TOP 5 FINANCIAL RESOLUTIONS
Finance Expert Dara Duguay Shares Tips on Getting “Fiscally Fit”
TIP #1. DON’T TREAT MONEY AS A TABOO SUBJECT
Whether managing finances yourself or with a spouse/partner, avoiding money issues in the hopes that they will just go away or until you have a financial crisis only guarantees stress and arguments. Set aside time every month – or schedule regular monthly “money meetings” with your partner – to review the bills, progress towards your money goals, investment portfolio, college savings and any other money topic that is relevant. This monthly review could coincide with bill paying or when your bank statement arrives.
TIP #3. PAY MORE THAN THE MINIMUM ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS WHENEVER YOU CAN
Even a small amount more than the minimum can make a big difference in the time it takes to pay off your balance and the total cost of interest. Also, be sure to make your monthly payments on time, every time. Even one late or missed payment can be recorded in your credit report and affect your credit history.
TIP #4. CONTRIBUTE THE MAXIMUM TO A RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN
Approximately 50% of Americans, who have the opportunity to contribute to a company retirement plan, choose not to. In many cases, contributions are matched by the company. This is free money that is being thrown away by opting out. Remember that your contributions will reduce your taxable income and will only be taxed when you start to withdraw them at retirement age.
TIP #5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE INSURANCE PROTECTION
There is nothing like an emergency to wipe out your savings or add to your debt level. Protect yourself financially from as many emergencies as possible by ensuring adequate insurance for health, life, auto and home. Confronting these issues can be difficult since no one likes to think about possible illness or death, but to assume you are invincible from “life events” or tragedy is to not be realistic about life.
Personal finance expert, Dara Duguay, is a dynamic interview. Author of three popular books, The Citi Commonsense Money Guide for Real People, Please Send Money and Don’t Spend Your Raise, and currently director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education, Dara also served as executive director of the non-profit Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Her extensive media experience includes: The NY Times, Associated Press, LA Times, USA Today, Money, Redbook, CNN, Fox News Channel, Bloomberg, MSNBC, NPR, among others.