Thursday, January 10, 2019

By, State Treasurer, Kelly Schmidt 

I love the start of a new year and the opportunities it brings.  I am not one for resolutions, but certainly, use this time of year to assess.  We all know nothing changes if nothing changes.  Financial changes require goals, family discussion, and organization.  Here are a few ideas to get you started in the new year. 

1. Complete a budget each month

It is important to know where your money is going each month and there is no better way to get ahead of your finances than to write it down. 

2. Reduce your debt

Once you have determined where your money is going, you can form a plan to reduce or eliminate your debt.  Start with the smallest amount first and continue from there. 

3. Automatic Savings Transfer

Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account.  The best way to do this is to have it taken automatically withdrawn from your paycheck.  Many will agree, after the first month or two, you will not notice the change. 

4. Manage your retirement 

When was the last time you evaluated your retirement goals?  How much are you saving?  Will you be able to retire comfortably?  Can you add another $50 a month? 

5. Review your beneficiaries

Most people select their beneficiaries and never look at it again.  It is a good practice to review who would receive your assets in the event of your death.  Circumstances may change in a year, so it is important to review these documents.  

6. Create a Will 

If you already have a Will, now is a great time to update it.  Help your family by putting a plan together; you will be comforted to know that your wishes are laid out and your family will be grateful you have made those decisions.  

7. Insurance Policies 

Do you and your family members know where your insurance policy is if something were to happen?  Part of reviewing documents is placing them in a central location where they can easily be found.  Gather all your insurance documents and policies in one binder and review them. 

Starting the year with your finances in order is beneficial to everyone.  It gives us all peace of mind... which is priceless.  Wishing you and your family a blessed 2019.