Make this the year to save your pennies! (Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto)
If there’s one area you don’t want to get any slimmer this year, it’s your wallet. Now that the presents are unwrapped and your shopping list has vanished, keep these tips handy to stay financially fit from FOX Business Network’s Sandra Smith, a reporter on the economy and all things greens (i.e. money!).
1. Set goals. Just as you are laying out your fitness goals for the year, so should you lay out your financial goals. What debts do you want to pay off, how much money do you want to save, what investments should you make. Be specific! As you reach your goals, you will feel inspired to set new ones.
2. Maximize your benefits. Many employers offer benefits in addition to your regular paycheck. From 401K’s to flex spending accounts and health plans. Get the most out of your benefits and discounts at work– you’ve earned them! Contact your human resources department to get the most out of what is being offered to you.
3. Get out of debt. From school loans to credit card bills, keep chipping away. Contact a financial professional if you have multiple debts and want to find the best and least expensive way to pay them off. Carrying debts costs money, so the sooner you can pay these debts, the closer you are to financial freedom.
Read on for more money saving tips from Smith.
4. Know your credit score. Having good credit is invaluable. It affects so many aspects of our lives from buying a home to getting low interest rates on credit cards. If your credit score is low, work on getting it up. Checking your credit can also help protect yourself against identify theft.
5. Reward yourself. Achieving your financial goals and your reaching financial freedom should be rewarded. Plan a trip you’ve been longing to take, or treat yourself to something you will enjoy. While saving and budgeting is most important, you also need to reward yourself for all that hard work.
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