A new year is the perfect time to set some financial resolutions. Commit to a resolution that will help get your money to a healthy place and help you end next year in a better financial situation.
If you're wondering where to start or don't want to invest in anything risky, the following financial tips can help get your money on the right track in the new year.
Set up a money market account
Options such as money market accounts are a good fit for beginning investors who want to keep their money close to home.
Money market accounts typically earn a higher interest rate than savings accounts, according to Investopedia, and the account holder still has limited check-writing abilities, so "a money market account thus offers the account holder benefits typical of both savings and checking accounts.”
If opening a money market account and getting a bigger return on your savings sounds like a good goal for you, visit your local credit union and open up an account. There may be a minimum deposit before you can start earning dividends, but this is an easy way to get your financial resolutions moving in the right direction.
Invest in share certificates
If you're looking to kick off the year with a minimal-risk investment, share certificates are a safe place to start because you can know ahead of time what you will earn. And, completing this goal is as simple as purchasing a certificate from your local credit union and then waiting for the time you can cash it in.
“The benefits of a share certificate investment are fixed rates and defined terms. Essentially, you know exactly what you’re going to get for your investment,” according to Member One Federal Credit Union. “Share certificates are an ideal option for those seeking investments with little or no risk. Whether you’re new to investing or simply searching for a guaranteed return, the reliability of a share certificate delivers.”
Organize a budget and make sacrifices
The new year is the perfect time to organize a budget. Knowing what money is coming in and how that money is going to be spent is an important part of financial security. Start January fresh by making smart spending and saving choices.
However, if you are already sticking to a budget and looking for an extra way to give your finances a boost, downgrading or doing without something for a while can help.
For example, having a goal to go without fast food for a time can save a lot of money.
Take advantage of employer matching 401(k) contributions
When an employer offers to match an employee’s 401(k) retirement account contributions, it’s important to take advantage of this option if possible. Not participating is like taking money out of your future pocket. Though many people may not feel they can set aside funds from their current budget for their retirement account, it is important to consider how the employer’s contribution will be helpful during later years.
“Many employers offer some form of retirement or 401(k) account. If your employer offers to match your contribution, do it. It’s free money. If you open one of these accounts outside of your employer … we suggest setting up the deduction straight from your paycheck so you don’t have to choose between investing and going out for pizza. Trust us; pizza almost always wins,” according to Member One Federal Credit Union.
If you don’t have a plan for how to fund your retirement, set a goal to learn about the types of retirement accounts available and decide which is best for you.
Increase your savings
Boosting your savings account can feel like a daunting task. One way to start beefing up your account is to add any money you aren’t already accustomed to receiving. For example, if you get an end-of-year or beginning-of-year pay increase, you may want to assign that additional money to your savings account. You can do the same with all or part of a Christmas bonus.
You can also make a goal to put away a percentage of your pay into a savings account. Making savings deposits a part of your budget can be a good step toward financial health.
For more information, visit your local credit union and talk to a professional who can help you organize your investments and set some realistic, simple financial resolutions for the new year.
You can contact Jenelle at writejenelle (AT) gmail.com