Typical New Year’s resolutions may revolve around getting to the gym, eating healthier, picking up a new hobby. And while these are all perfectly good resolutions to make, sometimes the most prudent resolutions might not be the most obvious.
For those in relationships, establishing a few financial New Year’s resolutions can be a way not only to promote good financial help, but also to encourage each other to keep at it throughout the year.
Here are five fantastic financial New Year’s resolutions for couples.
1) Increase Your Savings by 1 Percent of Your Salary Each Year
One of the best suggestion for everybody is to consistently increase your savings, particularly in your retirement plan. For example, if you currently save 4 percent of your salary in your 401k, and receive a nominal raise yearly, in this example a 3 percent raise, we suggest getting to enjoy some of it (2 percent), but also increase your 401k savings by 1 to 5 percent total. Doing this small increase yearly won’t hurt your take home pay, will still allow you to enjoy your raise, and will also help you reach the 10-15 percent yearly savings towards retirement recommended.
2) Pay attention: Open your statements, Review Your Activity & Know Your Totals
The amount of people who admit, that they do not open their mail regularly, is always such a shock. In a world of online bill pay, automatic payments and direct deposit, physically opening the mail is easy to avoid. However, ignoring this allows small problems to potentially become big problems. Going through your mail allows you to open your statements to review transactions and other activity. It also allows you to review balances and know where you stand on payments, especially making sure that they were assigned correctly.
3) Create an Open Dialogue
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to being a couple or to joining finances. Create an environment where you both are on the same page. Some couples share all expenses 50/50 and treat the remainder of their personal incomes or debt as their own, some treat all income and debt as all–for-one and one-for-all situation, and others create a hybrid that works for them. Open the lines of communication and decide what method works for you, so there are no surprises.
4) Strive to Learn More
No one expects you to be an expert in finance. You should however, have a working knowledge of why you own certain investments, how you mortgage or car payments work, and then create joint financial goals. If you both want to retire at 40, travel the country in an RV, or visit the Great Wall of China, how do you plan to get there? What’s your timeframe, and how will you save to accomplish it?
5) Find a Trusted Advisor.
Online advice is great and, at 2 a.m., it can be extremely helpful. There are many valuable websites, articles, videos and professional tools to educate and help set you on the right direction financially. However there is no substitute for personal advice. An online resource can’t hope to give you the benefit that professional experience can. Please feel free to contact Steel Valley Investment Group of Raymond James & Associates Inc. at 610-709-9715 or online at www.mcleansteelvalley.com.
1 2017 Clock. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
2 Mailbox. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
3 Change Jars. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
4 Scale. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
5 Green Button- "Learn More" Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
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