Following is an excerpt from the January Baltimore Gay Life Personal Finance column by Amanda Wooddell Wilhelm, a Manager at SC&H Financial Advisors, the Personal Financial Planning practice at SC&H Group.
We all have the best intentions when it comes to committing to our New Year’s resolutions. However, many of our resolutions are simply abandoned or forgotten several weeks into the year. After all, we are all human … aren’t we?
By developing the discipline to stick with your financial New Year’s resolutions, the outcome could be more significant than losing a few pounds. It could result in financial freedom.
The following are a few suggested financial resolutions that are easy to implement, maintain and could set you on the right path in 2015.
Resolution #1: Make a Budget
Now is the ideal time to create a budget to get a handle on your income and outflows. This includes essential expenses (i.e., mortgage/rent payment, utilities, food) versus discretionary spending (i.e., entertainment, vacation).
Resolution #2: Check Your Insurance Coverage
Insurance is an important element of any sound financial plan. As insurance helps protect you and your loved ones in different ways, now is the right time to assess your current plans, and make any necessary adjustments.
Resolution #3: Update Estate Planning Documents
Revisit the documents that you have in place (will, medical directive, power of attorney, trusts) to make certain that they are up to date and address your current situation. Any life changing event such as marriage, death, divorce, birth of a child, could call for a change. If you have no documents in place, now is the time to address this.
Resolution #4: Build Up An Emergency Fund
You should begin developing a plan to have three to six months’ worth of ordinary living expenses saved in the bank. These funds should only be touched in an emergency.
Resolution #5: Pay Down Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is toxic and can weigh down your chances of achieving true financial freedom. Develop an active plan for paying down this debt as quickly as possible.
These and other 2015 financial New Year’s resolutions are outlined on page 22 of the January issue of Baltimore Gay Life. If you have any questions about this content, or are interested in learning more about SC&H Group’s Personal Financial Planning services, we welcome you to contact Amanda here.