The new year is often a time when we make resolutions about living a healthier lifestyle. While resolving to exercise and eat better is a wonderful thing, the overall health of your personal finances could often use some attention as well. The new year is the perfect time to create new financial habits, which includes setting some goals. Here are several important areas to consider as you plan your finances for 2017.
Assess Your Situation
Whether you're planning for retirement, trying to claw your way out of debt, or saving for the dream of home ownership, it's hard to make a plan if you don't know where you stand. Sit down and make a list of your assets and liabilities. This means that you list out everything that you own as well as what you owe. If this sounds tedious, but there are some free online tools can help you get this done, such as Mint.com.
Create a Reasonable Plan
Once you know where you stand, you can begin to make your financial plan for 2017 and beyond. This starts with a detailed budget. One of the benefits of using a free service like Mint.com is that it has some advanced budgeting features. The site will tell you what you are spending your money on each month and even make suggestions for savings. If debt payment is one of your financial goals for the coming year, it can help you with that as well.
Consider Some Professional Advice
While financial planning can be a DIY exercise, usually those who find the most success ask for some professional help along the way. One reason that an advisor is a good idea is that they bring an unbiased perspective to the situation. Emotions can often cloud financial decisions, and professional advisors can help us avoid some costly mistakes. When you choose a financial advisor, look for one who is honest about their potential conflicts of interest and who won't try to push their products on you if they aren't the right fit.
Save and Invest as Much as Possible
There are many rules to financial success, but they boil down to the principles of saving, investing, and diversifying. You should save as much as you comfortably can, including having an emergency fund on hand. Invest for retirement as early as possible into investment vehicles that will match the best returns with your risk comfort and provide some tax benefits. Finally, diversification is always a key to successful investments as you never want to have all of your eggs in one basket.
Protect Your Family With Insurance
Having the proper levels and right types of insurance is being both a good planner and financially responsible. Not only should you have health insurance for your family and the right types of insurance to cover your home and belongings, but life insurance is necessary as well. A life insurance policy protects your family from economic loss due to the death of a loved one. Buying a life insurance policy is affordable and shouldn't be put off.
When the new year arrives, most of us have an internal desire to do better. As we take stock and look for areas to improve, finances should be a part of ongoing goals.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is to make an intelligent choice. Everyday life, as well as certain events and circumstances, require you to make choices. And peace of mind is gained when you feel good about the decisions you make.
When it comes to life insurance, IntelliQuote is there for you to make the intelligent, well-informed choice. From term life insurance to universal life insurance and final expense insurance, we make it easy for you to compare, shop and save. Get multiple quotes now and make the intelligent decision for Life.