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Financial Resolutions for 2013

The start of 2013, like any new year, is a great time for resolutions. This is the time when people everywhere hit the gym with new vigor and pledge to be healthier. It’s fairly common to consider diet, relationships and jobs when someone sits down to brainstorm healthy resolutions. However, something that’s often overlooked is financial health. Here is a list of our top 6 favorite financial resolutions for 2013.

1. Pay all bills in full and on time. We’ve talked about this before, and it’s important enough to talk about again. Make sure you spend only what you can afford. Spending beyond your means on a credit card isn’t just the cost differential between what you can afford and the actual price; it’s the cost differential plus late fees plus the interest rate on your balance.

2. Create a debt-payoff strategy. This is simple, wise financial planning. Take stock of your debts; look at your credit credits, and organize them by their effective interests rates and balances. Afterward, your debt-payoff strategy will become pretty clear. Pay off the largest balances with the highest interest rates first.

3. Put more of your supplemental income toward savings or retirement. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider opening a 401(k) and allocating 3-5% of your paycheck for retirement. Some employers will match your contributions (up to a certain %) if you pay in to a retirement account, so it behooves you to inquire about this if you aren’t already in the know.

4. Bring your own lunch instead of eating out during your workday. This may seem like a pretty elementary financial tip, but it’s the one that’s hardest to follow! Give yourself a manageable goal, such as packing lunch twice or three times a week, and see how much money you’ll save.

5. Create (or finish) your estate plan, and make sure your family is protected. We’ve blogged about estate planning before here, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, feel free to contact McFarlin LLP, and we can help. In the meantime, there are plenty of free online services, like Everplans, that can help you get started.

6. Confront major debt, bankruptcy or foreclosure issues by contacting McFarlin LLP. The longer you push off serious financial problems, the harder it is to get back on your feet and come out with a favorable outcome. Let us help, and let us help early before it’s too late.

Draw up your resolutions today, and begin paving the road for a financially healthy 2013.