We know what you're thinking. Everything is dark and cold and snowy, and all you want to do is sit down in a warm living room and eat peppermint bark out of a decorative tin. So why is everyone telling you all the things you need to resolve to change about yourself?

Tell you what. Pour some eggnog, grab some cookies and read our anti-resolutions to make your finances work for YOU.

Prioritize Your Debt

You’ve heard the spiel. There’s good debt and there’s bad debt. But you know better. All debt is money coming out of your wallet, and almost everyone has it.

Don’t fret about it. Prioritize it. Identify high interest loans and debts and pay those down. If your credit card is sitting at 15 percent, getting that paid off is going to work better for you than any investment will.

Have enough in the bank to pay off your car with an emergency fund leftover? Just do it! You’ll feel a lot better, and that money will be doing a lot more for you than just sitting in the bank.

Save Your Annual Pay Increase

Easier said than done? Sure. But it’s also easier done than you think.

Make a commitment to set aside a certain extra percentage in savings equivalent to your annual pay increase. The money can be to pay down debt, increase 401(k) contributions, or just save for next year’s holiday season.

The point is to get used to spending less and think more about the future. You’ll miss the money a lot less than you think you will, and you’ll be able to use that money for the bigger financial picture, stress free.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

This is an easy one. So easy, you might think you’ve done it already. But it’s worth a second look.

Simply saying who you want to receive your assets in your will is not enough. Beneficiary designations on a life insurance policy or an employer retirement account will supersede what is in your will.

Have you had a change in marital status? Had a child? Experienced a death in the family? Or maybe you just haven’t looked into it for a while. In any case, making sure you have the right beneficiary designations will give you piece of mind.

Schedule a Meeting with Your Advisor 

There’s a lot that goes into financial planning. A financial advisor can help you establish goals, save time and correct inefficiencies in your financial plan that you may not be seeing.

Your advisor to can help hold you accountable to follow through on your financial plans. We’d say they’re like a personal trainer, but these are ANTI-resolutions.

So help yourself to another cookie, and have a happy financial new year!

 

This article originally appeared in the Pioneer Press. You may view the article here.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. 

Bruce Helmer

Bruce Helmer

Co-Founder, Financial Advisor and Author, Speaker and Host of the "Your Money" Radio Show

Bruce Helmer, a founding member of Wealth Enhancement Group, has been the host of the “Your Money” Radio Show for more than 20 years. He is also featured weekly on the Twin Cities CBS affiliate WCCO, and has penned three financial advice publications.