Many people vow to try a new routine or lifestyle change for the New Year – so, why not try flexing on your financial fitness? If you’re feeling buried in credit card bills from your holiday shopping and ready for a change, there is no better time than now to try something new! If you are not sure how to begin setting your financial New Year’s Resolutions, we’ve rounded up a few suggestions to help you start your own list of personal financial goals.
A staggering 92 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions do not achieve them. The best way to ensure you are part of the eight percent of people who come out on top is to set specific, attainable financial goals that you feel strongly about committing to.
Consider these 10 financial goals for your New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Donate to an organization you care about.
From Giving Tuesday until the end of the year, many nonprofit organizations make a push to fundraise for good deeds they are doing year-round. If you haven’t set a household budget, you might find that your “year-end” cash is too tied up in holiday gifts and paying taxes to give you any wiggle room for donations.
The fix? Set a budget that incorporates planned giving, such as setting aside $10 from each paycheck. As your fund grows, you can donate the lump sum to one organization, or spread it between several causes that are close to your heart. If you are looking to get even more sophisticated, an insurance broker can work with you to establish charitable giving through a life insurance vehicle.
2. Incorporate a new hobby that will help your budget.
The New Year is a great time to try a new activity – and particularly, one that could improve your financial fitness! Some of our favorite suggestions include:
- Eliminating unnecessary recurring expenses, such as media streaming services
- Looking at the Sunday ads and clipping coupons
- Meal prepping
- Setting a household budget
- Organizing a garage sale
- Packing leftovers for lunch, instead of going out to eat
- Reducing your use of disposable items, such as paper towels
3. Tackle any debt that’s preventing you from achieving your personal financial goals.
Debt can feel like a major burden, whether it is credit card, student loan or otherwise. Once you have identified a new method or methods to create savings (See Goal #2!) make a plan to use those dollars saved to chip away at any “bad debt” that’s dragging you down. Make these payments in increments, if you cannot do it all at once – that’s totally normal. A financial advisor can help you create a plan that’s customized to your unique financial goals.
4. Give your emergency fund a reality check.
Comprehensive insurance protection should be the base of your financial planning pyramid. Why, you may ask? Because accidents happen! At any given time, you could be one flat tire or basement flood away from depleting your emergency fund.
It’s critically important to compare the deductibles on your insurance policies to your emergency fund, and made any necessary adjustments. Sure, the monthly payment for a car insurance policy with a $3K deductible is lower than a policy with a $500 deductible – but if you are involved in an accident and cannot pay the $3K deductible to get your car fixed, what good is it to carry that coverage?
5. Complete that home renovation project you’ve been thinking about.
Making smart investments in your home is part of a well-rounded budget, because these improvements may be able to create additional savings (and prevent costly accidents) down the road! Examples include:
- Replacing old, inefficient appliances to reduce household energy usage
- Installing solar panels
- Updating your bathrooms with low flow shower heads
- Adding safety sensors and detectors
- Trimming branches and brush near your dwelling space
Some home improvements, such as installing a home security system, can also translate into savings in your homeowner’s insurance. Time to tackle that “honey do” list!
6. Make time for a productive lunch meeting.
A lot can happen in a year! You and your loved ones might have experienced some health changes, welcomed a new family member or changed jobs without realizing that all of these life changes (and more) can affect your coverage needs. An Insurance Broker can identify any areas where you may be exposed to risk, or any old coverages that are no longer needed. You might even qualify for coverage discounts you were unaware of!
P.S. Did you know that Webb Insurance will never bill you for coming in to meet with your broker? We are not a fee-based agency, and we believe you should have the freedom to meet with an Insurance Broker for coffee or lunch, without fear of receiving an invoice for the meeting.
7. Splurge on something fun.
What’s the point of saving if you never reap the benefits? The key to finding happiness with your budget is to establish balance between your financial obligations (i.e., bills) and occasional indulgences. So, identify something fun that you can do or buy when you meet your savings goal: Take that dream trip, upgrade to the giant flat screen TV you’ve been eyeing, or buy an engagement ring for your loved one (and then protect it with jewelry insurance!)
8. Take advantage of this discount (if you haven’t already.)
If you and your spouse or children have policies spread out across difference agencies you’ve worked with over the years, it would be worthwhile to consider consolidating these in order to take advantage of combined coverage discounts. In addition to the savings you’ll enjoy, this will help streamline your payment process and cut down on mail and email. Ready to get started? Get a quote to see how we compare.
9. Build a backup plan for your family’s finances.
More than half of Americans surveyed in 2017 said they would have immediate or nearly immediate trouble paying expenses if their primary wage earner passed away. Life Insurance is perhaps the most important emergency fund you can put in place for your loved ones – so, do the math and make sure the coverage you are carrying is sufficient to keep the lights on if the worst were to happen.Several important life events can help determine whether or not you need Life Insurance, and how much you may need. Want to cross two items off of your list of New Year’s financial resolutions at once? Complete this step while you’re meeting with an Insurance Broker for Goal #6!
10. Don’t give up! Ask for help with your financial goals when you need it.
A lot of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions before they’ve really gotten started – in fact, January 17 is officially “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.” That is less than three weeks into the year! Don’t give up on your personal finances. If you need help, seek the advice of a qualified insurance broker or financial advisor to keep you on track.
Webb Insurance Can Help You Reach Your Personal Financial Goals
The team of brokers at Webb Insurance is here to help you stay on track with your personal financial goals and New Year’s Resolutions. Build the base of your financial planning pyramid with comprehensive insurance protection from a leading independent St. Charles insurance agency. No matter where you are located, Webb Insurance is able to provide coverage in all 50 of the United States through the ISU Insurance Agency Network.