Money and Markets: Investing Insights

The #1 Financial Resolution for 2015

According to Fidelity Investments, the number one financial resolution for 2015 is to save more money.  The median amount individuals would like to save is an additional $200 per month.

If you or someone you know share a similar resolution here are some tips to help achieve this goal for 2015.

  1. Evaluate your current expenses: To begin the New Year on the right foot, it is always a good idea to evaluate your monthly expenses and see exactly how your money is being spent.

Perform an assessment of your monthly household spending and ensure your money is being spent in an economical and wise way.

Know what you are spending on – housing, transportation, food, fuel, and other recreational activities — set realistic expenditures of your monthly income for these basic expenditures.

  1. Create a budget: The best way to know what you’re spending is to prepare a monthly household budget.
  • 35% of your monthly income should go toward your house (rent or mortgage payment)
  • 25% household expenses (utilities and food)
  • 10% auto (insurance, car payment and maintenance)
  • 5% recreation

The remaining 25% should to go to your retirement and your savings.

Find Savings Strategies:

According to a FINRA study, in the U.S., 56 percent of individuals lack a rainy day fund to cover expenses for three months in case of sickness, job loss or other emergencies.

No matter what, always aim put something away each month for emergency savings. You should aim to have a minimum of  three months worth of monthly income in a personal savings account for those unexpected emergencies.

One simple way to build a nice nest-egg with little effort: Set up an automatic funds transfer from your checking to your savings account with your financial institution.

Saving $100 per month at a 0.47% interest rate (the current national statement savings account rate) for the next five years will result in a savings of $6,172.23 with annual interest compounded monthly.

Please see table below:

 

Year Ending Balance with $100/month contributions
1 $1,303.06
2 $2,511.79
3 $3,726.20
4 $4,946.34
5 $6,172.23

 

If you’re finding it hard to sock away $25 or $50 per month in a savings account … it just may be credit card debt.

Make strides to decrease your credit card debt …

  1. Make the call. Call every one of your credit card companies and request a lower interest rate. Did you know nearly 60% of consumers who call to request a lower rate actually receive it?
  2. Seek low not high. If you’re known to carry a balance month after month find a credit card with a low APR.
  3. Shop around. Look for a new card with a favorable rate that will allow you to transfer your balances. But, make sure you pay off the balance before the introductory rate expires. Always look for rates that have a 0-2% introductory rate that’s good for at least 6 months to 1 year.
  4. Plan of attack. Attack your higher interest rate balances first, and in the interim, pay the minimum balance on your lower rate cards, but send double, triple … even quadruple the minimum payments to the higher rate card.

 

 

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