Ahhh, the New Year. Most of the hustle & bustle of the major holidays are behind us now, and this is that time of year when – like it or not – you look back at the past 51 weeks and plan for the next 54 or so. Some “resolutions” are physical: quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthier. Others are emotion-based: recycling more, doing volunteer work. And, then there are those darn financial “resolutions:” to do this or that to make this year more prosperous than the last. Problem is, there are fewer and fewer secure ways to grow your money in today’s volatile market. An astounding number of Americans are one paycheck away from the start of financial ruin, which makes saving for the future and paying down debt a serious challenge. Just thinking about it makes just about any other type of resolution a much more attractive choice for an attainable goal for the 2014. Here are some simple yet effective steps you can take that will pave the way for financial success in the New Year. And, yes, there are only four. We want to achieve these goals, so let’s be realistic:
Prioritize your financial goals.
Doesn’t it feel good to make a list & get all those jumbled thoughts out of your head & on to paper? This is a good practice for many purposes, but let’s stay focused on money. Start by listing all your fixed expenditures, flexible expenditures and monthly income. Next, determine which financial goals are most important. Even with a limited budget, you can still pay off some debt – you just need to prioritize! Is there a certain credit card that has really high interest? Maybe you pay the minimum on your lower-interest cards for 6 months and put any overage you would have paid them to the one with the highest interest? Seeing the balance on that card that’s been killing you go down each month can be a major motivator to make other subtle changes to pay that sucker off! It’s not possible to do everything at once, so prioritizing through smart financial planning is key. Focus your energy on achieving one goal at a time, and put your money towards this goal.
Begin Implementing An Annual Check Of Your Insurance Policies.
Just like you should check your credit score and visit your doctor every year, you need to add checking your insurance policies to that list of annual “to-do’s.” The number of people who are over-insured, under-insured, or just inappropriately insured is enormous, and it’s totally unnecessary. People are scared of insurance policies; all the legal-eze and different options make it a daunting task to review them each year. This is where companies like IIAoA can help. We know the industry inside & out, and as your insurance agent, we make it our job to make sure that you are getting the proper coverage for your unique situation at the best possible cost. We’re not talking about giving you a “free rate quote” (although we do those, as well) – we will personally review your current insurance policies, and determine if your policies are appropriate for your current situation. For free. IIAoA takes pride in showing our customers what type of coverage is right for them – not providing a bunch of options and making them choose blindly. So, really, all you need to do in order to put a big old check mark next to this annual task is reach out to us and ask for a free policy review and rate quote for your home, auto or business.
Hey, could you put your phone down for one second to finish reading this blog post? There are so many opportunities to save (and earn!) money on your SmartPhone that it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s really that easy. You guys, it is that easy! There are apps galore for coupons, comparison shopping, promo codes for any and everything you could want to buy, and digital coupons. For real. You’re already on your phone checking your Twitter feed in line at the grocery store – why not utilize the monetary-saving power that your phone also holds?
Cut The (Cable) Cord.
You know that SmartPhone thing we just talked about? Well, there are devices like that and even cooler ones that will allow you to all but eliminate your monthly cable bill. This will require an up-front cost on your part for the right media player & HD antennae, but once you are set up you can watch all the same stuff (including sports, my NFL fan friends) that you would – without a monthly bill. Well, NetFlix, is like $9 a month, but you seriously pay yourself back for the initial expense and start putting more money in your pocket within a few short months of breaking up with your cable or satellite provider.
So there you have it, friends. Four totally tangible, totally attainable ways to start 2014 off on the right financial foot. One of those tips include contacting IIAoA for a free policy review. You’ve already read this post. You may as well click the link for an Instant Quote.
Happy New Year!