So losing weight/getting fit will probably never, ever lose its number one spot on annual resolutions lists, but the dire financial straits of the millions of Americans impacted by the economy has caused a new one to creep up to a higher spot on the list.
Spend less and save more ranks as the number three resolution for Americans as the country heads into 2013, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Fidelity Investments seconds that emotion because its research found that 47 percent of Americans are making this a top priority in the new year.
The real resolution should be to get and remain healthy because studies have shown that financial concerns increase stress, which affects overall health. In case a refresher is needed on basic financial health, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Get Thee A Budget: If you don’t have one, it’s time to get one. Take stock of what you spend and what you spend it on. Don’t judge yourself, be kind and real with yourself. If you like to imbibe regularly or if shoes is your thing and that’s where your money is going, look at how much and then plan accordingly. Make sure to get your bills paid first.
2. Set a Savings Budget While You’re At It: Pay yourself first, save for a rainy day, whatever you have to tell yourself to get you to save, then so be it. Set a goal and then figure out how much it will take to reach the goal. And, then — most importantly — don’t touch it!
3. Start an Emergency Fund: For a single person that ranges between $10,000 and $15,000. For couples and families, double that and then don’t touch it!
If your finances are overwhelming you it’s okay to get help. Seek a financial adviser in your area and check in with BlackEnterprise.com for tips on how to grow your money in the new year.