5 Financial New Years Resolutions

Imagine that it’s December 31st 2011, and you’re looking back at the past twelve months: What do you want to have accomplished financially in 2011? Here are 5 financial resolutions that everyone can get behind.

1) No more consumer debt
Whether you have credit cards or not, let this be the year that you completely stop using forms of consumer debt. If still have a balance on your credit card or car loan, that’s ok for now. Focus on cutting yourself off from these weapons of destruction completely.
2) Establish a savings program

It’s hard to allocate money to savings every month because it seems like different financial obligations are always coming up. This will be the case for the rest of your life, so if you haven’t had a fixed saving program, now is the time to start. Whether it’s $25 or $2500 open an account and start investing!

3) Read a financial book!
If you haven’t ever picked up a book about finance, now is the time. If you need motivation to become wealth – Rich Dad Poor Dad offers some great lessons. If you’re drowning in debt, try Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. If you’re ready to start investing in stocks, bonds, indexes or mutual funds, start with Motley Fool investment guide or Benjamin Grahams The Intelligent Investor.

4) Tell a trusted person your financial goals
If you have debt, talk to a friend or coworker about your goals of paying off debt by the end of the year, or better yet, start a blog documenting your own successes and failures.

5) Have a plan for retirement
If you have no idea how much money you need to retire, it’s time to figure it out. Find a trusted financial planner who can help you figure out the lifestyle you want in retirement, and how much you need to save on a monthly basis to get there. While you can do it on your own, a third party will be able to find shortfalls you hadn’t considered, like dealing with inflation, tax rate variations, or health care costs when you’re 70.

Happy New Year!

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