Pyrotechnic display with a colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers on a black background to welcome in the New Year

Well 2013 is almost over and what a year it has been! It seems just like yesterday that I was given the opportunity to be your spokesperson and crazy enough, in less than 35 hours, it will be 2014. Where has the time gone? Since the new year is all about making goals, have you thought about what your New Year’s resolution will be? If not, why not make it a goal to be financially savvy? Here are 3 ways to kick off your new year the right way:

52 Week Money Challenge. Remember when I posted about this challenge a couple of months ago? No… well check it out! This is a tough one, but if you are dedicated you’ll have a nice chunk of money around this time next year. If you tried and didn’t make it last year… try it again! It never hurts to save money!

Start Saving Now! So you know how I tend to emphasize the importance of saving money and having an emergency fund? Well, that’s because it is extremely important! You never know when an emergency can come about. Financial emergencies can come in the form of a job loss, significant medical expenses, home or auto repairs or something you’ve never dreamed of. The last thing you want to do is be forced to rely on credit cards or a loan which could simply increase the problem. Most experts agree that you should keep three to six months worth of your income set aside in your emergency fund. The most common reason for the need of an emergency fund is due to a sudden loss of income.

Where do I start?

If you feel it is difficult to begin saving, simply start with a small amount. Each month put aside $20 and as you learn to budget and eventually make more money, you can increase that dollar amount. To help you stay on track, set up an automatic transfer at your Credit Union. Each month you can automatically transfer a certain amount from your checking to your savings account for no fee at all!

Manage your Debt. Whether you borrowed to pay for college or to enhance your lifestyle, it is difficult to feel financially savvy if you are drowning in debt. Make a plan of action! Start by paying off debts with the highest interest rate first (e.g. credit cards). Also, try paying more than the minimum payment. You will be able to pay your loan off faster and the overall interest amount will decrease.

If none of these helped you out, I’m confident you will be able to make good decisions on your own! I wish you all a happy and successful New Year! Good luck and I will see you in 2014!

Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

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