5 ways to actually set financial resolutions that work

Published: Friday, Dec. 28 2012 10:50 a.m. MST

Kaden (9) and Logan (11) Mohrmann give their New Year's EVEolutions at the IHC "Live" tent at the Gallivan Center during the EVE celebration Dec. 31, 2009, in Salt Lake City, Utah. IHC partnered with Spyhop productions to videotape the resolutions of children that revolve around healthy living.

Keith Johnson, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Financial New Year's resolutions are much easier to make than to actually keep, but these five specific financial resolutions are broken down enough that it is possible to keep them, according to an article on Money Ning.

"The key is to avoid vague resolutions or impossible goals and instead decide on a set of very specific, doable steps. For example, don’t say, “In 2011 I’ll get out of debt,” said Vered Deleeuw in his Money Ning article.

First, create a monthly budget. Plan for it taking about two hours. The benefit is to show the bigger picture of finances and view single purchases within that context.

Saving more aggressively involves finding where cost cuts can be made, and building an emergency fund. Many purchases are made by habit, rather than necessity. If you want to be financially free, those need to be limited.

Pay off credit card balances, which will bring you closer to eliminating credit card debt. By only making minimum payments, it will take years to pay off the debt.

Start an emergency fund. Money Ning suggests paying credit card debt the priority, but once it is paid off, it's time to start the emergency fund.

Invest in a 401(k). "If you’re employed and your employer offers a 401(k) retirement plan that includes an employer match, not taking advantage of the match is like turning down free money," Deleeuw said. "If you’re not doing so already, resolve to take full advantage of the employer match."

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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