Financial Resolution Solutions
1/3/2019 12:07:56 PM
Financial Solutions


After the holiday shopping frenzy, when many Americans have overspent, it’s not surprising that financial goals top the list of most New Year’s resolution lists.

"Getting your personal finances in order is among the most popular New Year's resolutions, usually falling in the top three, next to losing weight and exercising," says Denise Rau, CFP™, President of Rau Financial Group.  "The New Year is a great time to take a closer look at your finances to see if how you manage your money is in line with the rest of your life goals.”

Rau recommends a few basic strategies for accomplishing this:

Look at your budget. 
Theoretically, you should have been reviewing your budget regularly throughout the prior year, but if that didn’t happen, make it a priority this year,” says Rau. "It’s easy to fall into your regular routines without even realizing how much you’re spending or where. You might be surprised to discover how much you spend on restaurants, entertainment, and other miscellaneous items. While it’s important to include these things in your life – you need to have fun, after all – these are also areas that can easily be budgeted and scaled back. This will leave you with more money to save.”

Get serious about saving.
Budgeting will help. Other things will, too – like assessing your priorities and establishing goals. "What do you want your life to look like at this time next year? Are there specific luxury items you want, like a new car? Do you want to buy a house soon? Would you like to take a big trip? These are questions you need to ask yourself so you can adequately plan to save,” Rau says. "These big-ticket items require planning. And you can’t start a roadmap if you don’t know where you’ve been or where you’re going.”

Do a check-up.
Your budget overview should include things like insurance. Are you paying too much for car insurance? Is your health insurance affordable, yet adequate? "These are areas that people tend to overlook when they’re reassessing their financial situation,” Rau says. 

Check your credit. 
When was the last time you checked your credit? According to Rau, you should check your credit at least once a year. You want to make sure there aren’t any items to dispute and have clear understanding of where you stand. "Knowing your credit score not only gives you an idea of your relative financial standing, it also gives you the perfect framework to create goals. Let’s say you have a credit score of 600, but your goal is to get it up to 700. That’s a tangible goal that you can work toward.”

Invest. 
If you have investments, Rau says the beginning of the year is an ideal time to review your portfolio and make any adjustments if needed, and if you aren’t investing, there’s no time like the present to get started. While you should keep your emergency and short-term savings in an easily accessible account that you know won’t lose value, it is a good idea to have some long-term savings in vehicles that have the potential for a higher return, such as stocks and bonds. Rau says one misconception of investing is that you need a lot of money to do it. "That’s simply not true. You can invest even the smallest amount – a few hundred dollars – to get the ball rolling. "Unfortunately, many people decide to wait until they have ‘enough money,’ yet it’s unclear what that means. You will have new expenses again and again – kids, house, car, vacation, college. If you wait until you have enough, you may never truly get there. Start young and start small.” And although it’s more beneficial to start when you’re younger, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest when you’re older, notes Rau. "How you invest will depend on your age, your temperament, and your goals, but trust me, there’s a customized plan out there for everyone. Don’t assume you aren’t in a position to invest. Meet with a financial professional and you’ll often find that’s not the case.”

Rau says the key to ultimate financial security is to "take control of your finances, instead of letting your finances control your life. It may take longer than a year to get your finances where you want them, but by starting now, you'll be setting the course for a more secure financial future."

Investment advice offered through GWM Advisors, dba Rau Financial Group, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial. To begin planning for your financial future, visit www.raufinancialgroup.com or call 337-480-3835.
Posted by: Kristy Armand | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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