The new year is a perfect time for a fresh look at your financial goals!

Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Review your Current Situation.  Before you get started revising or setting new goals for the new year, it is important that you take some time to assess where you are now. Look through your debt, savings and investments to prioritize where you should put your focus to make the biggest impact.
  • Establish an Emergency Fund (aka Rainy-Day Fund).  One of the most important financial goals is establishing an emergency fund to ensure you can cover unexpected financial obstacles down the road. Whether it is a broken water heater or a job loss – you should strive to have enough in your savings to cover at least three months of expenses.
  • Pay Off Debt.  Debt can get in the way of achieving financial goals, so a good resolution may be to pay off debt this new year. This will help you pay less in interest and put that money towards other savings and financial goals.
  • Set a Budget (and Stick with It).  Setting a budget is crucial to following through on financial goals. Start by adding up all your income, subtracting necessary expenses and determining how much you want to save each month. Your budget should be achievable and maintainable to be successful.
  • Plan for Retirement.  Take time to look at your retirement plan. Identify all your potential sources of income and expenses, including medical costs, you can expect when you retire and calculate how much you will need to maintain your current lifestyle.  Take advantage of any retirement plan match your employer offers.  Try to increase your contribution each year.
  • Commit to “No-Spend” Days.  Commit to one or two days a month where no money leaves your bank account. Get savvy and find fun ways to spend absolutely nothing.  Cook your meals, go old school with board games for entertainment, or read a good book. Find a new hobby that costs you almost absolutely nothing.
  • Meet with a Financial Professional.  A wise goal for the upcoming year is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced financial professional who can advise you on your financial goals. An American Federal Banker can help you create an action plan for your goals and help you make informed financial decisions.