The holiday season is over and New Year’s has come and gone. It’s time to look ahead, now, to the year that is laid out before us: 2012. For many people, this means making resolutions to which they hope to adhere throughout the year. People resolve to lose weight, spend more time with their families, travel to someplace new, find and better job, and to be a better friend, sibling, or spouse. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
While all these resolutions are certainly valid ones, there is another that you may want to keep in mind: a resolution to better manage your finances in the upcoming year. This commitment can be further broken down into several smaller resolutions, such as those related specifically to investments, savings, spending, and budgeting. A resolution in any of these areas is probably a beneficial one to make.
Before you make a financial resolution, however, it’s important to keep certain considerations in mind and ask yourself several questions:
-How would you label your financial situation? Are you secure? Content? Satisfied with your investments? If yes, you may want to make a budget that attempts to simulate your earnings, spending, and investments from last year. If not, you should identify areas of potential improvement and resolve to change them.
-Are any major events happening in your life this year? If yes, how do they stand to impact your finances? These events could be anything from a new job to a new car to a child going away to college. Almost every major personal event will have some sort of impact on your money. On that note, it is important to plan ahead. If you plan to get a new car, for example, now is a good time to start finding cheap insurance quotes and adjusting your financial resolutions accordingly.
-Do you have balance in your financial life? Do you save too much or too little for retirement? Do you spend too much or too little on something like food or clothing? As with everything else in life, having a financial balance is crucial for your monetary security. It probably also can contribute to your happiness and well being.
These are the major and most basic questions to ask yourself before making any finance-related New Year’s resolutions. The year ahead of us is full of promise and opportunity, but it is important that we go into it with a plan and a sense of purpose on even a purely financial level.