New Year’s (financial) Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions is unavoidable. Even if you vow not to make resolutions this year, THAT is a resolution! You can’t win. So you pledge to get in shape, call your mother more often and get your finances in order.

So here are a few tips, courtesy of CBS MoneyWatch, to help you get your wallet in fighting shape, even in these uncertain times.

Pay down Debt: The thing to know is that all debt is not created equally. Ideally, you want to attck the debt with the highest interest rate first.

Pay bills online: Set up automatic pay so you’re never late, because creditors are tougher than ever on delinquency.

Start investing: The sooner the better. Ideally you have a 401k at work. Wait, ideally you have a JOB (no small thing these days) and that job offers a 401k with matching funds.

Close unused financial accounts: I am guilty of this one myself. You pay down a credit card and, instead of closing it, you think it may come in handy someday. Well, creditors are ramping up dormancy fees now. And those “forgotten” accounts are particularly vulnerable to identity theft.

Personal finance software: Like Quicken, etc. Ever gone on a diet where you start writing down every calorie? What a rude awakening about your eating habits! Same idea here.

There are more ideas and details in the article. So READ IT.

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