Taking Control of Your Finances in 2015

If you’re like most people, the New Year often prompts you to set goals for yourself. Maybe this year you have decided to reduce your debt or save more money. Here are some great tips to get you started:

1. Identify your goal.

Do you want to start an emergency fund? Save for a home? Get out of debt? Identifying your financial goal will help you develop a plan and stick to it.

2. Review your finances.

Most people underestimate how much money they spend. Print out 12 months of statements from your bank and credit card accounts. Highlight your fixed (mortgage/rent, utilities), irregular (car and home maintenance, taxes, etc), and discretionary expenses (shopping, restaurants, entertainment, etc.)

3. Create a budget.

This gives you control over your money. 55% of millionaires keep a budget!

4. Track your expenses.

Tracking your spending habits will show you exactly where your money is going.

5. Eliminate debt.

Eliminating debt can seem intimidating. Remember to tackle one debt at a time. For credit card debt, start with the card that has the highest interest rate. Make larger payments on that one while making the minimum payment on any others.

6. Review your credit report.

It’s smart to check your credit report annually to confirm that all your information is correct as well as to alert you in case there has been any fraudulent activity.

7. Start an emergency fund.

Having 3-6 months of living expenses stashed away will give you peace of mind and protect you in the event of an emergency.

8. Invest

By making smart investments you can have your money work for you!

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