perfect and errors do occur. Make sure to review your credit report on a regular basis to double check for errors, and sign up for credit monitoring that will provide you with notifications when a major change to your report is identified.
Make a dent in your debt
It can be overwhelming to think about trying to pay off your debt in one fell swoop, so try taking the approach of paying it off in chunks. Look into securing a zero-percent transfer credit card and look to transfer – and pay off – about 20% of your debt off over the course of 2018.
Add one month’s pay to your savings account If you don’t have an emergency fund, you’re playing with fire and potentially putting yourself at risk for financial catastrophe. In addition to paying off debt, building up your savings should be one of the first things you do when looking to make positive financial changes in your life. Ultimately, you should aim to build a savings account with roughly one year of income for emergencies. Obviously, that can take time; so make a plan to add at least one month of income to your fund over the course of 2018.
Trying to stay financially fit? Check out more money-saving stories in our Financial Fitness Zone .
The information listed may not reflect the capabilities or practices at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union , but is rather meant to serve as a unbiased advisement and support of the financial health of our community.