SUMMARY:If your New Year's resolution is to make more money, you're not alone. According to Statista, the most popular resolution for 2018 (made by 53 percent of Americans) is to save money.Likewise, another survey shows that the biggest regret people have over previous resolutions is that they didn't save enough money, or pay off enough debts.
Making more money doesn't just involve bringing home a larger paycheck; it also involves managing money so there's more to save. The adage "A penny saved is a penny earned" is actually one of life's great universal truths. Saving money can have an even more positive impact on your lifestyle than making money, especially if you're making money but spending it all.
Here's how you can keep your New Year's resolution and make more money without having to work longer or harder.
A penny saved...
According to statistics from Advicent Solutions, here's how much you can save annually by cutting back on these items:
- Decreasing your food portion sizes by 15 percent: $1,170
- Eating out half as often: $468
- Switching from soda to water: $540
- Cutting out alcohol: $437
- Biking/walking to work (and cutting your gym membership): $1,172
By taking a good look at your spending habits, you can probably come up with even more ways to save money (and calories) by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Create a year-end financial checklist
One effective way to start managing your money is to create a year-end financial checklist featuring these milestones:
• Income tax
Review your tax withholdings. Did you have any major life changes such as a new baby or divorce? Make sure your tax withholdings are updated.
This is a good time to investigate how you can lower your taxable income with gifts to charities/foundations.
The new year is the perfect time to rebalance your portfolio. You'll also want to consider the possibility of tax-loss harvesting (leveraging your losses to reduce taxable income).
• Retirement funding
Check your past-year contributions to your IRA or employer retirement plan. If you have excess savings, you might benefit from larger contributions.
• Family funding
Don't forget to check your flexible savings accounts and health savings accounts. In addition, consider contributing to a 529 plan for funding your children's/grandchildren's education.
Find a financial planner through a reputable credit union
All of the items on your checklist should be thoroughly discussed with a financial planner; and it goes without saying that the best financial planners are those who take a professional interest in your needs, rather than the needs of the bank where they're employed.
If you're looking for a Texas credit union, Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) has helped generations of clients plan for their futures through its proprietary wealth advisory service (TWA). As the largest Houston credit union, TDECU also offers decades of experience in negotiating the ever-changing national and international financial climate, so you can benefit from the wisdom of experienced advisors dedicated to helping you improve your financial position.
New Year's resolutions don't have to be all about your physical health; they can be about your financial health, too. If you're ready to start taking care of your financial well-being, contact TDECU Wealth Advisors and let their representatives help you plan for a prosperous future.