Top Three Financial Resolutions

Smart Solutions • January 2014

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review where you have been and where you would like to be. That’s why every January, nearly half of all Americans resolve to improve their lives in some way, and about half of those resolutions relate to money.

Goals such as "save more" and "spend less" are a good start. But the more specific you can be about your objectives, the better your odds for achieving them. Read on for three smart resolutions you can make to help put you on the path to financial wellness.

1. Keep Your Credit Score in Check
Effective management of your debt is crucial to your financial health. Be sure to make credit card, mortgage and other loan payments on time, and keep your debt-to-income ratio as low as possible. Review your credit report annually and report any errors immediately.
2. Build Your Emergency Fund
Career changes, home repairs, medical bills and other unexpected expenses are part of life. Yet 28 percent of Americans have no contingency savings.1 Plan to set aside three to six months’ worth of living expenses as a safety net.
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3. Boost Your Retirement Savings
Maxing out your retirement account contributions is one of the best ways to build your nest egg. Be sure to take advantage of 401(k) employer matches and catch-up contributions. If you can’t contribute the maximum, aim to put in at least 10 percent of your gross income.

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  1. "28% of Americans Have No Emergency Savings," Blake Ellis, CNN Money, June 25, 2012, Emergency Savings, accessed Dec. 13, 2013
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