What may seem like a good intention to boost your financial well-being may end up holding you back in the new year. With talk of resolutions, it’s important to avoid the common money moves that get people into trouble in January. Check out the following four financial decisions to avoid this time around.
1. Overdoing Resolutions
You may be so excited by your newly-made resolutions that you focus only on them. Whether you want to work out regularly, cook meals at home more often or become more connected to your community, it’s a good idea to pace yourself. This will help you stick to your goals in the long run.
2. Paying Off Debt With Savings
Getting out of debt is a great plan for the new year — and with your retirement and savings accounts making less than the rate of interest your debt is costing you, it may seem smart to make a swap. While withdrawing funds may be easy, it can be very hard to pay yourself back, and you may not feel any urgency to pay when debts are paid off. It’s important to strike a balance where you are paying off debt but still meeting other financial goals like maintaining an emergency fund and contributing to retirement savings.
3. Failing to Pursue Additional Income Opportunities
Your current job may pay the bills and you may choose to focus on building your career in 2015. But don’t forget the other ways you can succeed in the workforce —consider consulting or freelancing some of your skills to earn additional income. You should also consider investments — instead of just saving more, consider ways your money can work for you.
4. Forgetting to Have a Life
Be sure you have reasonable guidelines and realistic timelines for your resolutions — you do not want to work so hard on improving yourself that you forget all about the things you used to enjoy. For example, you might consider skipping the gym on the one day your friends from out of town are visiting your city. It’s important to find a balance between bettering yourself and maintaining the life you want.
As useful as resolutions can be, it’s a good idea to make sure they are attainable and won’t set you up for difficulty later.
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