Making Smart Money Decisions in 2014
It wouldn't be the New Year without resolutions. But whether it's trimming your waistline or firming your financial profile, the key isn't making the list, it's sticking with it! Here are five steps to get you started on the road to financial fitness.
Resolution 1: Create a budget for life
Financially speaking, life can be viewed as a series of cash inflows and outflows. Saving and investing during your working years should hopefully lead to a rising net worth over time, enabling you to achieve many of life's most important goals. Creating your own budget and net worth statement can help you build your road map and stay on track, even during tough times. Try SDCCU’s MoneyTracker tool to manage your budget online.
Resolution 2: Manage your debt
Debt is neither inherently good nor bad—it is simply a tool. For most people, some level of debt is a practical necessity. That said, problems arise when debt becomes the master of the borrower, not the other way around.
Resolution 3: Invest with a plan
We all share the goal of getting better investment results, so stay focused on your goals. Create a plan that will help you stay disciplined in all kinds of markets. Follow it and adjust it as needed. SDCCU offers SDCCU Investment Services to provide you with access to the investment help and experience you need to make informed investment decisions.
Resolution 4: Prepare for the unexpected
Risk is a fact of life. Your financial life can be upended by all kinds of nasty surprises—an illness, job loss, disability, death, natural disasters or lawsuits. If you don't have enough assets to self-insure against major risks, resolve to get your insurance in shape.
Resolution 5: Protect your estate
Without an estate plan, the fate of your assets or minor children may be decided by attorneys, government bureaucrats and tax agencies. Taxes and attorneys' fees can eat away at your estate and delay the distribution of assets just when your heirs need them most.
Finally, remember you don't have to do everything at once. Take one step at a time. Make some real progress on your journey throughout 2014.